Excess humidity creates stuffy, uncomfortable conditions, and dehumidifiers remove the air's moisture, which is why they work in both cooler and warmer weather periods in the year. In colder climates, excess humidity can cause dampness, resulting in mold. While in warmer temperatures, excess moisture can create stuffy conditions.
But what if you have a dehumidifier and AC in the same room? Is there a dehumidifier that doesn’t put out much heat? Continue reading to know.
UPDATED Friday, March 24th 2023:
After reviewing over 200+ dehumidifiers, our recommendation for the best overall is the hOmeLabs HME020031N Dehumidifier. In our testing, this model is the best value, most well-rounded on the market, and suitable for practically all uses. You can read 42,000 positive customer reviews here.
The Short Answer
In short, dehumidifiers naturally create some heat while they run. This is a small amount and usually goes unnoticed. Depending on your room size and frequency of keeping the dehumidifier running, an increase in temperature by a few degrees can be expected.
But there's no need to get hot under the collar; we've put together some tips around its usage, what to look for when purchasing one and what you can do to generally reduce humidity: all of which can help with the amount of heat released.
How Dehumidifiers Work
Dehumidifiers work by attracting warm air into their coils through a fan-sucking system. The hot air is then cooled to remove moisture - just how a refrigerator works. Then the removed water is collected in the tank inside the unit, and dry air is released back into the room through the other side of the machine.
Most dehumidifiers have an intelligent little meter that you can set the humidity percentage to, and it will work till it reaches that level.
Do All Dehumidifiers Produce Heat?
Yes, they do. The basics are that as the air is drawn into the dehumidifier, it runs past the coils, where the moisture starts condensing and is released by dripping into the tank unit. The dehumidifier will then remove this energy used to make that condensation as exhaust air, usually warmer. Therefore, your room will experience a slight temperature rise.
So all dehumidifiers do produce heat and for a good reason. As warm air leaves the dehumidifier and comes in contact with condensed moisture, it turns it into steam, which helps the dehumidifier do its job faster.
The Difference Between an Air-Conditioner and Dehumidifier
Both these handy appliances work in the same way. They suck in the air from your room and drain it out again.
Air conditioners have a two-directional flow. They blow cold air into the room and suck up the hot air, then release it into the big wide world through vents.
In contrast, the dehumidifier has a one-directional flow, which blows out dried-out warm air in your room after reducing humidity levels.
Types of Dehumidifiers
We know that higher capacity dehumidifiers are more energy-efficient and able to do the job quicker. But there are also three types of dehumidifiers, each with their suitabilities for your space in question.
Use this guide to check whether the dehumidifier you currently have is the type that's suitable for your home and whether the amount of heat it produces would pose a problem.
Like your fridge's mechanism, moisture transfers onto a metal plate inside the dehumidifier and condenses onto it, and the water collects in the unit's tank.
It features a fan that pulls the room's air into the dehumidifier and onto the cooling plate. When the room's humidity has reached an optimum level, the machine will switch off to sleep.
These types are suitable for average room temperatures and not colder temperatures. So it'd work well if your house’s temperature is hot, but it won’t be great for below-standard room temperatures.
Unlike the refrigerant types, these soak water from the air using silica crystals (often found in packs in a new bag or new items of electronics). As the warm, moist air enters the unit, it comes in contact with a silica wheel, which absorbs the moisture and collects it in a tank or drains it through a pipe.
These types tend to be small, so they are suitable for smaller rooms and work better for colder temperatures. They also tend to use up more energy and produce more heat, so they’re not great if you have a lot of excess humidity.
Whole House Dehumidifiers
Whole House Dehumidifiers are fitted into the loft area and push air from up there into your home through grills fitted in corridors and hallways. This new air from the loft forces moist, unwanted air out into the house's leak points, exiting outside.
This is considered very effective as you don't get unnecessary heating, experienced with regular dehumidifiers. They’re also cheaper to run as they work quicker. They’re expensive, though, and possibly not an option for everyone if you're not a homeowner, for example.
Most of us will opt for the refrigerant type as it’s affordable and works in natural room temperatures. However, if you want to reduce the amount of time you need it switched on, thereby reducing the heat it generates, opt for one that has a higher capacity, as explained above.
Things to Consider for Your Dehumidifier
Dehumidifiers primarily remove moisture from the room and need to work a little harder when the room temperature is warm. Therefore, siding it alongside an air-conditioner would help counteract the heat produced from the dehumidifier and help reduce the overall electricity used. You'd be hitting two birds with one stone using this method.
If your current air-conditioner is just not cutting it, consider purchasing one with a high Energy Star rating. These models cost less to run as they have a higher capacity to do the job in a shorter period of time. They, therefore, save you an eye-watering electricity bill.
Or, if you are on a budget, a portable air-conditioning unit machine that comes with a hose could be used to dissipate hot air outside through a vent hole you could drill yourself.
If you're using a dehumidifier in a smaller room, there is a smaller area of space for air to circulate. Therefore, the heat generated will be more noticeable, as opposed to a large room. So it could be that just moving your dehumidifier to a part of the house that's bigger in space might reduce the overall heat you feel and reduce humidity levels.
Dehumidifiers on the market vary with how many pints of water they can collect in a day; it ranges from about 25 to 70 pints per day.
Dehumidifiers with more capacity will remove more moisture during the day in a shorter period and result in a more efficient operation. This means it can be switched off sooner, overall a bonus in less power consumption and less heat added to your air temperature.
When purchasing a dehumidifier, the size is just as important as whether it has an Energy Star rating. This is a measure of how efficient it is in saving you electricity and costing you less money.
Measures to Put in Place to Reduce Heat Production
We know that all dehumidifiers will produce heat. But we can do a few things aside from picking a higher capacity model or pairing it with an air-conditioner. These tips improve the general heat efficiency in your home, thereby reducing the overall need for using a dehumidifier for extended periods and so less heat production!
- Curtains are usually used to reduce the amount of sun energy seeping into your room, but they aren't as effective as window films with some UV protection that radiate the sun's light away from the glass. These will prevent your window glass from soaking in some of the heat.
- Check around your home for how well doors and windows are sealed as well as cracks in the wall. It's essential to seal or tighten these up as outdoor air is the source of humidity. You could have your dehumidifier running all day and night and still not entirely remove the moisture in the air due to cracks around window panels that could be letting inflows of humid air! Not only is this a waste of electricity but also super inefficient and expensive!
- Most DIY stores have weatherstripping available. These are pieces of rubber and foam that you cut and install around doors to ensure its air-tight. Try putting on some weatherstripping on the door that separates the room from the rest of your house. It could be a possible solution in improving the level of humidity and making things more energy efficient.
A dehumidifier is a valuable home appliance that works to eliminate issues like dampness, mold, and bacteria, giving you fresher living space.
It tends to have some drawbacks, though, in that it works by sucking in damp air, releasing dried warm air. Thus, it can result in a temperature increase in a room, which doesn't help during the summer months. There are plenty of ways to counteract this issue.
Going through the considerations mentioned above can narrow down the issues you may be having with your dehumidifier producing heat. Alongside this, consider the measures you could take to improve the general energy wastage in your area of question.
Inconspicuous areas around the house that could be costing money can easily be done up, resulting in less heat production, better electrical energy usage, and improved humidity levels.