Cost is likely one of your concerns when choosing a commercial dehumidifier. Crawl space or whole-house dehumidifiers start at $800 for a 50-pint capacity and go up to $2,000 for a 200-pint. A large capacity industrial dehumidifier costs up to $12,000 or higher.
A commercial or industrial dehumidifier is a must for large residential areas or commercial spaces that are prone to excessive amounts of moisture.
Various industries also benefit from having a portable commercial dehumidifier for effective humidity control on the go, or a permanently installed industrial dehumidifier for low temperature operation and other specific needs.
The moisture removal capacity of a commercial dehumidifier, measured in pints per day or PPD, is a crucial factor to consider. Costs vary greatly depending on other specifications and the brand. The type of installation should also be taken into account when costing a commercial dehumidifier.
To find a good estimate of costs for the best commercial dehumidifier for every type of application, take note of the following factors.
Types of Commercial Dehumidifiers
There are two main types of commercial dehumidifiers, the refrigerant and desiccant. We differentiate the two mainly by their process of moisture removal. As the names suggest, refrigerant units consist of refrigerant coils while the desiccant uses some kind of desiccant substance.
Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Typically, refrigerant dehumidifiers are more affordable than desiccant models, but the type of dehumidifier you need relies on multiple factors.
The operating temperature is one of the most important considerations to make before your purchase. Most dehumidifiers work more effectively in warmer climates. Refrigerant models, in particular, are perfect for humid areas with 65F temperature or higher. If you need the unit to operate in colder conditions, a desiccant dehumidifier is a much better option.
Some of the smallest and lightest portable dehumidifiers are desiccant units since they don’t use heavy compressors. They start at around $1,000 or higher, like this 30-pint model from Ecor Pro. Larger units, like the Ebac DD400-P which extracts 71.5 pints, cost up to $4,000. Refrigerant models are generally bulkier and heavier but cheaper and more commonly used. One such model is the AlorAir Storm which sells at around $900 with a 190-pint maximum moisture removal capacity.
Commercial Dehumidifier Portability
If you work in water damage restoration or construction sites, the best commercial dehumidifier for you is a portable type. They usually have wheels and handles for maneuverability. These rugged industrial dehumidifiers can also be stacked on top of each other for easy storage and transport.
For example, Dri-Eaz offers a line of portable commercial dehumidifiers, starting with the DrizAir 1200 which costs at least $1,600 for 65 pints AHAM capacity and 227 cubic feet coverage. The 170-pint capacity Dri-Eaz LGR 3500i portable commercial dehumidifier costs up to $3,200.
Mobile businesses like catering, fast food, and cleaning services may also need portable commercial dehumidifiers. This type of dehumidifier is also great for both residential and commercial areas that only need temporary or seasonal humidity control.
On the other hand, if you need a solution to humidity issues in your workplace year-round, it may be best to install an industrial dehumidifier permanently. Heavy amounts of moisture may damage goods and equipment in storage.
Large commercial areas like warehouses, factories, museums, and archives become susceptible to mold and mildew growth, rust, and corrosion if humidity is not controlled. You need constant and efficient dehumidification to protect merchandise, documents, and electronic equipment.
Similarly, for large houses that suffer in high relative humidity throughout the year, commercial grade whole-house dehumidifiers are the best solution. They can effectively remove excess moisture and maintain a comfortable relative humidity of 30% to 50%. Additionally, they are much more durable and resistant to extreme weather conditions than the typical residential dehumidifiers.
A whole-house dehumidifier is often installed in the crawl space or connected to the HVAC system for automatic control. Costs start at $600 and go up to $2,000 for a refrigerant-based dehumidifier. You can expect a desiccant unit to come at about twice the price of a similar-sized refrigerant whole-house dehumidifier.
Consider the Aprilaire line of whole-house dehumidifiers. The Aprilaire 1820 covers 2,800 square feet with a 70-pint capacity, while the 1850 covers 5,200 square feet with a 95-pint capacity. The 1870 covers large houses up to 7,200 square feet and removes 130 pints of excess moisture. These whole-house dehumidifiers range from $1,000 to a little over $2,000.
Moisture Removal Capacity of Commercial Dehumidifiers
The volume of excess moisture you need to remove per day determines the dehumidifier capacity you should look for. This is measured in two ways.
The AHAM capacity is the amount collected at the average condition of 80°F and 60% RH, as recommended by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. This is closer to the actual performance of the dehumidifier in real life settings. The maximum capacity is the largest amount that it can extract per day at saturation (90°F and 90% RH).
Excess moisture in a commercial space can lead to poor air quality and mold growth. Prolonged exposure in this kind of environment is both unpleasant and harmful for anyone.
Indoor facilities with high moisture content require high capacity units. These include indoor pools and greenhouses. Huge spaces like warehouses and galleries also call for a higher dehumidifier capacity.
However, it doesn’t mean that you should get the highest capacity commercial dehumidifier you can find. The best commercial dehumidifier still depends on the size you need. Use only the right size for your space to maximize its effectiveness and efficiency.
Another thing to note is the airflow. This is the rate in which the air moves, measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). A higher airflow usually means a larger square feet coverage area, but it varies according to the brand and model.
As a general rule, the larger the area and the more humid the air is, the higher the capacity you need. Consequently, the price climbs up. For example, the Quest Dual series start at a little over $2,000 for the 105-pint model, and go over $3,200 for the 225-pint model. The same applies for desiccant units.
Most refrigerant dehumidifiers have the option for gravity drainage. Simply attach a hose onto the outlet – some units include this in your purchase. Position the device above the floor drain and let gravity do its job. Some heavy duty industrial dehumidifiers like the AlorAir Storm also come with an internal condensate pump. This allows for automatic draining even in a vertical orientation.
As you may expect, a commercial dehumidifier with built-in pump is priced higher than the alternative, although not by much. Consider the AlorAir Sentinel HDi90 as an example. External condensate pumps are also available for units that do not have them built in.
Desiccant dehumidifiers, on the other hand, do not form any condensate, and thus have no drainage. They extract moisture from the desiccant material by means of a heated air stream which then exits the room or building through ductwork. This makes them the perfect commercial dehumidifier for low temperature operation.
Commercial Dehumidifier Installation and Other Additional Costs
A humidistat regulates indoor humidity automatically. It is a common feature found in commercial dehumidifiers, along with a digital display that shows the inlet and outlet temperatures and relative humidity. Without this feature, you may need to purchase a hygrometer separately.
A commercial dehumidifier usually comes with a removable filter to purify the air before it’s processed. These are usually washable and last as long as the unit itself, but if necessary, you may also replace the filters.
As we have briefly mentioned, desiccant units need ducting to release the moist air away from the controlled space. You have multiple ducting options for the two inlets and two outlets. Depending on the brand and supplier, ducting kits are sometimes available as an add-on when you purchase a commercial dehumidifier.
If you choose to install your dehumidifier overhead or mounted on a wall, you can get hanging or wall brackets specifically designed for it. You can connect an external remote control to monitor operation. You may also need external pumps or drain hose extensions for a refrigerant commercial dehumidifier.
Power Consumption and Energy Efficiency of Commercial Dehumidifiers
To calculate the cost of running a commercial dehumidifier, you need to know how much power it draws. For reference, a 50-pint dehumidifier draws around 500-800 Watts, while a 180-pint can go from 1,000 to 1,500 Watts. Full-sized desiccant models draw up to 10,000 Watts for a 500-pint capacity.
It’s not a surprise that a higher capacity unit draws more power. To optimize your consumption, make sure your dehumidifier has the capacity to remove more than the quantity of moisture in the environment so that it’s not always running on the highest settings. This also helps the unit last longer.
For maximum performance, always keep all the components clean. Make use of the onboard humidistat if you don’t need the unit operating 24/7. This can save you a lot when the monthly utility bills come.
If you’re going to be using a commercial dehumidifier throughout the seasons, it’s also important to know its energy efficiency before your purchase. Look for the energy factor or the volume of moisture (in liters) that the unit removes per kilowatt-hour of energy (L/kWh). A higher energy factor means a more efficient dehumidifier.
Check out the Energy Star website for more information on energy efficiency of dehumidifiers and other appliances. Energy Star rated dehumidifiers have a higher energy efficiency by up to 20% than a non-rated dehumidifier of the same size.
Renting a Commercial Dehumidifier
If you only need a commercial dehumidifier temporarily, you can always inquire with a rental company. Unforeseen incidents like water damage emergencies demand immediate solutions. These usually include a heavy duty commercial dehumidifier. In this case, you don’t have to buy one for yourself.
How much does renting a commercial dehumidifier cost? This also depends on the size you need, your location, and the degree of damage that has to be repaired.
Finding the Best Commercial Dehumidifier
How much does a commercial dehumidifier cost? It varies widely depending on the size and application.
The best dehumidifier for your commercial space relies on many factors. It is especially important to consider the initial cost of the purchase, installation requirements, the corresponding cost of your energy consumption, and other expenses you may incur in maintenance or repair.
Before making a decision, consider every option available to get the most out of your investment.