Mould typically grows when the relative humidity (RH) reaches 68% or above. In the UK our moist climate ensures a high RH level and this is only exacerbated by the actions of daily living such as having showers, cooking, boiling the kettle and even breathing!
Many people turn to a dehumidifier in order to bring the RH down to comfortable levels. Whilst purchasing a dehumidifier is a good move you must ensure that you purchase the correct model that will save you money in the long run.
For starters there are two main types of dehumidifiers in the UK – desiccant and compressor models.
Desiccant dehumidifiers are better suited to the UK climate than compressor dehumidifiers as they are able to run at lower temperatures. Desiccant models are also cheaper to run at these temperatures as their extraction rates remain even no matter what the temperature does.
Further advantages of desiccant dehumidifiers are that generally they are both lighter and quieter than compressor dehumidifiers. Desiccant dehumidifiers also lack Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) making them environmentally friendly.
Now that we’ve established that for UK conditions desiccant dehumidifiers are favourable which other features can save us money?
The first of these features is the auto-stop feature which all dehumidifiers should have. The auto-stop simply stops the dehumidifier from running once the water tank is full. When the water tank has been emptied the dehumidifier can be restarted.
For continuous use many models come with a continuous drainage system which allows the water that is collected in the water tank to drain out automatically via a hose ensuring that the dehumidifier runs continuously for maximum performance.
Some drainage systems work on gravity alone. Such systems only allows the water to flow down therefore the dehumidifier must be higher than the drain. Other drainage systems work via a motor which can push the water upwards into a drain. This allows the drain to be situated higher than the dehumidifier.
The most important money saving feature for a dehumidifier is a technology that allows the dehumidifier to sense the RH of the surrounding air and then work to get the RH down to a set level before going to sleep.
Let’s take the Meaco DD8L desiccant dehumidifier as an example. If we set the RH to the medium setting the Meaco will work to bring the RH down to 55%. Once this setting is reached the Meaco will continue to run for 5 minutes before reverting to a fan only setting for 30 minutes. Once the half hour is up the Meaco wakes up and runs for 5 minutes to check the surrounding RH. If the RH is still around 55% then the Meaco will go to sleep once more for half an hour. If the RH has crept up then the Meaco will work to bring the RH down to 55% before going to sleep again.
As you can see once the set RH has been reached the Meaco may only run for 10 minutes out of every hour. This is much more efficient than a compressor dehumidifier that keeps running for the full hour.
With dehumidifiers, as with the best things in life, you should spend a little extra when first purchasing the product to avail of the savings which are available at a later date.
Written by Marcel Springorum of http://www.ByeMould.com