What Makes a Great Dehumidifier For a Water Restoration Company?

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What Makes a Great Dehumidifier For A Water Restoration Company?

With so many options today for water restoration companieshigh temperature LGR wanting to purchase drying equipment, it can really be a daunting task to pick the right one.  There are so many different features on dehumidifiers today it can make choosing one difficult and confusing.  So here is my opinion of what to look for before purchasing a refrigerant style dehumidifier.

First and foremost if you are serious about water restoration as a profession you should not buy any standard or commercial refrigerant dehumidifier.  You should only buy low grain refrigerant (LGR) dehumidifiers.  They are tremendously more efficient at removing water, and generally extremely efficient in the electrical requirements.  If you are not going to purchase LGR's then don't get in the water restoration business.

Next look for water removal per day and the amp draw to remove that amount of water.  In my area of the country we still see a lot of homes with 15 amp breakers and so the maximum you can run off of a 15 amp breaker is 12 amps.  Typically in a water damage situation you need all the electricity you can get and so choosing a unit that is highly efficient electrically is a plus.  For example is it better to purchase a unit that removes 161 pints per day and uses 9.5 amps or one that removes 170 pints per day and pulls 12 amps.  In my opinion, I would choose the 161 pint per day unit if all other things were the same.  On a 15 amp breaker I could run that dehumidifier pulling 9.5 amps and an axial air mover pulling 2.5 amps.  If I choose the 12 amp dehumidifier I can't do that.

After water removal per day and electrical requirements, look at other features.  Where does the air come out of the dehumidifier? This is an often overlooked feature.  If I have a dehumidifier where the air comes out the very bottom of the unit then I can use that unit to help dry some hard to dry areas without having to hook up ducting to it.  Say I have a base cabinet that is wet at the bottom, if I can put my dehumidifier right up to the base cabinet and have the hot dry air hit the base cabinet at its wettest spot then the cabinet will dry out much faster than if I have a dehumidifier with the air coming out of the back of the unit toward the top sitting in the middle of the room.  So having the dry air come out at the bottom of the unit is beneficial in drying many structural items.

I also like having a purge button on a dehumidifier so that I can purge the water out of the pump before removing the unit from a job or moving it around during a job.  This feature just helps you look more professional so that you are not dripping water all over the freshly dried floor while you wheel the unit out the door.

Now a feature I am not fond of.  I am not fond of any feature that does not promote drying the job faster.  Mainly I am speaking of dehumidifiers with computers on them.  There is an exception though.  If a dehumidifier has a computer on it to tell you it is operating fine or to tell you the temperature and relative humidity then I am not a fan of that.  It is using electricity to tell you things about the job when the function of the dehumidifier is to remove water and in my opinion all of its resources should be used for water removal and nothing else.  You can get a hand held meter to tell you the temperature and relative humidity in the room and coming out of the dehumidifier.  This information will also tell you if the unit is functioning properly.  The exception to having a computer on a dehumidifer is if it helps the dehumidifier dry better.  Some high temperature dehumidifiers have a sensor that opens and closes a door or hatch to let air in the unit to cool the compressor and help it work more efficiently at higher temperatures.  This is a plus in my book.

Lastly, look for units that are called high temperature LGR's.  These units can operate efficiently at temperatures well above 90 degrees which is where all other refrigerant dehumidifiers become inefficient.  Since drying with hotter air speeds up the drying process then owning a high temperature LGR is a real benefit.

So look for these features before purchasing your next dehumidifier and you will be happy with the performance for years to come.

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This article was published on Wednesday 18 September, 2013.



Back to main topic: Water Damage
Axial Air Mover
Heat Drying Equipment and its Uses
Why Axial Air Movers are Better for Water Restoration Projects
Why Axial Air Movers are Better at Drying Most Things
Large Fan
Portable Fans
How to Clean a Dehumidifier

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