A dehumidifier that uses heat to remove moisture from the air is known as a refrigerant dehumidifier. This process, which is referred to as refrigeration, utilizes a closed-loop system.
Due to its capacity to extract large amounts of water from the air, this type of dehumidifier is quite useful for commercial and industrial applications.
To know in-depth information about this, go through the following lines of this article.
What is a Refrigerant Dehumidifier?
Refrigerant dehumidifiers are special kinds of dehumidifiers that use heat to remove moisture from the air. They typically work by recycling the same refrigerant liquid over and over again using a closed-loop system. This type of dehumidifier is commonly referred to as a refrigerant-based dehumidifier.
Since this system doesn't allow any warm air or moisture to get into the process, refrigerant dehumidifiers can extract large amounts of water from the air in very little time. This makes them quite useful for commercial and industrial applications.
Three Categories of Refrigerants
Refrigerant dehumidifiers are classified into three categories depending upon the types of refrigerants used as a cooling agent:
• Mechanical Refrigeration
This type of dehumidifier uses a compressor powered by electricity or gas to drive cooling coils. This process produces cold air that is used to extract moisture from the air.
• Magnetic Refrigeration
In this type of dehumidifier, a magnetic refrigerant is used to remove water from the air. This is also known as a vapor-compression refrigeration system.
The compressor increases pressure on a refrigerant so that when it evaporates, heat flows to the surroundings and cools down while water condenses. The condensed water is then collected in a container.
• Adsorption Refrigeration
Adsorption refrigerant is passed over an absorbent medium in its gaseous state, absorbing water from the air as it goes. The solvent is used in its liquid form. Water is absorbed from the air by a solid desiccant while it passes through the refrigerant coils.
Industrial Refrigerant Dehumidifiers
Industrial dehumidifiers help to the relative humidity control in space by up to 50 percent in just 24 hours, which is far more than standard water vapor compression machines can accomplish.
This makes them ideal for warehouses, food storage facilities, manufacturing plants, and other industrial or commercial environments.
Non-flammable R-22 is the refrigerant used in these dehumidifiers, which was formerly a popular choice due to its low cost.
After the Montreal Protocol was implemented in 1987 to minimize the production of ozone-depleting chemicals, it was superseded by more ozone-friendly refrigerants.
To meet any demand, refrigerator dehumidifiers are available in a range of capacities and designs. They may be wall or ceiling mounted, and they can even be ducted for easy placement into an existing HVAC system.
Commercial Refrigerant Dehumidifiers
In commercial and public areas such as hotels, office buildings, or schools, refrigerant dehumidifiers can be used to control humidity during seasonal changes in air temperature. This ensures a healthy environment for the occupants at all times.
With capacities ranging from 12 to 90 pounds per day, these dehumidifiers are suited for spaces up to 6,000 square feet.
Commercial refrigerant dehumidifiers can be ducted or non-ducted and are available in a wide variety of styles and sizes. The smallest units are compact enough to fit under tables and counters while the largest units can be wall-mounted.
How Does a Refrigerant Dehumidifier Work?
Damp air from inside the building is drawn into the dehumidifier and passed over a cold evaporator coil. This cools the air below its dew point temperature and collects damp water.
The dry air in the machine is then passed over warm condensing coils, heating them again before exiting. This dry air is in many machines pushed out at pressure so can be directed at specific damp affected areas to accelerate drying.
Some machines also have a hose to purge the water through which the water is then removed manually. Dehumidifiers are controlled manually or automatically purged by a device that collects the moisture from the heat of the machine and cools it.
When Should You Use a Refrigerant Dehumidifier?
A refrigerant dehumidifier works very well in areas that have high humidity levels such as basements or garages because these spaces are not well-ventilated and therefore often have excess water in the air.
The dehumidifier draws this water away from contents in the area and helps dry them out quickly, preventing any potential damage caused by excess moisture.
A refrigerant dehumidifier can also be used to protect stored materials from being damaged by humidity as well.
It's great for pillows, wooden furniture, and even clothes because it prevents the growth of mold and mildew.
How to Choose a Refrigerant Dehumidifier?
The most important factor in choosing an appliance is figuring out how much space you need it to cover. A rule of thumb is that a single dehumidifier can handle spaces up to 1,500 square feet.
Other features that are important to consider are the noise and energy usage levels of your appliance. While you may prefer a silent device, remember that the noisier it is, the more powerful it will be at drawing out moisture from the air in your space.
Also, check the moisture removal capacity of your device and how fast the dehumidification process is in a room. A faster device will be able to keep up with the dehumidifying requirements of your space better than one that is slower.
Difference Between Desiccant & Refrigerant Dehumidifiers
There are two main types of dehumidifiers and these are desiccant and refrigerant.
The following section looks at the difference between the two types of dehumidifiers.
1. Extraction Rates
A refrigerant dehumidifier can remove up to 200 pints of water per day, which is ideal for spaces that are 3,000 square feet or more.
Desiccant dehumidifiers have a much weaker suction rate than refrigerant dehumidification units and are most effective on small areas that measure around 300 square feet.
2. Operating Temperature and Relative Humidity
A refrigerant dehumidifier is most effective in spaces that are between 40 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, which can make it difficult to use in extremely hot or cold areas.
Desiccant dehumidifiers don't have a temperature limit, however, they must be used with caution in humid climates because of the risk of moisture damage.
Refrigerant dehumidifiers can be quite large and heavy, which makes them difficult to carry or move around.
Desiccant dehumidifiers are smaller than refrigerant machines and weigh between three pounds and five pounds. This makes them easier to transport from one space to the next.
4. Energy Usage and Noise
A refrigerant dehumidifier operates at a lower noise level than a desiccant material when it is on, but the refrigerant unit also uses more energy in power consumption.
A desiccant dehumidifier has the same amount of noise regardless of whether you place it on high or low power.
5. Dehumidifier Running Costs
A refrigerant dehumidifier is more expensive to run in terms of power because it needs a continuous water source, such as condensation.
Desiccant dehumidifiers are cheaper to run but can only hold the moisture it collects for up to 12 hours before you need to add water.
6. Operating Life Span
A refrigerant dehumidifier has a longer lifespan than a desiccant dehumidifier. A good quality refrigerant unit can last between five and ten years.
The lifespan of a desiccant dehumidifier is less than that of a refrigerant unit because it absorbs moisture directly from the air rather than extracting it through the heat as a refrigerant dehumidifier does.
Related Article: Desiccant Dehumidifier: What Is It & How It Works? (Absorption)
Freon is a brand name of refrigerant. Some Freon refrigerants are your R-12, R-22, and R-502. Freon refrigerant isn't used very much anymore in the world for dehumidifying because it is a dangerous chemical that can damage the planet.
You should be aware of this when you are working with one or two appliances. It will make it difficult for you to repair them if they need fixing.
Most of Freon branded product has been phased out due to their Ozone Depletion Potential. Some of the refrigerants were phased out by January 1st, 2020.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency banned all manufacturers from producing new appliances. R-22, a hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) chemical, depletes the ozone layer if released.
New appliances such as a portable air conditioner and dehumidifier that use R 410A are not only eco-friendly, they're also more efficient, longer-lasting, and thus, more reliable.
This appliance that uses the type of refrigerant, it's upping the potential for energy (and cost) savings and investing in an efficient appliance that will be reliable for years to come.
Almost all portable air conditioners and dehumidifiers on the market today are equipped with R 410A refrigerants. The technology is more advanced than older units as they're designed for energy savings. They work harder to achieve efficient results without sacrificing energy or performance.
The components in a portable air conditioner and dehumidifier that use R 410A are also more durable than the older units, which means they will last longer for maximum savings over time. The durability of these appliances translates into a lower lifetime cost.
What Is a Refrigerant Dehumidifier FAQ
What’s Causing the Refrigerant Dehumidifier Coils to Ice up but the Device Looks Clean of Dust?
The coils are potentially covered in ice because the air being pulled into the unit is below freezing due to the decreasing temperatures outside.
The heavy flow of air then builds up and creates a blockage on the evaporator coil, which then begins to freeze over. Moisture from the water tank then builds on top of that ice, creating an icy crust.
Why Refrigerant Dehumidifier Leaks?
Refrigerant dehumidifiers leak for two main reasons: rust caused by water or the wrong type of lubricants used during production.
Rust forms over time on metal parts and can be identified by dull-looking stains on the appliance itself or in your water tank.
The wrong type of lubricant (usually a vegetable-based oil rather than mineral oil) can cause the pistons and seals to wear out too quickly, resulting in damage and leaks.
How to Recharge Dehumidifier Refrigerant?
Refrigerant dehumidifiers require a rechargeable refrigerant known as R-22, which is the same type of gas used in your home air conditioner unit.
The appliance company will handle this process and they can also check if it’s necessary to replace the compressor or not.
How to Replace Refrigerant in Dehumidifier?
To replace the refrigerant in your dehumidifier, you need to hire a technician familiar with R-22 gas and servicing.
The replacement process is different from older units because of the new type of refrigerant used – R 410A.
It’s complicated and should only be conducted by a professional to avoid harming your dehumidifier.