Desiccant vs. Refrigerant Dehumidifiers – How Are They Different

Humidity is a common problem in many homes and workplaces around the world. It can cause discomfort, mold growth, and damage to furniture and other items. 

That’s why dehumidifiers have become popular appliances to control the air’s moisture levels. However, not all dehumidifiers are created equal. This article will explore the differences between desiccant and refrigerant dehumidifiers.

What is a Desiccant Dehumidifier?

A desiccant dehumidifier uses a desiccant material, such as silica gel, to absorb moisture from the air. The desiccant material is contained in a wheel or rotor that rotates through the air intake and exhaust. As the air passes over the desiccant material, it absorbs moisture from the air, which is then collected in a water tank or drained out of the unit.

Desiccant dehumidifiers are ideal for low-temperature environments, as they are not affected by the freezing temperatures that can occur in refrigerant dehumidifiers. They are also quieter and more energy-efficient than refrigerant dehumidifiers. 

However, they may be less effective in high-humidity environments and may require more maintenance to replace the desiccant material.

What is a Refrigerant Dehumidifier?

A refrigerant dehumidifier uses a refrigeration cycle to remove moisture from the air. The air is drawn into the unit and passed over a cold coil, which cools the air below its dew point. 

The moisture in the air condenses on the coil and is collected in a water tank or drained out of the unit. The air is then passed over a warm coil to heat it back up to its original temperature before being released back into the room.

Refrigerant dehumidifiers are more effective in high-humidity environments and can remove more moisture from the air than desiccant dehumidifiers. They also require less maintenance and are easier to use, as the user does not need to replace desiccant material. However, they are more expensive to operate and may not work as well in low-temperature environments.

Which One Should You Use?

The choice between a desiccant and refrigerant dehumidifier depends on several factors, including the humidity level and temperature of the environment, the size of the area to be dehumidified, and the desired level of moisture control.

If you live in a low-temperature environment and have a small space to dehumidify, a desiccant dehumidifier may be the best choice for you. It is also a good choice if you want a quieter and more energy-efficient appliance.

On the other hand, if you live in a high-humidity environment and have a large space to dehumidify, a refrigerant dehumidifier may be the best choice for you. It is also a good choice if you want a more effective appliance that requires less maintenance.


Desiccant and refrigerant dehumidifiers are two types of appliances that can help control the air’s moisture levels. Both types of dehumidifiers have their advantages and disadvantages. It is important to consider your specific needs and environment when deciding which one to use. With the right dehumidifier, you can control the moisture levels in the air and create a more comfortable and healthy living or working environment.

If you’re struggling with high humidity levels in your home or workplace, Dehumidification Technologies can help. We are one of the best dehumidifier companies that can work with you to control the air’s moisture levels and prevent mold growth, furniture damage, and discomfort. Don’t let humidity control your life – get in touch with us today to get started.