What Is The Best Desiccant Dehumidifier? Top 7 Options Reviewed
- 1 The Different Types of Desiccant Dehumidifiers
- 2 How A Commercial Desiccant Dehumidifier Works
- 3 Advantages and Disadvantages of Desiccant Dehumidifiers
- 4 Our Reviews Of The 7 Best Desiccant Dehumidifier Options
- 4.1 Ivation 13-Pint Dehumidifier
- 4.2 ECOR PRO 50 Pint Desiccant Dehumidifier
- 4.3 Dry-Packs 750 Gram Silica Gel Canister Dehumidifier
- 4.4 Eva-Dry E-333 Renewable Mini Dehumidifier
- 4.5 OSG-40 Silica Gel Dehumidifier
- 4.6 Dry & Dry 300 Gram [5 Packets] Premium Pure & Safe Silica Gel Desiccant
- 4.7 Dry & Dry 5.5 Lbs Silica Gel Desiccant Beads
- 5 Desiccant Dehumidifier FAQs
- 5.1 What is a desiccant dehumidifier?
- 5.2 What are the benefits of using a desiccant dehumidifier over other types of dehumidifiers?
- 5.3 Can desiccant dehumidifiers be used in extremely humid conditions?
- 5.4 How often do I need to replace the desiccant material in my dehumidifier?
- 5.5 Can desiccant dehumidifiers be used in cold temperatures?
- 5.6 How much noise do desiccant dehumidifiers make?
- 6 In Conclusion
A desiccant dehumidifier is very different from a compressor-style unit. It still is designed to remove humidity from the air but instead of using condensation, it uses a chemical compound. The chemical used to pull moisture from the air is called a desiccant.
There are quite a few different types of desiccant-style dehumidifiers. Here we will look at how the different desiccant dehumidification systems differ and provide some specific examples of some of the best desiccant dehumidifier options on the market.
The Different Types of Desiccant Dehumidifiers
There are four different types of desiccant dehumidifiers. They include:
1. Disposable Desiccant
This type of dehumidifier is also known as a moisture absorber. These are relatively inexpensive and disposable as they cannot be reused more than once. They work simply by exposing the moist air to a small container of absorbent crystals. Once full, the container is thrown away.
2. Rechargeable Desiccant
A rechargeable style desiccant is also a moisture absorber but instead of being disposed of once the absorbing material is full, it can be ‘recharged’ for future use. The recharging is essentially a drying process. Neither this nor disposable desiccants are suitable for use in large areas.
However, the size of a rechargeable or disposable desiccant dehumidifier makes these options great for use in small applications. They are effective when used in cupboards or wardrobes, and are also considered a great gun-safe desiccant dehumidifier.
3. Full-Size Consumer Grade Desiccant
These are generally smaller in size than compressor-type dehumidifiers. Also, the amount of moisture removed from the air by a full-size consumer-grade desiccant dehumidifier will be less. They will roughly cost between $150 and $350.
4. Commercial Desiccant
These are typically the models that are used by construction contractors. A commercial desiccant dehumidifier has the ability to dry air that is already dry. They can also dry materials in either a very cold or very warm temperature. Compressor-type dehumidifiers are not very effective at doing this.
How A Commercial Desiccant Dehumidifier Works
The Parts Of A Desiccant Dehumidifier
There are five main components in a desiccant dehumidifier. They include:
1. The Desiccant
This is the chemical compound used to adsorb (not absorb) moisture in the air. The reason for this is that when heated, the compound will release the same amount of moisture that it absorbed. The collection of moisture and release of it when heated is crucial in the process of a desiccant humidifier.
2. Rotating Drum, Large
The drum measures an inch or two thick and is as wide as the dehumidifier. The drum will contain alternating layers of corrugated and flat sheets. This is where the desiccant is placed. Air flows perpendicular to the drum which rotates to remove moisture from the room air.
The warm, moist air is condensed on this plastic item that measures roughly as long and wide as the dehumidifier.
A small heater is used to reheat the cooled air that flows through the desiccant dehumidifier.
5. Blower Fan(s)
One or more fans are used to send air throughout the entire desiccant dehumidifier system. Typically the blower is located in the back of the unit and it pulls air through the front of the dehumidifier and sends it through the top.
How It Actually Works
The rotating drum has a large process zone (about 75% of the total surface area of the drum) and a recharge zone. Warm air is pulled through the process zone by the large fan in the back of the unit. The desiccant compound absorbs moisture as the air is passed through the process zone.
Once the air moves through the process zone it is sent out of the top of the dehumidifier. The heater covers the recharge zone and it reheats humid air that is pulled through the desiccant as it passes through in the opposite direction of the incoming humid air.
The air that is reheated by the heater removes the moisture that has been collected by the desiccant. When this happens moisture is released into the air. The now warm humid air leaves the recharge zone and enters the condenser at the front of the dehumidifier.
The warm humid air in the condenser will condense at room temperature. The water that forms from the condensation process drips down into a collection bucket. Once full, the removable bucket can be taken out of the unit, and the water disposed of.
The main difference between a consumer-grade and a commercial desiccant dehumidifier is that the commercial style does not have a condenser. Instead, the warm moist air that leaves the recharge zone is removed by being pushed through the top of the unit and away through ducting.
As there is no condensation step in a commercial desiccant dehumidifier, they can dehumidify at much colder temperatures. They can also operate effectively in reducing humidity at far lower moisture levels than residential/consumer-style desiccant dehumidifiers.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Desiccant Dehumidifiers
Because desiccant dehumidifiers differ quite a lot from regular compressor-style dehumidifiers such as whole-house dehumidifiers, it is good to know what some of the advantages and disadvantages are.
- Low-temperature operation
- Consistent moisture removal rate
- Extremely quiet operation
- Lightweight and portable.
- Limited capacity
- Depending on the style, they can be of lower value compared to compressor-style dehumidifiers
- Potential odor release.
Our Reviews Of The 7 Best Desiccant Dehumidifier Options
To find out more about the best desiccant dehumidifier options on the market, here is a review of some of the most popular choices:
Ivation 13-Pint Dehumidifier
This small desiccant dehumidifier features quiet operation because it does not have a compressor. The desiccant rotor technology does all the work of removing up to 13 pints/day.
The washable filter inside the unit is easy to clean by using either a vacuum cleaner or water.
One major bonus is that this desiccant dehumidifier is designed for continuous drainage; use a hose to drain the unit into a bucket or nearby drain.
ECOR PRO 50 Pint Desiccant Dehumidifier
This quiet dehumidifier is a great option for larger areas, removing up to 50 pints of moisture from 1000 square feet.
It is designed to be left on all the time and regulates the humidity to the desired level. It vents the moist air outside so that there are no buckets or drain hoses required. This makes it perfect for crawl spaces and ceilings. It can also work in a wide range of temperatures.
Many regard this as one of the best desiccant dehumidifier options because, even though it removes a lot of moisture, it is relatively small in size… measuring 7.9 x 11.8 x 7.9 inches.
Dry-Packs 750 Gram Silica Gel Canister Dehumidifier
This is a portable desiccant dehumidifier that is actually a small steel canister that contains 750 grams of silica gel. The sturdy construction of the canister means it can be moved around and placed in just about any small location without fear of it getting damaged.
The silica gel is top-grade orange that is easy to recharge when needed. The manufacturer states that this small dehumidifier can be used for a lifetime and still be effective.
It is recommended for use in gun cases, ammunition storage, camera bags, toolboxes, shoes, and cabinets. It can also be used in drawers, backpacks, camping gear, RVs, trailers and anywhere else moisture in the air can be a problem.
The orange silica gel turns dark green when it requires reactivation. You can reactivate the small humidifier in the oven. Full instructions included.
Eva-Dry E-333 Renewable Mini Dehumidifier
If you have a small enclosed area measuring roughly 10 feet by 10 feet this mini desiccant dehumidifier system is perfectly matched for the job. Using a specialized and engineered crystallized silica gel, this handy little product can be hung in a closet or other location to work.
The ‘moisture meter crystals’ change from orange when they are dry to green when they are wet. That’s when you need to ‘renew’ the unit for reuse. Recharging the crystals is easy as you just plug the dehumidifier package into a wall outlet.
Depending on the humidity level where you intend to use this product, it will absorb about 8 to 10 ounces of moisture in three to eight weeks. When you consider that you would use this in a small storage place that is a pretty good timeframe for humidity control.
OSG-40 Silica Gel Dehumidifier
With a name like Hydrosorbent, you’ve got to get a bit of a feeling that this is a pretty serious product. In fact, it is actually a rather big name for a small item. That’s okay as it is designed for use in areas measuring roughly three cubic feet.
Think dresser drawers, wardrobes, and toolboxes. As it turns out, the silica gel inside this canister can be recharged with heat – recommended by an oven by the manufacturer – and as a result, this product will last a long time provided it is reactivated when needed.
Dry & Dry 300 Gram [5 Packets] Premium Pure & Safe Silica Gel Desiccant
These packets measure 4 ½-inches by 7 ½-inches and they are filled with silica gel beads that are between 2 and 4mm in size. The packets are made from a strong fabric that uses Spunbond Technology for ultimate moisture absorption.
You just lay the package where you need moisture control. That could be in the bottom of a drawer, on a closet shelf, or wherever you need it. Dry&Dry has been in the desiccant silica gel business for over 30 years and manufactures various size packets of their product.
Dry & Dry 5.5 Lbs Silica Gel Desiccant Beads
The silica gel beads in this 5.5-pound tub change color from blue to pink indicating they have pulled out all the moisture in the air. That’s not a problem as you can easily recharge the beads by warming them in the oven. But how exactly would you use this volume of beads?
The packaging here is to provide you with enough silica gel beads to use in several areas. But you don’t just pour them out and hope for the best. You must package these beads in small fabric bags in order to use them effectively. That’s because you should avoid touching the beads.
You should not breathe in the dust that comes off the beads as well. However, if you do fill several bags with the beads, you will discover that they do a great job of pulling moisture from the air.
Place small bags of these beads anywhere you need to fight moisture such as in a cabinet, drawers, closets, and those kinds of places. It does a great job of protecting electronics, jewelry, books, and ammunition.
Dry & Dry is a manufacturer with over 30 years of experience in silica gel desiccants and offers a money-back guarantee with this product.
Desiccant Dehumidifier FAQs
What is a desiccant dehumidifier?
A desiccant dehumidifier is a type of dehumidifier that takes moisture out of the air using a desiccant substance, such silica gel. Desiccant dehumidifiers work by passing humid air over the desiccant material, which absorbs the moisture from the air. The dry air is then released back into the room.
Desiccant dehumidifiers are capable of functioning at lower temperatures and can be more efficient in excessively humid situations than other types of dehumidifiers that utilize refrigeration to condense moisture out of the air. They are frequently utilized in industrial, commercial, and residential situations where conventional refrigerant-based dehumidifiers would not be efficient or practicable.
What are the benefits of using a desiccant dehumidifier over other types of dehumidifiers?
There are several benefits to using a desiccant dehumidifier over other types of dehumidifiers:
– Effective in low temperatures: Desiccant dehumidifiers can operate effectively at lower temperatures than other types of dehumidifiers, making them a good option for use in colder environments.
– Quiet operation: Desiccant dehumidifiers are generally quieter than other types of dehumidifiers since they do not use a compressor or refrigerant system.
– Lightweight and portable: Desiccant dehumidifiers are typically smaller and more portable than other types of dehumidifiers, making them easier to move from room to room or between job sites.
– Low energy consumption: Desiccant dehumidifiers use less energy than traditional refrigerant-based dehumidifiers, making them a more energy-efficient option. However, if you require a heat source to regenerate the desiccant material, this can affect their energy efficiency.
– Effective in high humidity conditions: Desiccant dehumidifiers can be more effective in extremely humid conditions, as they are not affected by saturation levels like refrigerant-based dehumidifiers.
– Versatile applications: Desiccant dehumidifiers can be used in a wide range of applications, including residential, commercial, and industrial settings, as well as for restoration and remediation projects.
Can desiccant dehumidifiers be used in extremely humid conditions?
Yes, desiccant dehumidifiers can be very effective in extremely humid conditions. Unlike refrigerant-based dehumidifiers, which can struggle to extract moisture from air that is already saturated, desiccant dehumidifiers use a different process that is not affected by humidity levels. The desiccant material used in these dehumidifiers is capable of adsorbing moisture from the air, regardless of how humid it is. In fact, desiccant dehumidifiers can be more effective in very humid conditions since they are not affected by saturation levels like refrigerant-based dehumidifiers. Therefore, if you live in an area with high humidity levels, a desiccant dehumidifier can be a great option for removing excess moisture from the air and improving indoor air quality.
How often do I need to replace the desiccant material in my dehumidifier?
The frequency of replacing the desiccant material in your dehumidifier depends on several factors, such as the type of desiccant material used, the humidity levels in your environment, and the size of your dehumidifier.
Some desiccant materials are reusable and can be reactivated by heating them in an oven or microwave. Others are disposable and need to be replaced once they have absorbed a certain amount of moisture. The manufacturer’s instructions should provide information on the expected lifespan of the desiccant material and how often it should be replaced or reactivated.
As a rough guide, desiccant dehumidifiers used in residential or light commercial applications may need the desiccant material replaced or reactivated every few months to a year, depending on usage and humidity levels. For industrial or heavy-duty applications, the desiccant material may need to be replaced or reactivated more frequently.
To make sure that your desiccant dehumidifier keeps working efficiently, it’s important to frequently check its performance and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for maintenance and desiccant material replacement.
Can desiccant dehumidifiers be used in cold temperatures?
Yes, desiccant dehumidifiers can be used in cold temperatures, and they may even be more effective than refrigerant-based dehumidifiers in low-temperature environments. Desiccant dehumidifiers are not affected by low temperatures like refrigerant-based dehumidifiers, which can struggle to operate effectively in colder environments.
In fact, desiccant dehumidifiers are often used in cold environments such as garages, basements, and crawl spaces where traditional refrigerant-based dehumidifiers may not be effective due to the low temperatures. The desiccant material used in these dehumidifiers is able to adsorb moisture from the air even at lower temperatures, making them a good option for dehumidification in cold environments.
However, note that the effectiveness of a desiccant dehumidifier in cold temperatures may depend on the specific model and manufacturer. Consult the manufacturer’s specifications and recommendations to ensure that the desiccant dehumidifier is suitable for use in the specific temperature range where you intend to use it.
How much noise do desiccant dehumidifiers make?
A desiccant dehumidifier’s noise level can change depending on a number of factors, including the unit’s size, fan speed, and motor quality. Because they lack a compressor, desiccant dehumidifiers are typically known to be quieter than refrigerant-based dehumidifiers.
The fan and air movement in some desiccant dehumidifiers may create a low hum or noise, but this noise is typically not particularly loud and is frequently referred to as white noise. A desiccant dehumidifier’s noise output can be in the range of 30 to 50 decibels, which is comparable to the volume of a typical conversation or a running refrigerator.
Some desiccant dehumidifiers produce no noise at all since they have no moving parts.
If noise is a concern, check the manufacturer’s specifications and reviews to find a desiccant dehumidifier that is designed to operate quietly. To help reduce noise, some models may contain noise-reducing features like insulated housing or variable fan speeds.
In the ongoing battle against the damaging effects of humidity on your belongings, you don’t always have to resort to electronic devices to do the job. Some of the best desiccant dehumidifiers are non-electric and non-toxic. They are moisture absorbers and work like a sponge sucking water out of the air.
Make sure that you have a look at some of the options we have mentioned above. As you can see, there are a variety of styles, and they are well-priced. So you should be able to find a small desiccant dehumidification system to suit your needs.
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