Libraries are where we store our precious books and documents, and often function as a place of study. Excess humidity can seriously damage books, spoiling your collection. Libraries are usually enclosed spaces which may become humid from moist air. It is most important to achieve a stable environment, preventing fluctuations in humidity and temperature, since such changes cause the most damage. A comfortable, air-conditioned environment is also necessary to facilitate the learning process.

Ventilation and air-conditioning systems must take care not to introduce moist air from the outside. A frequent recommendation is a stable temperature no higher than 21ºC and a stable relative humidity between a minimum of 30% and a maximum of 50%. Research indicates that relative humidities at the lower end of this range are preferable since deterioration then progresses at a slower rate. In general, the lower the temperature, the better your books will be preserved.

Ventilation and air conditioning may not be sufficient to keep humidity levels stable, in which case you may need to opt for a dehumidifier for your library. Dehumidifiers have become essential tools in libraries for they are able to create a balanced environment that is comfortable to all the users.

High humidity levels in the library can also be created by human activities. Each person produces about 1.42 L of water per day while breathing. If many people use a library then the chances are high that without climate control the library can become damp, which will cause mould growth, condensation, and musty smells, all of which creates an unpleasant environment and damages your books. Dehumidifiers for libraries are therefore used to draw moisture out of the air, maintaining stable humidity levels in the library.

There are some key features that one has to look at when buying dehumidifiers for libraries.

  • Extraction rate
    Dehumidifiers for libraries must have a high enough extraction rate to ensure the correct humidity levels. This depends on the size of the library, the natural humidity and the number of persons using the library. Large libraries may require a large dehumidifier, or several smaller units.
  • Tank size
    The dehumidifier's tank must be able to hold the quantity of water extracted from the air. Some tanks must regularly be emptied manually, while other units provide the functionality for continuous drainage.
  • Humidistat
    This feature allows setting of the required humidity levels in the library. This is significant in saving energy costs because the dehumidifier will only switch on as required.
  • Efficiency
    Dehumidifiers have different energy efficiencies, so make sure you buy a unit that has a high efficiency.
  • Advanced Functions
    Smart / automatic control, Hydrophilic coated coils, Rotary compressors, and Intelligent defrost systems are functions of the more advanced models of dehumidifier.
  • Quiet operation
    This feature is essential when selecting a dehumidifier for your library, since it should be quiet when people are studying.
  • Portability
    When acquiring dehumidifiers for libraries, you may need one that is portable for use in multiple locations. Some units come with wheels for easy mobility.

When buying dehumidifiers for libraries, there are several factors that you need to consider:

  • Model
    There are several different models of dehumidifiers available for libraries. Take care to select a reliable brand from a reputable supplier.
  • Price
    There are plenty of cost-effective dehumidifiers available to suit your budget.
  • Features
    The above stated features of dehumidifiers for libraries should be considered carefully before purchase.