The Ultimate Guide to Restoration Dehumidifiers
Table of Contents
Here at Seaira Global we want to make buying a dehumidifier as easy as possible. It can be a complicated process with so many different models on the market. Because of that, we have created this guide to ensure that not only do you understand dehumidifiers, but that you can make an informed decision on which model will work best for you
Why Do I Need a Restoration Dehumidifier in a Flood?
The most common reason for using a restoration dehumidifier is after a flood. In the aftermath of flooding, it’s important to dry out all aspects of the home from the drywall to floorboards. This is where a dehumidifier can excel. After the majority of water has been removed, dehumidifiers can be brought in to reduce the overall humidity levels and dry difficult to reach places.
It is essential to dry out a home thoroughly or it will lead to harmful effects. If the humidity stays above 60%, your home is in the danger zone for developing mold, attracting pests, and causing illness for your family.
So why do you specifically need a restoration dehumidifier? It’s helpful to have a dehumidifier with the capability to dry your home quickly, so you will want a powerful airflow (CFM) and pint per day capability (PPD). At the same time, you don’t want to waste a lot of energy so finding a dehumidifier that is efficient is important, as well. Furthermore, since these dehumidifiers will often need to be moved from room to room, it’s nice if the unit includes features such as handles and wheels, plus a rugged exterior.
Can You Use Restoration Dehumidifiers for More than Flooding?
While restoration dehumidifiers are perfect for flooding, they can be helpful in many more situations. First of all, restoration dehumidifiers work well for other other remediation jobs such as fire or mold, that need moisture control during restoration.
In addition to remediation work, restoration dehumidifiers are fantastic for in home use. A compact model, such as the Storm LGR Extreme restoration dehumidifier, is ideal for use in crawl spaces. On the other the hand, a portable model with wheels, such as the Storm Pro restoration dehumidifier, is perfect for wheeling into a basement. Besides the usual areas, Storm dehumidifiers can also be used in bedrooms, garages, or anywhere that needs to be conditioned.
Useful Terms For Restoration
Low Grain Refrigerant (LGR):
An LGR dehumidifier is excellent for flood restoration jobs since it can remove more grains per pound than a traditional refrigerant dehumidifier. To accomplish this, LGR systems use a pre-cooling device to cool down the air faster, and thus, make the dehumidifier ultra efficient.
Pints Per Day (PPD):
Pints Per Day is the volume (in pints) of moisture extracted from the air daily by your dehumidifier.
A dehumidifier with a built-in condensate pump, pumps the condensate (water) from the dehumidifier to an acceptable area for drainage outside of the crawl space. Condensate pumps turn on intermittently depending on the water level in the pump reservoir. As the water rises in the reservoir, it raises a float switch which energizes the pump. The pump will then run until the level of water in the reservoir is substantially lowered. It is important to note that a condensate pump is a mechanical device and will require yearly maintenance to ensure it is functioning properly.
Set point is the desired value in a closed-loop feedback system. When using a dehumidifier, you choose humidity set point, which is the desired humidity level you wish to maintain in the area.
Coils (Evaporator & Condensor):
The condenser coil condenses the refrigerant from a hot gas to a cold liquid by the use of the metering device. This then moves into the evaporator coil where the refrigerant evaporates as it absorbs heat from the indoor air passing over it. The evaporator coil is the one you can see on your dehumidifier that is cool and wet to the touch.
The inlet filter protects the evaporator coil from dirt and debris as the air is being pulled into the dehumidifier to be conditioned. All Seaira Global dehumidifiers have a filter that protects the coils.
The RH sensor reads the relative humidity of the space within +/- 5% to determine when your dehumidifier needs to run.
The drain line is how the water is moved out of the unit and into the drain system.
MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. A MERV rating varies from 1-20. The higher the value, the more efficient the filter will be in trapping airborne particles.
A MERV8 filter is capable of trapping airborne particles in the 3.0-10.0 pm size. The disposable filters have an extended surface area and are made with a thick cotton-polyester blend media.
HEPA filters are also known as a high-efficiency particulate air filter. To qualify as a HEPA filter, it must remove 99.97% of particles that have a size of 0.3 micrometers. The filters are composed of a mat of randomly arranged fibers that are typically composed of fiberglass. HEPA filters are commonly marketed in HVAC systems for people with allergies.
Carbon filters, also known as activated carbon filters, aid in odor removal. The activated carbon attracts and removes odor molecules by trapping the molecules in the pores of the activated carbon.
Hot Gas Bypass (HGB):
The main purpose of having HGB is to prevent condensate from freezing on the surface of the evaporator coil when the dehumidifier is operating at extremely low load conditions. The HGB diverts hot, high-pressure refrigerant vapor to the evaporator side of the system, which raises the suction temperature to prevent frost from forming.
HOW DOES A DEHUMIDIFIER WORK?
Dehumidifiers are essentially small air conditioners. The difference is that instead of cooling the air, dehumidifiers warm the air up. A built in fan pulls the air through a filter and into the unit. This air then passes over a set of coils that are filled with a refrigerant to keep them cold. Whenever humid air passes over these cold coils, the air is cooled down. This in turn causes the moisture in the air to condense and settle onto the cold coils. The water then drips down the coils into a drain tray. Depending on your exact model, the water is either drained through a gravity drain or into a reservoir to be pumped out.
Once the air has passed over the cooling coils and has had moisture pulled from it, it then goes over a second set of warmer coils where the air is reheated (usually to a few degrees higher than when it started). This dry, warmer air is then pushed back into the room, thus reducing the overall humidity in the air of the room.
How to Choose a Restoration Dehumidifier
When purchasing a restoration dehumidifier, there are a few key factors you will want to consider:
1. Power (CFM and PPD)
One of the first things to consider with a restoration dehumidifier is how strong you need the dehumidifier to be. A good way to determine power is to look is at the pints per day capacity. This will tell you the maximum amount of water the dehumidifier could produce, at AHAM conditions (80°F/60% RH). In addition to pints per day, airflow, measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM), is an important measurement. The higher the CFM, the stronger the air flow will be, which means the quicker you will be able to dry out the space. For reference, Storm Dehumidifiers range from 70 to 125 pints per day, with a range of 295-325 CFM.
A restoration dehumidifier will need to be moved from location to location, which means its important to choose one that is easy to maneuver. For instance, it is helpful if the dehumidifier has wheels, like the Storm Upright models, so it can be wheeled into place. Alternatively, if the unit doesn’t have wheels, choose a model that has a smaller footprint plus handles, such as the Storm LGR Extreme.
Another point to consider is whether the units are stackable. This can be helpful so you can maximize space during storage and transportation. While the upright units are not stackable, the Storm LGR Extreme can easily be stacked.
Efficiency is also an important factor for restoration dehumidifiers since they will often be running for long periods of time. One metric to look at is the Energy Factor (COP). On the Storm models, the COP ranges from 2.4 L/kWh to 2.85 L/kWh. The higher the COP, the more efficient the dehumidifier. For comparison, a dehumidifier must have at least a 2 L/kWh rating to be considered for Energy Star rating.
Another way to compare efficiency is to check the amp draw. The lower the amp draw, the less power the dehumidifier will use. For example, the Storm LGR Extreme uses 5.5 amps while the Storm Pro only uses 4.46 amps. If you need something to compare that too, other household appliances, such as a dishwasher or clothes dryer, would typically run about 10 amps.
6. Condensate Pump
In addition to digital controls, it’s quite useful to have a digital humidistat. Having a built in humidistat makes it easy An important feature for restoration units is a built in condensate pump. Since the units will need to be moved around often, setting up a gravity drain each time isn’t practical. A built in pump is much more convenient, especially if it has a manual pump button. The pump button is useful so you can empty the pump reservoir, prior to transporting or storing the unit.
Before choosing a dehumidifier, you will also want to consider what size will work best for your needs- an upright style or a compact style. An upright model (Pro, Ultra, or Elite) has a smaller footprint plus the added benefit of wheels. On the other hand, a more compact model, such as the Storm Extreme, is stackable and takes up less overall space.
The style of controls on the dehumidifier is something to consider, as well. Storm Dehumidifiers all come with digital controls, which makes it simple to change settings and view readings. For restoration jobs, you may also need additional information, such as job hours or inlet temperature, which is also included on Storm dehumidifiers.
9. Temperature Range
Another helpful feature for a restoration dehumidifier is a low operating temperature. It’s nice to be able to use the dehumidifiers as often as possible, despite the temperature. Storm dehumidifiers will operate anywhere between 33°F and 104°F.
10. Filter Options
Since restoration jobs can vary dramatically, it’s useful to have a few filters to choose from. All Storm Dehumidifiers come standard with a pre filter, plus a MERV-8 filter. This combination of filters works for any application, however, sometimes you may want to address a specific need. For instance, if odors are an issue, the MERV-8 filter can be swapped for an activated carbon filter. Alternatively, if you’re worried about allergies, a HEPA filter can be used in place of the MERV-8 filter. An additional consideration when it comes to filters, is how easy they are to change. For instance, on the upright Storm models, simply pull open the inlet grill and the filter can easily be switched.
11. Auto Reset
In the event of a power outage, it’s nice to know that your dehumidifier will automatically restart. Luckily, all Seaira Global dehumidifiers are equipped with this feature.
Storm Series by Seaira Global
• Upright Units
The upright units in the Storm Series all have wheels and a handle, making them easy to move. In addition, the units feature a durable, rotomolded exterior. Ranging from 70 to 125 pints per day, the dehumidifiers are powerful enough for any situation. The Pro, Ultra, and Elite all come standard with helpful features such as hot gas bypass, and auto restart. Plus, the LCD display makes the units easy to set up and view readings.
|Model||Pints Per Day||COP||Airflow||Weight|
|Storm Pro||70||2.85 L/kWh||300 CFM||85 pounds|
|Storm Ultra||90||2.85 L/kWh||300 CFM||85 pounds|
|Storm Elite||125||2.4 L/kWh||325 CFM||110 pounds|
• Compact Units
The Storm LGR Extreme is a versatile unit that is powerful enough for restoration jobs yet small enough to be installed in a crawl space. The Extreme comes equipped with LGR technology meaning it can dry out more air, more quickly while still being efficient. It also includes several other upgrades such as auto restart, hot gas bypass, and an integrated pump. In addition, the Extreme has an easy to use to digital display with a built in humidistat. This makes it simple to set up the unit and choose your desired set point.
|Model||Pints Per Day||COP||Airflow||Weight|
|Storm LGR Extreme||85||2.8 L/kWh||295 CFM||78 pounds|