Drying Homes Safely in Erie & Niagara Counties

Water Cleanup / Dehumidification

There are three different types of dehumidifiers used in the restoration industry. They are refrigerant, whether standard or conventional, low-grain refrigerants or LGR’s, and desiccants. These three types work differently to perform the same function, that is, remove moisture from air and the surroundings. Below you will find a quick explanation of how each one works and various uses for it.

Commercial Grade Refrigerant (CGR) Dehumidifiers

Electric refrigerant dehumidification works by passing air over refrigerated coils to condense water vapor. Often at cooler temperatures, refrigerant dehumidification capacity falls off before ideal moisture levels are reached. There are two types of refrigerant dehumidifiers, standard and conventional. The only difference between the two is that a conventional refrigerant dehumidifier uses a heat pipe or defrost cycle to defer frost from forming on the coils.

CGR dehumidifiers are designed to be moved from job to job in and out of service vehicles. The coil and compressors used are larger than residential units that are only designed for light humidity problems. CGR dehumidifiers are calibrated and designed for high moisture rich environments like flooded structures. CGR’s also use advanced defrost controls to maximize performance.

Low-Grain Refrigerant (LGR) Dehumidifiers

LGR’s are a unique form of residential and commercial grade refrigerant dehumidifiers because they are much more energy efficient and they can pull the grains down much lower. LGR dehumidifiers use a double cooling or enhanced step to lower the moisture laden air temperature once inside the dehumidifier so more condensation can form on the internal cooling coils. As condensation builds up on the coils, the water droplets drip in to a collector and discharged from the dehumidifier through pumps, or into a floor drain. LGR units provide the best moisture removal for refrigerant dehumidifiers and produce air that is dryer, heated and with less moisture then commercial grade refrigerant units.

Desiccant Dehumidifiers

Desiccant dehumidifiers work when moist incoming air flows over a wheel filled with a silica gel desiccant. A desiccant is a material that attracts and holds moisture. This material acts like a sponge drawing moisture from the air (sorption). When the wheel rotates through heated exhaust air, the moisture evaporates (desorption) and is carried outside. Then the cycle repeats. This process absorbs moisture without ice build-up and is not limited by low temperatures. Desiccants can easily operate below freezing temperatures

Desiccant dehumidifiers range in size from small electric units to very large diesel fired units. The size is measured in CFM’s or Cubic Feet per Minute, this is the speed in which it will perform an air exchange. Sizes can range from 150 CFM’s to 100,000 CFM’s. At Aladdin’s we have two portable electric 150 CFM units, one 400 CFM unit, and one trailer mounted diesel fired 5600 CFM unit.