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dessicant or refrigerant

What’s the Difference Between Desiccant & Refrigerant Dehumidifiers?

November 22, 2017

Everyone knows that all dehumidifiers, at their core, work to remove unwanted moisture from the air. It’s that function which has made them a vital part of businesses of all stripes across the world.

However, when you’re looking to buy a dehumidifier, you’ll find two main choices; desiccant or refrigerant dehumidifiers. But what’s the difference between these two competing technologies, and which is right for your business?

In this short guide, we’ll be addressing those questions, starting with…

What are Refrigerant Dehumidifiers?

Much like the name implies, refrigerant dehumidifiers remove moisture out of the air by pulling the warm, damp air from within the building and passing it over a cold evaporator coil, which cools the air below its dewpoint temperature.

In turn, this results in condensation that is collected from the cold coils and directed to a pan and either removed manually or purged through a pipe out of the building.

The dry air is then passed over warm condensing coils before being moved out of the machine so as not to result in changes in air temperature.

What are Desiccant Dehumidifiers?

Desiccant dehumidifiers operate by passing air through a rotor, which contains materials which absorb and hold water. These desiccant materials grab water from the air, which is then pushed back into the room.

To remove the water, the desiccant material is heated, vaporising the water, which is then ducted out of the building. Typically, the material used within the rotors is a silica gel. However, it’s not a ‘gel’ as you might picture it, instead being an extremely porous material comprised of a network of microscopic, interconnected pores, which make them extremely effective at extracting water from the air.

Which is Right for You?

Typically, desiccant dehumidifiers are recommended for industrial purposes thanks to their ability to operate at extremely low air temperatures. In many industries, cold, dry air is required to operate safely. This consistent operation level is a huge attraction for desiccant dehumidifiers, but that’s not their only advantage.

Modern industrial dehumidifiers, like those offered here at Dehum, can control humidity to incredibly precise levels and draw up to 132kg/hr of water from the air. They’re also extremely quiet compared to refrigerant units, ideal for areas where noise levels are already approaching dangerous levels.

To learn more about Dehum’s industry-leading dehumidification solutions, click here, or speak to a member of our team on 01926 882 624

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How our systems can help

Using our engineering expertise and skill base, we are able to design unique applications, based on calculated psychometrics, to achieve and maintain optimum relative humidity levels (RH%) or accelerating drying. 

We have been behind extensive improvements in productivity across a multitude of industries.

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