Homemade Dehumidifiers

A science experiment to improve your air

Dehumidifiers can be quite costly, when you think of the long term cost of running the unit, the unit’s price and the energy cost and the cost of replacement filters, cleaning of the unit, etc. There is an alternative: homemade dehumidifiers. These are also fine as an experiment.

If you’re seriously thinking of using one of these as a home dehumidifier, these are labor intensive; they are also quite different from controlled dehumidification processes. With nothing to set and nothing to adjust you are essentially in charge of a science experiment. If done correctly, it can work.

So what is a homemade dehumidifier?

This is for the very inventive only. You will need road salt, two buckets, a bit of chicken wire and a stand. A portable hygrometer will also be handy.

Bore a hole in the bottom of one of the buckets. Cover this hole with netting or a wire (so the salt itself doesn’t slip out). Empty a bag of road salt into the container, and put the bucket on a stand. Another bucket goes underneath, and it must be deep enough and wide enough to catch water that is captured and drained out of the bottom of the bucket.

Through a natural process, salt condenses moisture out of the air. You can even increase the rate of dehumidification by using a fan to blow air into the bucket.

To increase the effectiveness, make sure all windows and doors are closed. Remember though, that relative humidity is controlled by temperature inside and outside. A reading in the morning may not be the same as in the evening. This means you may have to dump the bucket more in the day than at night and vice versa. Remember also that road salt can rust metals and can be detrimental to your skin.

A homemade dehumidifier can be a fun project and it may also be effective as a home dehumidifier if you can make one large enough. Of course, a homemade dehumidifier is far cheaper, too. If you’re willing to experiment and put the labor into it, this can be a fun (and energy efficient) way to dehumidify or to learn about some of the science involved.

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