Traditionally, dehumidifiers have been used in homes and are a common sight in countries with high humidity levels.
In India, too, there is some amount of awareness about the benefits of dehumidifiers and they can be found in some international celebrity homes — Superstar Amitabh Bachchan, Governor of RBI and even the CM of Maharashtra are some of the prominent names that use dehumidifiers.
One of the most obvious benefits of dehumidifiers is that they improve indoor air quality. Excess humidity in the air encourages mould and mildew growth, which pose a health risk, especially to those with breathing problems.
Due to these obvious health benefits, they have also found ready acceptance in healthcare sector.
However, surprisingly, they have found other takers too. Offices in India are increasingly opting for dehumidifiers. Research suggests that humidity makes one feel hotter, making people sweat more.
Nancy Molitor, an assistant professor of clinical psychiatry and behavioural science at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine found that hot and especially humid weather is known to be associated with increases in aggression and violence, as well as a lower general mood.
When people are sweaty, they are irritable, which affects their judgement and productivity "India is a tropical country with most places experiencing high to very high humidity around the year, especially the coastal areas."
Dehumidifiers fit right into Indian climate, both in commercial spaces as well as residential. Unfortunately, the awareness about this product is lower than it should ideally be. But the good thing is that it is catching on in hospitality spaces.
"We have an impressive list of non-individual clients and the list is growing," says Mansoor Ali, director, AMFAH INDIA, a leading provider of dehumidifiers in India.
"We know that quality dehumidifiers help. And we feel that though it is still a new concept, there is a natural relevance. With air pollution levels increasing, there is increasing need for such solutions"
Mansoor Ali, director, AMFAH India
According to Ali, the last three decades have seen a water purification revolution of sorts in the country in both domestic/commercial segment with more and more people being aware of the need for water purification systems, leading to a huge surge in demand for water purification products.
"We estimate that like water purification, the next big thing in the coming years will air treatment. And there will be upsurge in demand for all kinds of air purification product s starting with air conditioners (which is already seeing exponential growth), followed by dehumidifiers and air purifiers," explains Ali.
According to him the fast increase in the number of Amfah's clients that are opting for dehumidifiers is evidence enough of the big trend to come. With the levels of air pollution rising in the city, an urgent need is being increasingly felt across sectors for solutions to improve indoor air quality.
However, hotels are not opting for dehumidifier just due to their affect on indoor air quality, which has a direct effect on the health of guests and employee efficiency but also for their other hidden benefit — reduced electricity bills.
Humid air feels heavy and the atmosphere in the room feels hot, which causes people to lower the thermostat on their air conditioners, thereby raising energy costs.
Air conditioners have to work overtime to cool humid air and hence consume more power. This is another reason why dehumidifiers are slowly making their way into hospitality environments.
Since dehumidifiers work by absorbing the water content in the air, the air conditioning costs are considerably reduced, which is reflected in the electricity bill.
This is especially important in today's economic situation when high costs are putting a strain on margins. "We know that quality dehumidifiers help. And we feel that though it is still a new concept, there is a natural relevance," says Ali.
Another point in favour of dehumidifiers is that since they improve indoor air quality, it affects on the mood of those occupying hospitality spaces including guests.
When the air is dry and the temperature pleasantly cool, it creates an ambience conducive to great experience. It is proven by research that guests like to spend time in spaces that are well-lit and pleasantly cool.
Thus, dehumidifiers are a great fit for hotels as they take care of the three things that matter to every hotelier: experience, costs and guests.