This process uses a special humidity-adsorbing material called a desiccant, which is exposed to the air to be conditioned. The humidity-saturated material is then moved to a different location, where it is “recharged” to drive off the humidity, typically by heating it. The desiccant can be mounted on a belt or other means of transporting it during a cycle of operation.
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Dehumidifiers which work according to the adsorption principle are especially suited for high humidity levels at low temperatures. They are often used in various sectors in industry because humidity levels below 35% can be achieved.
Because of the lack of compressor parts desiccant dehumidifiers are often lighter and quieter than compressor dehumidifiers. Desiccant dehumidifiers can also operate at lower temperatures than compressor dehumidifiers as the unit lacks coils which are unable to extract moisture from the air at lower temperatures.
Dehumidification within buildings can control:
- excessive body perspiration buildup that cannot evaporate in moisture-saturated air
- condensation dripping from cold-water pipes
- warping and sticking of furniture and doors
- mold and mildew, which can cause laundry, books, and furnishings to develop mustiness
- clothes moths, fleas, cockroaches, woodlice, millipedes, and dust mites, which thrive in damp conditions
Dehumidifiers are used in industrial climatic chambers, to reduce relative humidity to levels conducive to processing of certain humidity-sensitive products.