Which Best Dehumidifier?
Of course the answer is not simple and depends on the application. To understand the application, we need to understand the problem
The need for home dehumidifiers around Europe generally follows the pattern of winter rainfall patterns in the regions & countries. Also the proximity to lakes, rivers & the sea. All of which increase the levels of general humidity in the air.
As we close our windows & doors to seal heat in we also trap in the moisture. Even the moisture we generate in the home is trapped inside. That moisture will condense on the coldest surface whether a window, wall, loft, bathroom or simply absorbed into the fabric of the building.
So in Europe there is predominantly a winter need for dehumidifiers.
The map shows why for instance the West of England generally suffers more from humidity problems than the east & why not surprisingly more dehumidifiers are sold to this region.
Weather is not actually the main issue in Europe, its generally way of our modern living.
In certain conditions, the space under house or crawl space can have excess moisture from the ground. This does not have an immediate noticeable affect but can damage floorings especially any wooden construction unless dehumidified or protected with expensive protective coatings. Rising damp is something very different and is often due to the damp membrane home & house construction issues. A dehumidifier will not help with that condition.
Condensation or mould spots in lofts, wardrobes, utility areas or bathrooms are all symptoms of excess humidity problems often originating from inside the home
In some countries warmer weather brings its own humidity problems and in those countries a dehumidifier can be used instead of a central air conditioning system to lower the humidity of the air making it feel cooler as a dry heat. Humid air will also condense on a relatively cooler surface so a basement can become damp in the height of summer for instance.
Basements are relatively cool areas of the home and they are built into the ground where again it is relatively damp or even wet. The moisture from the home will tend to condense in the coldest part of the home leading to harmful effects such as condensation, dampness and mould. Just imaging entering a cave on a summers day. It feels cool and damp often.
Insulation, double or triple glazing makes the problem worse
We think by insulating our homes in winter we are keeping the dampness out. However, we are also trapping the moisture we produce in our daily lives inside also. It is a modern problem. The more people cook, bathe, wash or simply breathe our air, the more moisture is trapped inside the home. This moisture even in a heated home will migrate to the coldest part to condense into water.
What Are The Signs Of Excess Humidity?
The first sign of excess humidity in the home is very often condensation on the windows. The next most common sign is mould spots on walls bathrooms and wardrobes as well as general dampness.
If humidity is due to moisture produced, then the number of people in the household is a key factor. The more people, the more water is generally produced.
For instance, the smaller the house with relatively a high number of people, the higher the humidity problem will generally be.
Trying to solving a humidity problem in a room or wardrobe alone is usually pointless, the issue tends to be in the whole house. Solving it by heating for instance in one place means moisture may still appear somewhere else in the home
Understanding the Scale of the Problem?
Every time we open the door moisture can enter. It be an average family home can have over 40 litres of water per day from bathing, cooking, drying, breathing, washing and from outside through walls floors and the air entering.
Not all that moisture will be trapped in. If we open the door heated moist air will escape. However, we try to keep the heat inside in winter and a dehumidifier is a good solution to solve the problem.
A Dehumidifier Solution but Which One? Peltier, Crystals, Reciprocating Compressor or Rotary Dehumidifier?
A dehumidifier is an item that extracts water and collects the water or expels water to the outside.
Peltier – Peltier uses thermal transfer properties of silicon to create a cooling surface. This cooling surface is where water will condense. The power of the system to cool is quite limited and although cheap to purchase they generally are unsatisfactory in operation. Maximum commercial extraction rate less than 1 litre & typically 250ml
Silica Gel Crystals – Often these are found in small sachets in electronic items we purchase to keep the inside of the box dry. In a larger scale these are sold as dehumidifiers but exstract even less water than a Peltier dehumidifier in general. Typical extraction rate less than 250ml then its disposed of.
The most common dehumidifiers are compressor dehumidifiers. However, desiccant or absorption technology is rapidly becoming as popular
Reciprocating Compressor – Is the oldest technology for dehumidification. It’s usually the same compressor as you will see at the back of your refrigerator or freezer. Extraction capacity can be from 10 litres to 20 litres. Most dehumidifiers now have moved away from this system.
Rotary Compressor – Often found in air conditioning units. They are generally quieter, more energy efficient than compressor units and allow the dehumidifier to be more compact. Ecor Pro only uses rotary compressors. Air from a rotary compressor unit will be typically 2°C warmer than the air entering.
Desiccant – Sometimes referred to as Absorption Dehumidifying use a relatively new technology using a special material that absorbs moisture but gives out moisture when heated. Therefore, there is a heater inside. It is not a room heater as such but the air coming out of the unit can be typically 10°C greater than when it went it. To see more on how this technology works Click Here
Why Are More People Using Desiccant Dehumidifiers in the Home?
Desiccant dehumidifiers are often rated at lower extraction capacities to compressor dehumidifiers. However, at normal temperatures they often perform better than compressor dehumidifiers.
Dehumidifier water extraction level is affected by humidity level of the air & air temperature. The performance of Compressor dehumidifiers whether reciprocating or rotary is often measured at 40°C and almost humidity saturated air. Something liken these conditions to the Amazon Jungle in summer. Desiccant units however are rated at “Normal” conditions. Typically, the pleasant humidity level of a home and the normal temperature of the home.
At these conditions a 8 Litre unit will perform similar to a 14-16 Litre compressor unit & a 12 Litre unit will be similar to a 20-25 Litre compressor unit.
If the room the dehumidifier is being used will be below 17°C its can be far better to use a desiccant dehumidifier. Below 10°C the performance of desiccant units can be 4 to 5 times better than the equivalent compressor unit. To read more Click Here
Ecor Pro has many compressor dehumidifiers in the range but see the future in our premium desiccant technology models. This modern technology in most cases will give higher water extraction with desiccant dehumidifiers. The heating & higher running cost of a desiccant can offset the home heating bills so on balance we see desiccant dehumidifiers as key.
To reduce the running costs further and bring compressor and compressor dehumidifiers more level for energy consumption, Ecor Pro developed “SEA” technology that can save 40% of the energy. Smart Energy Acquisition is a smart operation control technology matching usage of the home environment, number of people and weather conditions. A true innovation.
Often desiccant units are used in homes with poor heating to maintain a habitable temperature.
A Heater in A Plastic Box so How Safe Is a Desiccant?
If your intention is run the dehumidifier all day everyday unattended we do not recommend a home desiccant dehumidifier. A commercial desiccant dehumidifier or compressor dehumidifier will be better & safer. Only Ecor Pro units have rest periods in the desiccant drying cycle in a 24 hour drying period making our units perhaps the safest in the market. We still however recommend compressor or industrial grade desiccants for applications. To see the commercial grade DryFan® products designed for home applications Click Here
Where to Put a Home Dehumidifier?
The ideal location of a domestic dehumidifier is in a hallway or ideally landing with all doors slightly open to allow circulation of air. In the first weeks of using a domestic dehumidifier should be located in the room that has the most issues with excess humidity. When the amount of extracted water from that room falls significantly and the room feels dry, move the dehumidifier to a central location in the home either a hallway or landing. Don’t turn it off. Simply regulate the setting that maintains the moisture balance for the home over the winter period. If you turn the dehumidifier off moisture will build up again. To understand more Click Here
A dehumidifier for a home may need to be carefully judged. Some unscrupulous persons may overstate the performance of a dehumidifier “suitable for up to 4 bedroom homes” may not always be true for some manufacturer’s models.
Smaller home dehumidifiers may mean a several dehumidifiers need to be used in the home, back bedroom, conservatory, garage, basement.
Often One Dehumidifier Is Not Enough
Is There A Dehumidifier Alternative?
Simply keep a window open! That will stop condensation or install air bricks or an extraction fan and turn up your heating. Sounds simple but they will all work. Old houses that were draughty had few problems with condensation. The problem is they all waste heat energy from the home and counter all the good things we do to seal and keep expensive heat in.
We Want to Keep the Heat In
You could also buy a system of pumping fresh air from outside into a home (Positive Pressure Ventilation Systems). These alternatives will also work but of course they are ultimately expensive.
Heating the home is very expensive. Sealing the home with better windows & doors, loft insulation is also very expensive so why put a system in that counters all that energy saving expense? Not to mention damage escaping heat causes to the environment.
Dehumidification works best because it allows you to keep the heat in and keep the draughts out. Ultimately, a dehumidification system is far more cost effective than other alternative solutions.
Is There a Downside to Home Dehumidifiers?
Dehumidifiers cost money to purchase & or course run. You most probably will need more than one dehumidifier for your entire home. The compressor home dehumidifiers will use a little more electricity that your home refrigerator & the desiccants around the same as a large plasma TV.
The other problem is they have a footprint or are simply there in the living space so take up room. Of course every day they will typically need to be emptied of water.
No matter what, a dehumidifier will make a noise in the living space. We are very accurate on our sound level tests and our units tend to be the quietest when placed next to competition products. Our construction of solid plastic means sound is reduced more than other models but we feel that is important. The fan in an Ecor Pro dehumidifier is always true unlike other models again a sign of sound reduction and quality in manufacture.
Often customer will buy a unit that is too small & not suitable for their home so will not solve the problem. In some cases, 2 or even 3 dehumidifiers are used to keep the problem under control.
However, the biggest problem with a home dehumidifier is lack of fresh air. Fresh air is essential to keep the family healthy. If we close the windows, prevent the draughts & create a highly energy efficient home we can still have a sick home.
The Best Whole Home Solution?
Our new Ecor Pro LD800 Loft unit is a far better cost effective solution to the issues of condensation and a whole house solution. Even more it gives fresh filtered air.
- Out of sight
- Not in the living space
- No need to empty water container
- A highly efficient heat recovery system
- An investment that can potentially save on heating bills and pay for itself in 5 years
- Above all letting fresh air in & keeping your family healthy
Rule of Thumb for Choosing the Best Dehumidifier?
We produced an easy guide to help you choose the model. Click on the easy guide symbol any time here.
– Two Bedroom Property (circa 60m2) conventional unit 10-15 litres – Recommend desiccant 9 litres TDZ80 or TDM80
– Three Bedroom Property (circa 80m2) 15-20 litres – Recommend desiccant 9 litres TDZ80 or TDM80, LD800
– Four Bedroom Property (circa 100m2) 20-25 litres – Recommend desiccant 12.5 litres TD-Z110, LD800
– Five Bedroom Property (circa 120m2) 25-30 litres – Recommend desiccant 12.5 1itre TD-Z110, LD800
If you have a larger home with a family you should consider the whole house solution with the LD800 dehumidifier and heat recovery unit
Any Other Applications for Dehumidifiers?
There are of course people who will use a dehumidifier for a boat, holiday home or garage. In all applications the need is to have the unit working continuously in an often none heated environment. These applications have to consider some additional issues:-
1, Is the power supply stable? Most units reset to “Off” position when the power is switched off then power comes back on such as in a power cut. Ecor Pro TDM80 units however do not suffer from this. This domestic product resumes operation to setting where the power was switched off if the plug has been left in the socket. Ideal for holiday homes or where the power supply is not stable and it may be unattended for periods. Of course commercial grade units will also do this.
2, Some people have basements and are difficult to drain continuously. Some Ecor Pro models have in-built pump to raise water to a higher height in the home. Ideal even for larger properties where they will run in a basement continuously. Look at the D8500 & D9500. Both have internal condensate pumps.
3, Is it sea water you are trying to dry out? Sea water contains corrosive salt that will attack any unprotected surface of metal and indeed internal parts of any domestic dehumidifier. Ideally we recommend in an environment that sea air or sea water is present that the users consider a commercial unit such as the compact Inox models DH800, DH1200 DH2500 or DH3500 dehumidifiers. It’s an investment but minor considering with what the unit is often protecting.
4, Any unit that is expected to run 24 hours a day is really being asked to perform what we would class as a commercial dehumidifying task. Built for that purpose the Ecor Pro commercial dehumidifiers are built to run all day every day.
If the intended use of the dehumidifier is to run all day every day
we strongly recommend that a commercial dehumidifier is used
5, Hair dressers, bakers, florists etc. or indeed any shop that has issues with condensation on their windows and furnishings will need to consider an industrial or commercial product. Our D8500, D9500, D1100, D850 & D950 are ideal wall mount applications
Suitable also for use in Swimming Pool Areas
6, If the application is to lower the humidity in a small swimming pool area or changing room or indeed laundry including dry cleaners, then generally a commercial dehumidifier is used. For instance, the Chlorine in the bleach & pool forms a mild Hydrochloric acid in the air. You can generally notice this in the pool area or cleaned floor area as a bitter taste at the back of the throat. This mild acid is actually highly corrosive over time. Only units that are especially coated to cope with these types of environments will last a reasonable time. Others will simply rot. Our D8500, D9500, D850, D950, D1100, DSR12 & DSR20 are costed to meet the needs of the swimming pool and corrosive atmosphere areas.
Whatever your application Ecor Pro has it covered.