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what do you suggest?

Posted by pawprint1 (My Page) on
Thu, Aug 9, 07 at 16:12

I live in Columbus Ohio, with some humidity. I run a de-humidifier in my basement and get a gallon or two of water a day.
I'm curious, do you think the extra cost to run this thing each day is worth the money? I suppose it helps the AC unit?

Thanks in advance!!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: what do you suggest?

I'd say it's worth it for the excess moisture to not mold everything. That's a lot of moisture coming out of the air. You must be in a humid area or having a high dewpoint now. If it's impacting areas of a/c use, then it does help for that since it's much easier to cool dry air than moist air.

I was thinking of starting mine up to help the a/c. We've had a bad heatwave with high dewpoints around here lately. I believe this is our 23rd day of the year of 90+ and it's been dewpoints of high 60s to 70s. My little a/c has been a trooper!


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RE: what do you suggest?

Well, in theory if the air is less humid you should be able to turn your AC up/heat down.

Then it's a matter of the energy costs to run the dehumidifier vs. the energy savings from less heat/AC use.

Is it a newer model? energy star?

Do you in fact adjust the thermostat for having it? If so, then I'd think it is worth it.

(although my response could be biased given the swampy, gross heat wave we're having around here)


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RE: what do you suggest?

The dehumidifier is a Goldstar, about 10 years old.
The AC is a Rheem and 1 year old.
The basement where the dehumidifier is located is not cooled or heated.
I have a feeling that the dehumidifier is taking a lot of electricity....
No, I haven't adjusted the thermostat setting as I can't tell a difference in the house.
That's why I'm just not sure.


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RE: what do you suggest?

Hi pawprint.

It seems to me wise to pull that humidity out of the air, for when warm air gets cooled, it won't hold as much water, so sheds some.

Many older style basements, that tended to be cooler in summer, often had trouble with paper getting damp, metal rusting and other things getting mouldy.

I started my dehumidifier in the basement the other day, and for a few days lately when it was quite hot, started the fan on the oil furnace to push cool basement air up into the house.

I'm not using an air conditioner.

I had one that I started using about three years ago, that hadn't been for a while. It cooled for about a day, then its effectiveness tailed off for about a day ... and then didn't cool.

I suspect that the seals were old and deteriorated, and let the coolant escape.

I have another, in the garage, that I tried last summer, and it worked, but I didn't install it - hard to find a window where it fits.

ole joyful


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RE: what do you suggest?

Im not sure if Im reading this wrong or not, but if you are using an air conditioner, you shouldnt need a dehumidifier. It sounds as if you are dehumidifying the air in the basement then running an air conditioner to cool off the room from the heat of the dehumidifer. Air conditioned air also will dehumidify your basement. (and costs less than a dehumidifer to run).


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RE: what do you suggest?

Running a dehumidifier in your basement when the weather is extremely humid will help your air conditioner to have less work to do, which is going to save you money. Any service technician I've ever talked to has always suggested we use a dehumidifier (middle of Kansas with 100F+ and extremely high humidity overnight) while using the air conditioner.

One "expert" said, any region with a summer dew point average above 55F needs dehumidification separate from cooling. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommends keeping the relative humidity in a home between 30-60% to limit the effects of many unwanted conditions and harmful household particles. In addition, the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology recommends keeping indoor relative humidity below 51% in order to deter dust mites and boost overall comfort of the home.

I can't see that you would find you need to readajust your thermostate - it's set at a certain temperature that you are comfortable with, and it will maintain that set temperature whether the air conditioner has to cycle once an hour, or once every 15 minutes to maintain it. It's how often does the air conditioner have to cycle that's costing you. Having the dehumidifier on will mean that the air conditioner won't have to cycle as often nor for as long, to reduce the temperature and humidity. That's where you save.

Even with the dehumidifier on in our basement, it's always several degrees cooler down there, so there is little to no effect from the small amount of heat it puts off during use.

Technicians have always told me it's better to keep the air conditioner on 24/7, than to turn it off during the evening and open the house up because the air conditioner has to work overtime to remove all that humidity each time the house is open.

I always keep the fan on the furnace/air conditioner on constantly to keep the air circulating, that's also suggested by the technician. The fan is cheap to run and helps to keep the rooms a constant, more comefortable temperature (summer or winter). If you find your house temperature gets several degrees warmer/cooler (in the winter) before the unit kicks on, you may be inclined to set it to a cooler/warmer temperature than is necessary. Try keeping the unit's fan on constantly.

-Grainlady


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RE: what do you suggest?

"The basement where the dehumidifier is located is not cooled or heated"

I would set the humidity level on the dehumidifier to 55 or so and let it cycle on and off as needed. Let that be your decision maker, as mold will not grow in <55% humidity.

There will be days when it doesn't run or runs very little, and days where it works OT to keep up. In the end, you'll have a mold free basement with a lower electric bill than if you kept it running constantly.


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RE: what do you suggest?

What Grainlady said is very true.

Also, you have to consider the heat index. An example: I live in Phoenix which is very very dry most of the year. Our heat index is usually several degrees lower than the actual temp due to the low humidity. Most places have a higher heat index (how it actually feels) than the actual temp.

We keep our temp at 76 during the summer. The last couple weeks has been very humid (monsoon season) and 76 just doesn't FEEL cool enough so we have to crank the a/c down a couple degrees.


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