Dehumidifiers can be used as a temporary method of condensation control in buildings. A dehumidifier will remove water from the air, by passing the humid air over a cold surface. The removed condensation water is either collected in a container that required frequent emptying or in large more expensive dehumidifiers, the water is discharged directly to a drain.
In most cases, dehumidifiers should be considered a temporary method of controlling condensation. Dehumidifiers deal with the effects of condensation, but do not remove the cause.
Why dehumidifiers are a temporary solution to severe condensation and mould
- Dehumidifiers can cost up to a £3.00/day to run, compared to 2p/day for a whole home ventilation system.
- Dehumidifiers use 300-500w of energy, compared to 8w for a whole home ventilation system.
- Dehumidifiers can require frequent emptying of the water collection container
- Dehumidifiers tend to be noisy
- Dehumidifiers do not provide fresh air, they just recirculate stale air
- Dehumidifiers only remove moisture from the area in which they are situated and therefore more than one dehumidifier may be required.
Dehumidifiers treat the symptoms of condensation and mould in a property but do not treat the cause. The cause of condensation is usually one or a mixture of the following
- Lack of adequate ventilation (extract fans should be present in all moisture producing areas and trickle vents in windows to provide background ventilation will assist in condensation control)
- Lack of adequate heating (ideally internal temperatures should be 18-21oC to assist in condensation control)
- Poor insulation of floors, walls and roof spaces
- Excessive moisture production by the occupants (drying clothes, using gas cookers with no extract fans, long showers and boiling pans with no lids)
Usually the most effective and economic solution for excessive condensation is the installation of a whole home ventilation system, such as the Drimaster ECO or Flatmaster.