From rusty tools and equipment to unwanted wood expansion and mold, there is no doubt about it that humidity is a workshop's worst enemy. It is not always easy to predict or control the humidity in your workshop, but ignoring the moisture in the air can have serious consequences.
Damp air is never a good environment to work in and it does not take long for it to have a negative effect. If you are storing anything valuable in your workshop, then it is vital to reduce humidity to safe levels. Excess moisture can quickly cause condensation, rust, mould and result in materials like carboard or wood becoming useless.
The small amount of time and money involved in taking care of your tools and protecting them from excess humidity is a worthy investment. Fortunately, the best workshop dehumidifiers can quickly remove moisture to reduce relative humidity.
Most workshops are not very well-insulated or heated, which makes them more susceptible to damp, mould and condensation. While this is not an issue for empty workshops, almost any item will suffer in these conditions. Equipment, tools, paint pots and cardboard boxes, they all start to be affected by damp over time.
But before you buy a dehumidifier, it is worth checking the ventilation in the workshop first. Although ventilation in houses is a necessity, in a workshop a leaky roof or drafty door can let the rain in and this then increases humidity.
If your workshop is properly sealed, the next step is to buy a dehumidifier. But which one? Well, it is important to choose the right type of dehumidifier for the right space.
Buying a dehumidifier for a workshop is different than buying one for the home. In the long run, you will have less issues that could be affected by condensation. There are two main types of dehumidifier - refrigerant and desiccant. Each has a different method of collecting the moisture and knowing the difference will help you decide which one you need.
Refrigerant dehumidifiers use a fan to constantly draw the room air over the cool metal coil, which condenses the moisture and feeds it away into water tank or via a drainage hose. Eventually the relative humidity in the space is reduced to a normal level and the unit will then switch itself into standby until such a time as it is needed again. These sorts of dehumidifiers are most effective at typical room temperatures and their performance declines dramatically in cooler conditions. A refrigerant dehumidifier can operate effectively at lower temperatures but requires higher performing components and additional features to achieve this, making it more expensive.So, if you think your dehumidifier may be used in a room that often has a fairly low temperature, then this may not be the best option.
Meanwhile, desiccant dehumidifiers absorb water from the air using a desiccant, which is similar to those small pack of crystals usually labelled 'silica gel' that are packaged with most consumer product. Inside the dehumidifier, a wheel consisting largely of the desiccant turns slowly through the incoming air stream and absorbs moisture. During the rotation cycle, a proportion of the wheel is passing through a stream of warm air that reactivates the desiccant by driving off the moisture. This condensed water is then collected in a tank or automatically drained out via a tube from the back of the unit to the outside. Desiccant dehumidifiers usually operate at much lower temperatures than a refrigerant type, so they are useful in a particularly cool area such as some workshops.