Structural protection, comfort in the home, energy efficiency, health protection – these are just some of the reasons why you would want to purchase a dehumidifier. Most units can exert humidity control of 30% – 80%, covering many different sized areas. But not all dehumidifiers are created equal.
Different dehumidifiers have different options, for example, how large the area that can be covered, or where it’s going to be used. Some areas of a residence or building are going to be colder than others, and that is a concept that is misunderstood, misinterpreted or forgotten during consideration of dehumidifier purchase all too often.
Many of us know from experience, unfortunately, that in cooler sections of a structure, say, an unfinished basement, the frigid temperatures may cause dehumidifier units to freeze and stop working. Many consumers make the decision to purchase a unit without a low temperature option which ultimately leads to their investments breaking down. This is due to confusion about what low temperature really is.
Luckily, there are low temperature dehumidifiers available, units capable of working effectively in colder climates without freezing. These units are built specifically to withstand the cold – so if you are looking for a dehumidifier that will be used in low temperatures, be sure to look for this functionality. In this article, we will explore the concepts behind low temperature dehumidifiers and we will recommend the top three low temperature units for the year.
Places to use a low temperature dehumidifier:
- Commercial environments where the climate is cold
- Unfinished basements
The Science of Dehumidification and Low Temperature
Temperature isn’t the only thing to keep in mind when you are working a dehumidifier. It is important to understand two concepts paramount to dehumidification: relative humidity and dew point. Relative humidity is the amount of moisture in the air, compared to how much humidity the air can contain before condensing.
Think about relative humidity like glasses of water. A glass representing cold temperature will be smaller, because colder air has less of a capacity to hold moisture. This glass would also be fuller, because colder air has a high relative humidity.
Conversely, the glass representing warmer climate will be taller with its bigger capacity to hold moisture, and less full, because as temperature increases the air is able to hold more moisture.
Now that we understand relative humidity, let’s look at dew point – the temperature at which the relative humidity equals 100%. Unlike relative humidity, dew point doesn’t change with air temperature. It’s a measurement of the amount of water vapor in the air.
Although dew point and relative humidity are clearly very different, they rely on each other to determine the other’s value. A relative humidity of 70% means that the air is holding 70% of moisture before it hits condensation. Dew point is the temperature at which moisture in the air will start condensing. (This occurs when relative humidity has hit 100%).
If the air temperature is 60 degrees F and is at a 75% relative humidity, the dew point (the temperature when water will begin condensing) is 50 degrees F. Dehumidifiers pull moisture out of the air – decreasing the relative humidity and dew point in its area.
This leads us to the confusion that occurs when dehumidification is needed when the temperature is low and the relative humidity is high. We should be concerned with dew point – the amount of moisture in the air. A low dew point is anything below 50 degrees. This leads a lot of consumers into believing their dehumidifier should be running at temperatures of 40 or 50, even 60 degrees.
However, when the temperature outside gets colder, conditions get dryer. Air shrinks when it cools, decreasing its ability to hold water. This drives relative humidity up, causing you to feel like it’s moist in your home. When air warms up, it expands, so more water can be held, driving relative humidity down.
When you know the dew point and the temperature, you can predict the likelihood of condensation. If the dew point is below surface temperature, moisture will not condense. If the dew point is above surface temperature, condensation will occur.
Take a look at these sample numbers – all of these conditions have a forty five degree dew point which is considered to be very dry conditions. Note that you most likely do not need dehumidification if the temperature is lower than 60 degrees because, cold air is dryer.
Raining outside (100% RH) and 45 degrees = 45 degree dew point no dehumidification is needed
50 degrees and 82% RH = 45 degree dew point
55 degrees and 68% RH = 45 degree dew point
60 degrees and 57% RH = 45 degree dew point
65 degrees and 48% RH = 45 degree dew point
70 degrees and 41% RH = 45 degree dew point
80 degrees and 29% RH = 45 degree dew point
95 degrees and 18% RH = 45 degree dew point
Now let’s turn to the best low temperature dehumidifiers of the year:
Top Three Low Temperature Dehumidifiers Reviewed
Top Rated Model:
If you are familiar with household brands at all, chances are you have heard of industry giant Frigidaire. Frigidaire has been a pioneer in the home appliance market since the early 1900’s, creating the first home food freezer, electric refrigerator, and the first room air appliances. They’ve set the bar for themselves very high, but they deliver with their 70-pint dehumidifier.
The unit has a low temperature function that will save you energy and money, features electronic controls where you can read the digital humidity, and a twenty four hour on and off control lock at timer.
Use this unit in low temperature to eliminate bacteria in the air and protect your home from mildew and mold. A nice feature of the Frigidaire is that when the unit is placed near a drain, it is capable of continuous operation and you can fine tune the humidity in your room by controlling it exactly. This feature makes the Frigidaire convenient and easy to use, as well as affording you fine-grained control over how it works.
- 70 pints per day dehumidifier that uses a standard electrical outlet
- Electronic controls with a digital humidity readout
- 24 hour off and on timer
- Auto defrosting – a sensor automatically turns off the compressor when it detects that ice is forming on the condenser coils.
- Low temperature operation saves energy and money (41°)
- Helps eliminate bacteria in the air that can make breathing difficult
- Protects your home from mold and mildew caused by excess moisture
- 70 pints per day dehumidifier uses standard 115V electrical outlet
- The LED light can be hard to read
- Quiet Operation
- The unit operates quietly. You only hear the fan; the compressor hardly make s a noise at all.
- Smart Design
- The design is aesthetically pleasing and will fit in with most furniture and room styles.
- Convenient to Use
- It is easy to remove the filled buckle and carry it to the sink to dump the water.
- You can also use this unit in warmer months to prevent growth of mold
Due to the convenience and reliability of the Frigidaire 70 pint dehumidifier, this unit is a nice pick for first time buyers. The learning curve is low, it does it’s job, and Frigidaire has lived up to its name with this model for sure.
Whynter is a company that sells household appliances and has an impressive selection of dehumidifier units. We will review the RPD-711DWP. Just like the Frigidaire, the Whynter has low temperature operation. The minimum ambient temperature this unit can run at is 40 degrees F.
Whynter strived for convenience in this model, with an auto restart function and auto shutoff functions. Portability is not an issue, the water bucket is removable and the unit is on wheels to easily move it from room to room.
Its auto-defrosting capability prevents frost build up inside of the unit. The noise level is low, less than 55 dBa and the maximum power consumption is 915W/ 4.6 A. This excellent model is energy star rated, and UL listed. It can remove an impressive 70 pints of moisture from the air per day.
There are three drainage options for continuous operation: condensate pump drain, gravity drain and manual grain, plus a bonus hose attachment is included with the dehumidifier for immediate convenience.
- This unit is Energy Star rated, providing energy efficient and cost effective operation. The unit uses non ozone depleting refrigerant, and the power consumption is 915 Watts/4.6 Amps. So if sustainability is important to you, this might be a good choice.
- The design is appealing to sophisticated customers, marrying style and function. The auto-restart and auto-shutoff add convenience. And there is an adjustable humidity range of 35% to 85% of relative humidity.
- The direct drain option provides continuous operation. The condensate pump pushes water up or over a longer distance, and there is a twenty four time function, adding to the convenience of the model.
- Environmentally friendly and convenient design
- Continuous operation with three drainage options
- Built for high capacity usage – perfect for enclosed areas as large as 4500 square feet.
- The pump does not always work properly
The RPD-711DWP is a great choice for people interested in sustainable design and also want a dehumidifier to run in cooler temperatures. Its convenience and style, as well as its functionality, makes it one of the top three best low temperature dehumidifiers of 2017.
Whynter impresses again with another great unit – this one has a 95 pint capacity, allowing the dehumidifier to extract more moisture. The removable water bucket is 25 pints – especially potent for portability with handles and caster wheels.
It features low temperature operation (with a minimum ambient temperature low of 40 degrees F) and electronic controls with humidity sensor settings that allow you to exert control over the level of humidity easily. The unit is fit for 35% – 85% relative humidity.
For your convenience, it offers auto-restart and shut off, a twenty four hour timer, dual fan speed and auto defrosting capabilities. The noise level is low, under 58 dBa. These units are UL listed and Energy Star rated, with drain hoses for continuous gravity.
This unit has a very smart design, achieving classic style with functionality. This is a dehumidifier designed for high volume, continuous usage.
- 3 Drainage Options: The portable humidifier can continuously operate with 3 options for drainage – manual drain, gravity drain and condensate pump drain.
- Convenience: The unit contains a 25 pint bucket that can be removed and emptied with ease.
- Condensate Pumps Continuously: A bonus hose attachment is included with your dehumidifier so you can experience immediate convenience.
- Energy Star Rated enjoy cost effective and energy efficient operation
- Aesthetic appeal and great performance
- Direct drain for continuous operation – easy to use and convenient
- Power usage is a little large
All in all, the Whynter energy star is a great pick for dehumidifier fans who need continuous operation and need to extract more moisture in the air. It comes with a number of bells and whistles too, something that experienced dehumidifier owners may appreciate.On the other hand, it is easy to use with its continuous operation feature – a benefit that new users can appreciate too.
Final Thoughts on The Best Low Temperature Dehumidifier for 2017
It is our hope that we cleared up some of the confusion about low temperatures and dehumidifiers. It’s natural to feel confused if you don’t understand what dew point or relative humidity are. That’s why we provided you with an in depth explanation about temperature, dew point and relative humidity, along with some statistics.
Furthermore, we have rated the top three best low temperature humidifiers on the market today. They each bring their own benefits to the table: Frigidaire’s low learning curve, the Whynter’s convenience and the second Whynter’s extra capacity to extract more moisture from the air.
During these cooler seasons, please keep low temperature dehumidifiers in mind as you make a purchase, or you will run the risk of having your unit break down when the temperature cools down in your crawl space or basement. It is always wise to get do your research before making a financial commitment with a new unit in your home. So bear this in mind, and try to keep warm this winter!