The Millin Guide To Choosing A Commercial Dehumidifier
This month, we’re switching gears a bit and diving into industrial and commercial dehumidifiers — what they are, their features and benefits, and what situations they’re particularly useful (or even necessary) in.
This brief guide will outline what exactly a commercial dehumidifier does, as well as lay out the specifications you should consider when you’re deciding which product to invest in. Let’s get started.
What is an industrial or commercial dehumidifier, and why would you need one?
Like the ones you buy for your home, commercial dehumidifiers work by decreasing the amount of humidity within a space, improving the air quality and minimising the risk of structural damage or health concerns as a result of dampness and mould.
Used for larger spaces such as offices or warehouses, they’re incredibly powerful tools capable of siphoning up to 90 litres of moisture from the air in a single day.
They’re useful for a wide range of industries and applications, from protecting retail stock in damp and drafty warehouses to quickly drying large surfaces of newly applied concrete, plaster, or paint.
How do they work?
Commercial dehumidifiers work by using a compressor to power a condenser and evaporator that in turn remove moisture from an indoor space. Their common features include:
- Automatic defrost. Protects the unit (and your investment) by preventing it from freezing, especially in cold temperatures.
- Built-in pump. Improves convenience by directing water to a collection point of your choice (outside, sink, etc.).
- Reusable, washable filters. Increases the cost-efficiency and sustainability of your dehumidifier.
- Durable materiality. Because they’re often used in industrial or harsh conditions, commercial dehumidifiers are made of sturdy materials able to withstand considerable use and impact.
Benefits and uses of commercial dehumidifiers
In addition to their durability and convenience, commercial dehumidifiers offer a number of valuable benefits, from health improvements to business protection.
A cost- and energy-efficient way to shield your space from the damaging effects of moisture, they significantly improve the quality of the air you’re breathing — removing harmful dust and pollen that can affect our respiratory systems. They’re also great for preventing mould growth — something that can be a particular problem here in New Zealand — which helps to safeguard the health of you and your employees and to mitigate the risk of costly structural repairs down the line.
Commercial dehumidifiers are excellent for keeping your stock and inventory in pristine condition, helping to regulate temperature and dampness so products such as food, fabrics, metals, and machinery don’t rot or rust. They’re frequently used by professional painters to speed up the drying process and to ensure smooth, quality finishes free from cracks and bubbles.
These useful tools offer dampness and moisture control in large facilities such as supermarkets, restaurants, indoor pools, and storage warehouses. The go-to solution for water damage, they’re often implemented in situations where leaks or floods have caused harm to large-square-footage spaces.
What to consider when you’re purchasing a commercial dehumidifier
It’s critical to consider the location, size, temperature, and humidity of your space when you’re looking into commercial dehumidifiers. These measurements will determine what you need in terms of dehumidifier capacity.
Most industrial dehumidifiers are fitted with uplift pumps that will automatically pump water up to five metres high, making them ideal for basements and below-ground-level applications where collection isn’t practical.
When it comes to capacity (how much water a dehumidifier can pull from the air in a given day), you need to consider both the maximum capacity and the AHAM capacity. Maximum capacity defines the amount of water that can be extracted at 90% humidity or more, whereas AHAM capacity defines the amount at roughly 60% to 70% humidity.
(AHAM is a term used in the United States and determined by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, but it’s relevant to other markets. A measure of how well a dehumidifier operates at the aforementioned 60% to 70% humidity, it’s typically considered a better indicator of how a given dehumidifier will perform in everyday conditions.)
If you’re looking for a dehumidifier for a particularly damp environment where the relative humidity regularly sits at or above 90%, focus on the appropriate maximum capacity for the size of your space. Otherwise, the AHAM capacity is more important, and it’s stated in the name of the product (e.g. Remington 90-Litre Industrial Dehumidifier).
Here are some good rules of thumb that can help you determine which size dehumidifier to go with:
- 50 litres for spaces up to 120 square metres*
- 90 litres for spaces up to 250 square metres*
*Please note these figures are general indications. Effective size will vary based on the moisture level, humidity, position of dehumidifier etc