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Can You Drink Dehumidifier Water Without Filtration? Read On!

Most people don’t want to waste things that are available to them; if you can utilize a source more than once, or you can find additional uses of valuable resources, you are not only saving money and time, but you can even save the environment.  As such, water is a very important resource that can even be collected from the air by an effective dehumidifier.  However, in the process of using a dehumidifier to remove humidity from the air within the house, you will find that you have collected a fair amount of water – especially if you live in humid areas. You may know how a dehumidifier works, but you may not know what to do with this dehumidifier water.

It seems a shame to waste this water, but there are very important questions that anyone using a dehumidifing machine should ask – is water from dehumidifier safe to use?  And can you drink dehumidifier water?  These are important considerations to examine before you do anything with the fluid that comes out of your machine. It may look clear, smell fine and even taste good – but what can be found in your dehumidifier water may be surprising!


Is Dehumidifier Water Distilled?

Is dehumidifier water distilled?Yes, but only in the purest technical sense.  A dehumidifying machine works by gathering all the water vapor in a humid room or even from within your whole house, where it is typically drawn through a condensing process of some kind.  Some few dehumidifying machines may have a filter or a UV light, but these purifying components are not always found in all machines.

While the process of condensation and collection can assist in removing and eliminating minerals from water, a dehumidifier unit does not produce clean and safe distilled water that is suitable for personal intake – be that drinking, brushing your teeth or even bathing, based on the area you live in and the contaminants that may be in the air around you.  In addition, a dehumidifier does not eliminate microscopic particles from the water it gathers, nor is it capable of killing microorganisms that may have been gathered and carried in water vapor, such as mold spores, bacteria or viruses without being combined with a secondary purifying process.


True Distillation Process vs. Water Collection Procedure of a Dehumidifier

When you compare between true distillation process and the water collection procedure of a dehumidifier, it becomes obvious why this is an important distinction to understand.  There are few similarities, but numerous differences – and it is these differences that will change your mind about whether you should drink the water produced in a dehumidifier.

True distillation process vs. water collection procedure of a dehumidifierIn distillation, water is heated to the point that it becomes vapor – much like the ‘steam’ that comes off of a pot of boiling water on the stove.  The temperature is very carefully maintained in order to ensure that only the water is vaporizing while ensuring that any contamination within the water stays in a solid or liquid state.  As the water vapor is collected, it is removed from the initial vaporizing container and funneled into a condenser that will cool the vapor back down into the state of pure water.  Left behind in the original container are all of the things that were originally within the water-sediment, contaminating liquids, minerals, bacteria, spores and other unsavory things you wouldn’t want to put into your body in the first place.

However, dehumidifier water does not go through this process.  Instead, water from dehumidifiers comes from one of these two processes: refrigeration or absorption.  In refrigerating dehumidifiers, the humid air full of water is drawn by an electric fan across a cold surface – usually a freezing pipe or grill – and the water condenses onto the grill, much like water vapor will condensate on the outside of a cold glass of water during summer.  The now dry air is blown back into the room, and the dehumidifier water is collected in a drip chamber.  The other dehumidifier process is a combination of absorption and adsorption, in which the air is blown past a large revolving cage of water-absorbing material.  This cage captures much of the water vapor in the air and returns the relatively drier air back into the room.

However, the space around the revolving cage is kept hot by an electrical fan blowing heater air across the cage.  This means that the bottom of the cage tends to ‘drip dry’ in the blown warm air, and the top of the cage wicks the moisture from the incoming room air.  At the bottom of the cage, the now wet, hot air blows out of the unit and is released outside.  This method of dehumidifying acts much like an electric clothes dryer, where the vent from the machine blows the moist wet air into an unaffected space.  But in neither dehumidifying process is the moisture in the air turned into water vapor, nor is it separated from the original collection container.


But, Is Water from a Dehumidifier Safe?


What the collected water can be used forThis is a question with a relative answer, in that it is safe for some purposes, but not for others, such as using it for drinking water. Why is the collected water by a dehumidifier not drinkable?  Based on the explanation above that differentiates dehumidification from distillation.  The water from a dehumidifier still has all of the pollutants in it that it started with, such as industrial fumes, odors, heavy metals and various microorganisms such as bacteria and spores.  Drinking this water could easily make you ill – and if exposed to such pollutants as heavy metal, this water that was thought to be drinkable will instead create disease processes that could be deadly! So now you know though your dehumidifier can benefit you in many ways, this is not one of them.


What the Collected Water Can Be Used For


What the collected water can be used forHowever, this does not mean that water from a dehumidifier is useless.  There are a number of ideas as to what the collected water can be used for, such as filling the tank of your car’s radiator or windshield wiper washing tank, filling a steam-capable iron for clothes, irrigating tree plants, or even filling the reserve tank of your toilets for flushing.  In addition to these uses, you could even mix the water with bleach or other detergents for cleaning the household or other areas.


Can you drink dehumidifier water?  Yes… but it is not recommended whatsoever.  Knowing that the processes are different will answer ‘is dehumidifier water distilled?’  Water from a dehumidifier may have a number of unhealthy – or even deadly – contaminants in it that prevent it from being clean and safe. While it does have its use, the water produced from a dehumidifier isn’t really drinkable.  No one wants to consume contaminated or unhealthy water; so unless your dehumidifying unit has a secondary purification process, use the collected water for something besides drinking!

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1 Comment

  • Warning: Undefined array key 180 in /www/wwwroot/ on line 402
    James F Loughery says:

    Is it safe to use water from a dehumidifier in a washing machine? I can drain the water through a hose right into my top loader washing machine. I use a reasonable amount of liquid detergent for color clothing, and use that plus bleach for white clothing and towels.

    I can’t seem to get a straight answer on this question. Also what about the water from an air conditioner condensate line? would that be safe to use?

    Look forward to hearing from someone. Sincerely, Jim Lougehry

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