Electric Dehumidification

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An electric dehumidifier operates on the refrigeration principle. It removes moisture from the air by passing the air over a cooling coil. The moisture in the air condenses to form water, which then runs off the coil into a collecting tray or bucket. The amount of water removed from the air varies, depending on the relative humidity and volume of the area to be dehumidified. In locations with high temperature and humidity conditions, 3 to 4 gal of water per day can usually be extracted from the air in an average-size home.

When the dehumidifier is first put into operation, it will remove relatively large amounts of moisture until the relative humidity in the area to be dried is reduced to the value where moisture damage will not occur. After this point has been reached, the amount of moisture removed from the air will be considerably less. This reduction in moisture removal indicates that the dehumidifier is operating normally and that it has reduced the relative humidity in the room or area to a safe value.

The performance of the dehumidifier should be judged by the elimination of dampness and accompanying odors rather than by the amount of moisture that is removed and deposited in the bucket. A dehumidifier cannot act as an air conditioner to cool the room or area to be dehumidified. In operation, the air that is dried when passed over the coil is slightly compressed, raising the temperature of the surrounding air, which further reduces the relative humidity of the air.

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