A Guide to Desiccant and Compressor Dehumidifiers

One of the most commonly asked questions we receive on a daily basis is 'What is the difference between a desiccant and compressor dehumidifier?' So we have prepared this guide to help you make the right choice between a desiccant or compressor unit.

How Compressor Dehumidifiers Work

A Compressor Dehumidifier is essentially like a little fridge and works by drawing in the air from the room which passes over a filter and then over cold coils (much like those on a refrigerator). As the coils cool the water condenses and drips into the water bucket within the unit, the air is then reheated to room temperature and blown back out of the dehumidifier.

A Compressor Dehumidifier can run in temperatures ranging from 5 to 30 degrees centigrade with optimum performance above 20 degrees centigrade. They work well in warm conditions but are less effective in cool conditions.

In the right conditions, you can expect a 20 litre compressor unit to extract up to 5 litres in a normal domestic environment.

A selection of our best selling compressor dehumidifiers:

  • Brolin BR10C 10 Litre at £115 inc VAT and delivery
  • Brolin BR20C 20 Litre at £159 inc VAT and delivery
  • Ebac 2650e18 Litre at £199 inc VAT and  delivery
  • Meaco 10L Basic 10 Litre at £99 inc VAT and delivery
  • Meaco 20L 20 Litre at £249 inc VAT and delivery
  • Kroll T24 30 Litre at £189 inc VAT and delivery
  • Meaco 20L 20 Litre at £165 inc VAT and delivery

Benefits of a Desiccant Dehumidifier

Desiccant dehumidifiers tend to be smaller, lighter and can be quieter than compressor units.

Whilst compressor dehumidifiers only work really well in warmer temperatures (over 20 degrees celsius) desiccant units extract the same amount of moisture in any temperature between one degree and 20 degrees celsius. Desiccant units are incredibly durable and extremely effective at extracting moisture in almost any circumstances.

Whilst a desiccant unit may consume more power on an hourly basis than a compressor unit, they are much more effective at extracting moisture and achieve a better result in a much shorter time.

For example, at a normal room temperature of 21 degrees, a 7 litre per day extraction desiccant (power consumption 660 watts per hour) will extract more moisture in one hour than a 20 litre per day extraction compressor driven unit (power consumption 370 watts per hour) will extract in on and a half hours.

At an average domestic price of 10 pence per kilowatt hour the desiccant unit costs 6.6 pence to achieve the same result as the compressor unit which costs 5.6 pence. However, in cooler temperatures the compressor unit will take longer and therefore cost more to achieve the same result.

How Desiccant Dehumidifiers Work

Desiccant dehumidifiers use a desiccant material, typically Zeolite, which absorbs water vapour from the air in a similar way to silica gel. A fan draws air into the dehumidifier and passes it through a section of a slowly rotating wheel which holds desiccant which dries the air. The moisture is extracted from the desiccant by heating a portion of the wheel not being used to dry the air. All desiccant units are rated in test conditions of 60% humidity (as opposed to 80% for compressor units) and 30 degrees centigrade temperature.

They will extract the same amount of moisture irrespective of the temperature in which they are working. There are no consumables on a desiccant unit: the desiccant material does not expire and will not need to be replaced / topped up.

The lifespan of a desiccant unit will tend to be longer than a compressor unit as it is a much more simple process with far less moving parts, no compressor and no refrigerant gas being held under high pressure to potentially fail.

A selection of our best selling desiccant dehumidifiers:

  • Toyotomi TD-Z80 9 Litre at £169 inc VAT and delivery
  • Eco Air DD322FW Simple 10 Litre at £189 inc VAT and delivery
  • Eco Air DD122FW MK5 Classic 7 Litre at £165 inc VAT and delivery
  • Meaco DD8L 8 Litre at £179 inc VAT and delivery
  • Eco Air DD122FW Simple at £139 inc VAT and delivery

If you require a dehumidifier for any of the following - domestic, leisure or commercial applications then we recommend a desiccant dehumidifier:

  • Mould / damp prevention at home
  • Laundry / clothes drying
  • Cellar drying
  • Document storage / archiving
  • Car / vehicle storage
  • Boat
  • Caravan
  • Motorhome