Dehumidifier Basics - How They Work

Residential dehumidifiers have a cooling system made up of these primary components:

  • The compressor is the quiet motor (engine) of the cooling system. It's the black, football-size component at the bottom of your dehumidifier. The compressor runs as long as the dehumidifier humidistat (the humidity-sensor) calls for a reduction in the humidity.
  • The condenser is a series of finned tubes, similar to a radiator. It's usually near the circulating fan.
  • The evaporator is located near the back of the dehumidifier, right above the water-collection container. It also resembles a radiator or a coiled-up set of tubes. When the unit's humidistat senses increased humidity, it cycles on, which starts the compressor and circulating fan.
  • The circulating fan circulates the air over the evaporator and condenser coils.

A dehumidifier is simply an air conditioner that has both its hot and cold coils in the same box. A fan draws the room's air over the cold coil of the air conditioner to condense the moisture (which normally drips into a bucket). The dry air then passes through the hot coil to heat it back up to its original temperature. That's all there is to it!

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