Anyone who lives in less than tropical parts of the country understands the value of a longer running, more efficient dehumidifier. Although we’d love 80 degrees Fahrenheit and 60% relative humidity for most of the year, the reality is that quite a few restorative dryers live in places like the Midwest and the North where freezing pipes can play just as much of a role in our business as summer thunderstorms. That’s where the Low Grain Refrigerant dehumidifier earns a reputation as the one of the most versatile drying tool in the restoration professional’s toolbox.
Utilizing a double cooling system, LGR dehumidifiers are more effective than standard refrigerant or hot-gas bypass dehumidifiers in that they help avoid additional freezing below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. While this alone translates in to more drying time and less defrosting time and can justify the investment, the LGR dehumidifier can also deliver dehumidified air down to 20% relative humidity, compared with standard refrigerant dehumidifiers that may only deliver 30-40% relative humidity. This not only allows for you to dry in less than perfect situations (which applies to pretty much every drying experience), but also dry faster and with less energy. Considering that a large portion of restorative drying in the Midwest is focused on the basement floods, this is especially important as it helps to eliminate frozen coils in these colder environments. Additionally, it also offers more dehumidification energy for less AMP draw than a conventional refrigerant dehumidifier that has to overcome the effect of ice blockage on its cooling coils.
Additional advantages of LGR dehumidifiers come in the form of a low weight-to-efficiency benefit, improved structural drying, and utilization of conventional household circuitry. With overall equipment weights of 92 lbs. to 175 lbs. for larger units, LGR dehumidifiers deliver more dehumidification time per pound than other conventional dehumidifiers. This is not only important to consider when equipping your job, but also when you have to take the equipment up and down several flights of steps in a day. Improved structural drying is also a benefit of the LGR dehumidifier in that its ability to reduce humidity below 30% Rh allows you to extract water from more dense materials like drywall over time. And since LGR dehumidifiers don’t extract more than about 15-20% Rh, they don’t have as much problems with over-drying that plagues the more aggressive desiccant dehumidifiers. This translates into more drying with less monitoring. Even better, by utilizing standard 110 volt household circuitry, LGR dehumidifiers are more versatile than desiccant dehumidifiers that rely upon distant and limited 220-volt circuitry.
Overall, LGR dehumidifiers offer our industry one of the most flexible and dependable options to date. With a fundamental balance between convenience, technology and drying options, they are a critical component of any restorative dryer’s toolbox.
On a personal note, for the past 23 years, we’ve relied on standard refrigerant dehumidifiers and were resistant to make the switch because of insurance pricing and overall cost. Now, after seeing the benefits of LGR dehumidifiers first hand, we are not only pleased with the results, but have realized cost savings from improved drying and the flexibility that LGR dehumidifiers offer.