Humidity can make you feel really uncomfortable in your own home. Hot weather feels even hotter with high humidity. Dehumidifiers are usually the most effective solution to excess humidity, but it’s not always the best choice for every occasion. For one, dehumidifiers can be costly, and most of them use a lot of electricity or take up a large space in your room.
Many homeowners and RV owners turn to a much simpler solution: using DampRid moisture absorbers. As the name suggests, DampRid absorbs moisture from the air, which technically makes it a dehumidifier itself. You may ask, how does it work and what is the difference from other types of dehumidifiers? Keep reading to learn more and find out which is the better option for you.
What Causes Humidity?
Before you choose a product for humidity control, you must first understand what causes humidity.
Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air, while relative humidity refers to the actual amount of vapor present in the air compared to the maximum amount it could hold at a certain temperature. The main ingredients of humidity are water and heat. As the temperature rises, water evaporates faster, resulting in excessive humidity.
So what causes humidity inside the home? Any water source can give rise to excess moisture. Something as simple as cooking and taking a shower can add moisture to the air if there’s not enough ventilation. If you wash and dry your laundry inside, this can also raise the humidity.
Uninspected water pipes can also lead to high humidity. When rain or groundwater seeps into the soil, it could flow to your basement and penetrate your home’s foundation, causing condensation and damp spots on your walls and floors.
Do You Need to Reduce Humidity?
Aside from causing discomfort, high humidity creates a hospitable environment for mold growth. Common indoor allergens like dust mites also thrive in high humidity environments. Thus, reducing humidity can help prevent allergies, asthma attacks, and other respiratory issues, ensuring your health and comfort.
Further, when mold finds a damp surface in your home, it will start to grow and spread as it feeds on organic material, which can cause severe damage to your walls, furniture, carpeting, and other belongings.
Moisture itself can also damage your garments, food items, and other personal belongings, as well as wooden materials and over time, the very structure of your home. To prevent any of these problems, it’s important to keep optimal relative humidity between 30% and 50% in your home.
What is DampRid and How it Works
DampRid is a type of dehumidifier made of a hygroscopic chemical, mainly calcium chloride, with traces of sodium chloride and potassium chloride, which absorbs moisture from the air until it dissolves. It’s also called a moisture absorber to refer to its main function. These calcium chloride crystals are completely safe and natural. With added fragrance beads or activated charcoal, DampRid also works to eliminate odors in a storage area, laundry room, car, cabin, boat, RV, or any small, enclosed space where you need moisture control.
Compared to regular dehumidifiers, DampRid doesn’t need electricity to remove moisture. DampRid crystals work to absorb excess moisture as soon as they are exposed to air. The crystals harden as they collect moisture, then they dissolve into a liquid. This process can take a few days and it can take even weeks before you see a good amount of liquid in the bottom chamber. Once all the crystals are gone, simply discard and replace the product if you have a disposable DampRid. For refillable DampRid containers, empty the liquid and refill the container with new beads.
Pros and Cons of Using DampRid
DampRid is a popular choice among RVers or campers for its tiny size and easy operation. They’re also common in closets, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and small bedrooms. Moisture absorbers can work really well if used for the right purpose. Here are some advantages of using DampRid.
- Small and portable – DampRid is a great choice for tiny rooms and storage areas in your home. It comes in a small container you can easily take with you even when traveling in a motorhome.
- Easy to use – Anyone can use these moisture absorbers. They don’t need electricity to work. Just peel off the cover and place the container where you need to reduce moisture content.
- Low maintenance – This type of dehumidifier needs little to no maintenance. Once all the crystals have dissolved, you simply empty the liquid and replace the beads or dispose of the whole thing.
On the other hand, not everyone can benefit from this type of dehumidifier. Here are the disadvantages in using DampRid.
- Limited capacity – DampRid is available in 10 to 14 ounces capacity for the small tubs or hanging packets. This is the total amount of moisture it can remove over a few weeks of use. Meanwhile, the Hi-Capacity bucket has a 4-pound capacity that can last up to six months. In comparison, full-size dehumidifiers can remove 20 to 50 pints of moisture per day.
- Small coverage – Because they have a small capacity, DampRid moisture absorbers are only effective in tiny spaces (typically around 100 to 200 square feet). They will make little to no impact on humidity levels in a regular room. The Hi-Capacity claims to cover up to 1,000 square feet, but it will still not be as effective as an electric dehumidifier in high humidity environments.
How Dehumidifiers Work
Dehumidifiers work to reduce the amount of moisture in the air. They accomplish this task through different processes.
What most people are familiar with is the compressor or refrigerant dehumidifier. The humid air is drawn in by a fan and passes over the cold metal coils. As the air temperature decreases, moisture condenses and the water formed drips down into the internal tank or flows out through a drain hose. The dryer air is then reheated and exhausted into the room. These dehumidifiers generally perform well in warm and humid climates and remove 20 to 50 pints of moisture per day.
Small dehumidifiers also use the Peltier effect or thermoelectric cooling. Instead of a compressor, this dehumidifier consists of a Peltier module and a hot and cold heat sink on either side. A fan sucks in moist air through the cold side, then the moisture condenses into water, which collects in a tank. The now cold and dry air passes through the other side which warms the air and releases it back into the room. Peltier dehumidifiers also work best in warm environments and remove around 8 to 30 ounces of moisture per day.
Desiccant dehumidifiers use some hygroscopic substance (usually calcium chloride or silica gel) that extracts moisture from the air until it is fully saturated. There are disposable units that come in small containers like DampRid, and renewable ones that need to be recharged every few weeks.
Full-size desiccant dehumidifiers feature a rotor filled with silica gel. The humid air passes through a portion of the desiccant rotor where moisture is adsorbed, then the dry air is pushed out through a fan. This part of the rotor is heated so that moisture is desorbed and forms water droplets. The desiccant is now reactivated and ready to extract moisture again. Desiccant dehumidifiers can work even in lower temperatures as long as they can absorb excess moisture from the air.
Pros and Cons of Dehumidifiers
For serious humidity problems, dehumidifiers are the best solution. Here are some advantages dehumidifiers have over DampRid moisture absorbers.
- Large Capacity – Regular dehumidifiers are designed to extract large amounts of water from the air. Even mini Peltier units can remove in one day the same amount that a DampRid moisture absorber can collect in weeks or months.
- Wide Coverage – Full-size dehumidifiers reduce humidity in full-size rooms. One unit can cover a large basement or an entire studio apartment.
- Precise Humidity Control – Dehumidifiers collect large quantities of moisture, effectively reducing humidity. Larger models also have humidistat and digital controls to adjust the humidity to your liking.
However, here are some reasons a dehumidifier may not be the best choice for you.
- Upfront Cost – Dehumidifier prices vary greatly depending on the brand, type, and capacity. A standard 20-pint dehumidifier cost around 20 times of a disposable DampRid.
- Energy Consumption – Dehumidifiers are electrical appliances, aside from disposable moisture absorbers. Even renewable units need to be plugged into an outlet every few weeks. Small dehumidifiers consume as low as 20 Watts, while large-capacity units can go up to 700 Watts.
- Bulky – Although still portable, dehumidifiers take up floor or table space. You’ll also have to keep free space around it to promote airflow.
Tips to Reduce Humidity
If you don’t want to spend money on a dehumidifier, DampRid moisture absorbers can also help control humidity if used correctly. The following are some tips to keep moisture out.
- Keep Your Room Ventilated – The easiest way to reduce humidity is to provide enough ventilation. If possible, open your windows and doors to let fresh air in.
- Improve the Air Flow Using Fans – If ventilation isn’t enough, use fans to circulate the air inside or exchange it with cool, outdoor air. Properly placed fans keep moisture and odors out.
- Take Shorter, Colder Showers – When you take a shower with hot water, steam forms and raises the humidity. To minimize the excess moisture produced, try to keep your showers shorter and colder, open your windows, and turn on the exhaust fan during or after you use the bathroom.
- Dry Your Clothes Outside – Avoid hanging your wet laundry indoors. Moisture from the clothes evaporates into the air and increases humidity levels. If you can’t hang them outdoors, you can also use a dryer or fan to speed up drying.
- Repair Leaks or Cracks in Your House – Find the source of humidity in your house. Holes or cracks in your walls and leaky pipes are only some possible causes of persistent humidity. Find a professional to examine your home and fix these problems first.
Which is Better: DampRid or a Dehumidifier?
DampRid Moisture Absorbers are just like any dehumidifier in that they work to extract moisture from the air. What’s better for you depends on the type of space where you will use it. Tiny, enclosed spaces such as closets, bathrooms, and even cars or boats, can benefit from a small DampRid. Large rooms will likely need a regular dehumidifier to achieve the humidity level you desire.
However, you can always use the DampRid Hi-Capacity in large spaces with less severe humidity problems. You can also place any DampRid container on each corner of the room or wherever humidity is highest. Just be reminded that these dehumidifiers work in different ways and manage your expectations accordingly. If you’re looking for a small dehumidifier, we have guides and reviews to help you choose the best unit for you.