Desiccant Dehumidifiers operate differently from traditional dehumidifiers. A desiccant is a substance that absorbs moisture. Whereas traditional dehumidifiers condense airborne moisture into water that is stored in a tank or pumped from the machine, desiccant dehumidifiers use an adsorbent substance to draw in moisture. Usually, it is a silica gel which is either replaced or removed from the machine and dried.
The main advantage to desiccant dehumidifiers is that they can operate in cold temperatures. Traditional dehumidifiers will frost over when the environment is cold, quite commonly in basements. Since desiccant dehumidifiers do not produce a condensate, they will not frost over and can generally operate within environments of around 0 degrees (F). As such, they are perfect for basements, crawl spaces, and any cold temperature area with the proper power connection. For more information on choosing the best dehumidifier for you, see our Dehumidifier Buying Guide.