AHAM vs. Saturation Explained October 3, 2016 – Posted in: Blog, Dehumidifiers – Tags: ,

Looking for a professional-grade dehumidifier that can handle tough commercial jobs? You may be wondering what exactly AHAM and saturation mean. These terms will come up constantly as you browse for the perfect commercial dehumidifiers to you get your water damage restoration project done. They are important terms that you better understand how effective a unit is at moisture removal. Here’s a rundown of AHAM vs. saturation.

Testing a Dehumidifier’s Effectiveness


The terms AHAM and saturation refer to the conditions in which dehumidifiers are tested. AHAM ratings are taken at average conditions, which are dictated to be 60 percent humidity and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Why AHAM? Because these testing conditions are what the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers recommends. AHAM conditions are believed to deliver the most realistic picture of how a dehumidifier will operate, because the testing conditions are so close to what most buildings and structures will experience.


A saturation rating is taken at 90 percent humidity and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, which represent much more extreme conditions that won’t often be experienced in the field. So, if the user of a dehumidifier will rarely encounter these extreme conditions, why test in them? Because testing at saturation s measure close to the absolute maximum amount of moisture a given unit can extract in a single day. It’s akin to describing a car’s top speed as an indicator of overall performance. For example, a car may be able to reach 120 mph, but it would be unusual – and unsafe – to reach that speed on the highway.

AHAM vs Saturation

How to Compare Dehumidifiers With Different Ratings

Here’s your challenge: As you look for a commercial dehumidifier that can with water damage restoration and similar projects, you’ll find models you like that are tested at AHAM and models you like that are tested at saturation. How do you compare the two?

As a starting point, know that dehumidifiers are able to remove far more water in saturation conditions than in AHAM conditions. An AHAM-tested dehumidifier that removes 80 pints of water daily is more effective than a saturation-tested dehumidifier that removes 90 pints of water daily. Simply put, dehumidifiers remove more water a day in wetter air (saturation conditions) than in air with less moisture (AHAM conditions). As a general rule of thumb, a dehumidifier can extract about half as much moisture a day in AHAM conditions as it can in saturation conditions.

Here is an example using a real product, the B-Air® Vantage VG-1500 dehumidifier. The VG-1500 has been tested in both AHAM and saturation conditions, giving a comprehensive look at its performance. This testing revealed the VG-1500 removed 76 pints per day in AHAM conditions and 150 pints per day in saturation – a near perfect match for the “half-as-much” rule of thumb.

Get Your High-Performance Dehumidifier

At Aer Industries, we offer a huge selection of the products available to professionals working in water-damage restoration and similar industries. These products are made by top manufacturers like B-Air®, BluDri®, Soleaire®, and Abatement®. By offering dehumidifiers, air scrubbers and air movers from leading manufacturers, we ensure you get the quality and durability you expect out of an investment in new equipment.

Each product in our selection is designed to withstand the rigors of operation in tough commercial and industrial restoration environments. Adding one of these products to your collection of equipment is like adding another team member – one who shows up each day and works just as hard as you do. We’re always adding the latest in technology, innovations, and developments to our carefully selected inventory, which means you can always trust you’re getting the latest and greatest technology in the business when you choose Aer Industries as your equipment provider.

Find effective dehumidifiers like the VG-1500 from B-Air® in our comprehensive selection. For more information, call 855.345.3555 or contact us online today!