Dehumidifier and humidity meter recommendations

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Mrxyz
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Dehumidifier and humidity meter recommendations

Post by Mrxyz » Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:13 am

Hi,
Any recommendations on dehumidifier and humidity meter recommendations for a basement?

The basement is around 1500 sq. feet and has 2 rooms. I do not know what the humidity levels are and need a humidity meter to confirm, but fairly sure it is higher than recommended. Also, the HVAC unit is in the unfinished part with louvered door leading to that area with adequate (calculated) air flow for HVAC and water heater.

Can I place the dehumidifier near/next to the HVAC unit where is also a drain ?

Thanks

mmmodem
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Re: Dehumidifier and humidity meter recommendations

Post by mmmodem » Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:22 am

Buy a dehumidifier that measures humidity levels and turns off and on automatically. Attach it to a drain and you can set it and forget it.

gtaylor
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Re: Dehumidifier and humidity meter recommendations

Post by gtaylor » Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:51 am

You can get a digital thermostat/humidistat at Lowes/HomeDepot. Look for one that shows current values and the min/max from the last 24 hours, this is good enough to put in in a few spots around the basement and understand what to do.

Humidistats in general aren't very good, so expect a variation of 10 or more between humidistats. More so if the one inside the dehumidifier is ill-positioned relative to airflow.

Putting it near the furnace shouldn't be an issue, but if your ducts are leaky, or the unit emits lots of heat in heating season, it would reduce humidity around itself. It mostly boils down to air circulation.

Be sure you can use gravity, or a pump, to have the unit drain itself continuously rather than having a unit with a bucket you have to empty. The bucket thing is no fun at all.

Is there any water coming into the basement periodically or continuously? Humidity control is moot if the place gets actually damp or wet a lot.

Dakotah
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Re: Dehumidifier and humidity meter recommendations

Post by Dakotah » Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:56 am

Yes, putting it next to your HVAC shouldn't be an issue.

Looking long-term, I'd recommend looking at getting a hybrid water heater (assuming your heater is electric). The hybrid heaters cool and dehumidify the surrounding spaces. I installed a hybrid water heater in my basement (~900 sq/ft) and have saw a major reduction in energy usage...not only because of the much more efficient water heater, but because I was able to retire the basement dehumidifier (dehumidifiers are major energy hogs).

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snackdog
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Re: Dehumidifier and humidity meter recommendations

Post by snackdog » Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:08 am

I just installed a Sensor Push and Wifi gateway. Fabulous product. It measures relative humidity and temperature every minute and provides graphs and data via your smart phone or tablet. Includes alerts. Maybe a bit of overkill for what you need. I'm testing it in a piano room for now but will move it to a vacation home basement with a dehumidifier to see what behavior occurs there.

https://www.amazon.com/SensorPush-Wirel ... 9637&psc=1

For dehumidifiers, just be aware of 1) how it will drain water (or not) and 2) noise levels. Ideally you want a quiet one connected to a drain.

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unclescrooge
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Re: Dehumidifier and humidity meter recommendations

Post by unclescrooge » Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:38 am

I just bought this product to measure my temperature and humidity levels

La Crosse Alerts Mobile 926-25101-GP Wireless Monitor System Set with Dry Probe

It comes with a gateway so I can measure the temperature when I'm not at home.

Constant monitoring helped me realize that the dryer vent was leaking...i went to take a look and realized the 30 ft vent wasn't even exhausting outdoors. It was 3 inches too short!

Mrxyz
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Re: Dehumidifier and humidity meter recommendations

Post by Mrxyz » Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:22 am

gtaylor wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:51 am
You can get a digital thermostat/humidistat at Lowes/HomeDepot. Look for one that shows current values and the min/max from the last 24 hours, this is good enough to put in in a few spots around the basement and understand what to do.

Humidistats in general aren't very good, so expect a variation of 10 or more between humidistats. More so if the one inside the dehumidifier is ill-positioned relative to airflow.

Putting it near the furnace shouldn't be an issue, but if your ducts are leaky, or the unit emits lots of heat in heating season, it would reduce humidity around itself. It mostly boils down to air circulation.

Be sure you can use gravity, or a pump, to have the unit drain itself continuously rather than having a unit with a bucket you have to empty. The bucket thing is no fun at all.

Is there any water coming into the basement periodically or continuously? Humidity control is moot if the place gets actually damp or wet a lot.
So, there is no water leak and (most) of the joists are sealed well.
Thanks for the digital meter recommendations. Will look into those.
Ducts are probably somewhat leaky. I cannot seal them all as they are within structure. But there is very good air circulation.
Will make sure the drain method is with a tube.

Mrxyz
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Re: Dehumidifier and humidity meter recommendations

Post by Mrxyz » Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:27 am

Dakotah wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:56 am
Yes, putting it next to your HVAC shouldn't be an issue.

Looking long-term, I'd recommend looking at getting a hybrid water heater (assuming your heater is electric). The hybrid heaters cool and dehumidify the surrounding spaces. I installed a hybrid water heater in my basement (~900 sq/ft) and have saw a major reduction in energy usage...not only because of the much more efficient water heater, but because I was able to retire the basement dehumidifier (dehumidifiers are major energy hogs).
Water heater replaced last year but it is not a hybrid. Did not know about the savings and that it can dehumidify also!
snackdog wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:08 am
I just installed a Sensor Push and Wifi gateway. Fabulous product. It measures relative humidity and temperature every minute and provides graphs and data via your smart phone or tablet. Includes alerts. Maybe a bit of overkill for what you need. I'm testing it in a piano room for now but will move it to a vacation home basement with a dehumidifier to see what behavior occurs there.

https://www.amazon.com/SensorPush-Wirel ... 9637&psc=1

For dehumidifiers, just be aware of 1) how it will drain water (or not) and 2) noise levels. Ideally you want a quiet one connected to a drain.
This is good information.
I have an Ecobee thermostat and absolutely love it.
Plan to set up Simplisafe next also.
unclescrooge wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:38 am
I just bought this product to measure my temperature and humidity levels

La Crosse Alerts Mobile 926-25101-GP Wireless Monitor System Set with Dry Probe

It comes with a gateway so I can measure the temperature when I'm not at home.

Constant monitoring helped me realize that the dryer vent was leaking...i went to take a look and realized the 30 ft vent wasn't even exhausting outdoors. It was 3 inches too short!
Thanks - I need to review this.

Some dehumidifiers come with Wifi compatibility.
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Frigidaire-70- ... 1000490425
I do not know if practically they work as promised.

Swansea
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Re: Dehumidifier and humidity meter recommendations

Post by Swansea » Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:51 am

I bought a 50 pt Frigidaire unit in June. It's performance was totally inadequate. The best it could do was lower the % by 8 or 10 %, and that's if it ran continuously.
On the positive side, the manufacturer gave me a full refund when I complained.

JohnF
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Re: Dehumidifier and humidity meter recommendations

Post by JohnF » Thu Oct 04, 2018 12:13 pm

I’m more than satisfied with the following in a 1,600 square foot basement –

Meters
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0013 ... UTF8&psc=1

Dehumidifier
https://www.sylvane.com/santa-fe-compac ... gLAlPD_BwE

Dehumidifier Controller
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001O ... UTF8&psc=1

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unclescrooge
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Re: Dehumidifier and humidity meter recommendations

Post by unclescrooge » Thu Oct 04, 2018 2:15 pm

Mrxyz wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:27 am

Some dehumidifiers come with Wifi compatibility.
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Frigidaire-70- ... 1000490425
I do not know if practically they work as promised.
I would rather spend the extra money for a unit with a pump.

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unclescrooge
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Re: Dehumidifier and humidity meter recommendations

Post by unclescrooge » Thu Oct 04, 2018 2:20 pm

JohnF wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 12:13 pm
I’m more than satisfied with the following in a 1,600 square foot basement –

Meters
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0013 ... UTF8&psc=1

Dehumidifier
https://www.sylvane.com/santa-fe-compac ... gLAlPD_BwE

Dehumidifier Controller
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001O ... UTF8&psc=1
Interesting.

Where did the water drain to? How often do you change the filters?

JohnF
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Re: Dehumidifier and humidity meter recommendations

Post by JohnF » Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:20 pm

unclescrooge wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 2:20 pm
JohnF wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 12:13 pm
I’m more than satisfied with the following in a 1,600 square foot basement –

Meters
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0013 ... UTF8&psc=1

Dehumidifier
https://www.sylvane.com/santa-fe-compac ... gLAlPD_BwE

Dehumidifier Controller
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001O ... UTF8&psc=1
Interesting.

Where did the water drain to? How often do you change the filters?
Water drains into AC condensation pump. Change filter once a year.

Before dehumidifier basement humidity was in the upper 70’s during the summer. Now with dehumidifier running less than twelve hours per day humidity ranges from 55 to 60 percent. Probably should set it lower, but basement smells much better now.

random_walker_77
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Re: Dehumidifier and humidity meter recommendations

Post by random_walker_77 » Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:24 pm

hygrometer's aren't very accurate and are usually +/- 5%

I actually once bought 4 of these inexpensive digital meter's off of ebay and was pleased to note that they all agreed with each other within 1% and generally agreed with a couple analog ones I own. So now I have one in the main shower rooms and also next to the thermostats on each floor. For about a dollar each, they're worth keeping around:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Gadget-Monitor ... L&LH_BIN=1

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unclescrooge
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Re: Dehumidifier and humidity meter recommendations

Post by unclescrooge » Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:36 am

JohnF wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:20 pm
unclescrooge wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 2:20 pm
JohnF wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 12:13 pm
I’m more than satisfied with the following in a 1,600 square foot basement –

Meters
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0013 ... UTF8&psc=1

Dehumidifier
https://www.sylvane.com/santa-fe-compac ... gLAlPD_BwE

Dehumidifier Controller
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001O ... UTF8&psc=1
Interesting.

Where did the water drain to? How often do you change the filters?
Water drains into AC condensation pump. Change filter once a year.

Before dehumidifier basement humidity was in the upper 70’s during the summer. Now with dehumidifier running less than twelve hours per day humidity ranges from 55 to 60 percent. Probably should set it lower, but basement smells much better now.
Is this a pump that attached to the furnace?

gd
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Re: Dehumidifier and humidity meter recommendations

Post by gd » Fri Oct 05, 2018 8:00 am

I found the humidity settings on at least some of my low-end dehumidifiers were unconvincing, no way to anticipate it other than buy the unit and see what happens. Best for me was just a timed duty cycle (which not all provide) monitored long term with a separate sensor put somewhere else in basement. I'm a big fan of the La Crosse products, but any cheapo hardware store temp/humidity sensor will work adequately.

If you're frugal with electricity, be prepared for a surprise on your first electric bill. Don't even consider using the bucket, they're all way too small to make the units look compact. I avoided my mild need for one by switching from gas to a hybrid electric hot water heater, which is basically a tank with the same device mounted on top optimized to produce heat (thus cooling basement) and condensing water as a byproduct. Dehumidifiers are optimized to condense water, and heat as a byproduct.

3feetpete
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Re: Dehumidifier and humidity meter recommendations

Post by 3feetpete » Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:24 am

I bought a Friedrich dehumidifier and it dehumidified my basement adequately and ran for years. I mounted a couple of shelf brackets on a wall and drained it it to the laundry drain. I could have drained it into the air conditioner drain if the laundry drain wasn't available. Friedrich also makes units that have a built in pump so you could set it on the floor and pump the condensate up to a drain. You can set the desired humidity and also read the current humidity and temperature. The filter is easily removed and cleaned. I do it once or twice a year.

I also have a Friedrich dehumidifier at my beach condo. It too has worked well for years. Since I only need to dehumidify my condo when I'm away I set it on the kitchen counter and drain it into the sink.

Neither seemed to make a noticeable difference in my electric bill.

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unclescrooge
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Re: Dehumidifier and humidity meter recommendations

Post by unclescrooge » Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:28 am

3feetpete wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:24 am
I bought a Friedrich dehumidifier and it dehumidified my basement adequately and ran for years. I mounted a couple of shelf brackets on a wall and drained it it to the laundry drain. I could have drained it into the air conditioner drain if the laundry drain wasn't available. Friedrich also makes units that have a built in pump so you could set it on the floor and pump the condensate up to a drain. You can set the desired humidity and also read the current humidity and temperature. The filter is easily removed and cleaned. I do it once or twice a year.

I also have a Friedrich dehumidifier at my beach condo. It too has worked well for years. Since I only need to dehumidify my condo when I'm away I set it on the kitchen counter and drain it into the sink.

Neither seemed to make a noticeable difference in my electric bill.
This may sound like a stupid question, but I'm terribly non-handy. Is it difficult to drain the humidifier into an existing drain?

Also, if putting a dehumidifier in a crawl space, do I need to put down a vapor barrier and seal the vents?

I live in SoCal and the crawl space is a constant 72F with 64% humidity. I have a furnace and gas water heater in the crawlspace too.

carolinaman
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Re: Dehumidifier and humidity meter recommendations

Post by carolinaman » Fri Oct 05, 2018 1:05 pm

unclescrooge wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:28 am
3feetpete wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:24 am
This may sound like a stupid question, but I'm terribly non-handy. Is it difficult to drain the humidifier into an existing drain?

Also, if putting a dehumidifier in a crawl space, do I need to put down a vapor barrier and seal the vents?

I live in SoCal and the crawl space is a constant 72F with 64% humidity. I have a furnace and gas water heater in the crawlspace too.
I live in NC and have a crawl space. If my temp and humidity were as you describe, I would never have a need for dehumidifier. Our problem is that in the summer most days are 90+ degrees and humidity is often over 80 per cent. It does not get that hot in the crawl but the humidity gets sucked into it.

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unclescrooge
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Re: Dehumidifier and humidity meter recommendations

Post by unclescrooge » Fri Oct 05, 2018 5:55 pm

carolinaman wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 1:05 pm
unclescrooge wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:28 am
3feetpete wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:24 am
This may sound like a stupid question, but I'm terribly non-handy. Is it difficult to drain the humidifier into an existing drain?

Also, if putting a dehumidifier in a crawl space, do I need to put down a vapor barrier and seal the vents?

I live in SoCal and the crawl space is a constant 72F with 64% humidity. I have a furnace and gas water heater in the crawlspace too.
I live in NC and have a crawl space. If my temp and humidity were as you describe, I would never have a need for dehumidifier. Our problem is that in the summer most days are 90+ degrees and humidity is often over 80 per cent. It does not get that hot in the crawl but the humidity gets sucked into it.
Good to know.

The main issue I'm trying to solve is excess humidty in the finished basement, that shares a common wall with the crawl space.

Is it possible to set up a humidifier in the crawl space that has ducts into the finished basement?

I tried calling a so called expert, but his solution was to spend $11,500 to make my crawl space look like a clean room. :shock:

Mrxyz
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Re: Dehumidifier and humidity meter recommendations

Post by Mrxyz » Sat Oct 06, 2018 4:19 pm

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Frigidaire-70- ... 1000490425

I just bought this one online and will be shipped to me. Lets hope it works.
Thanks

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unclescrooge
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Re: Dehumidifier and humidity meter recommendations

Post by unclescrooge » Sat Oct 06, 2018 4:59 pm

Mrxyz wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 4:19 pm
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Frigidaire-70- ... 1000490425

I just bought this one online and will be shipped to me. Lets hope it works.
Thanks
Why do need the wifi capability? Isn't this something you set and forget?

Mrxyz
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Re: Dehumidifier and humidity meter recommendations

Post by Mrxyz » Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:48 pm

unclescrooge wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 4:59 pm
Mrxyz wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 4:19 pm
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Frigidaire-70- ... 1000490425

I just bought this one online and will be shipped to me. Lets hope it works.
Thanks
Why do need the wifi capability? Isn't this something you set and forget?
Good question. I do not know exactly how it works. Does it 'tell me' when it starts to run and when it stops?

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unclescrooge
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Re: Dehumidifier and humidity meter recommendations

Post by unclescrooge » Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:53 pm

Mrxyz wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:48 pm
unclescrooge wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 4:59 pm
Mrxyz wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 4:19 pm
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Frigidaire-70- ... 1000490425

I just bought this one online and will be shipped to me. Lets hope it works.
Thanks
Why do need the wifi capability? Isn't this something you set and forget?
Good question. I do not know exactly how it works. Does it 'tell me' when it starts to run and when it stops?
No clue. But why do you care?

Shouldn't you be more concerned whether it maintains your desired humidty level regardless of how long it runs.

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whodidntante
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Re: Dehumidifier and humidity meter recommendations

Post by whodidntante » Sat Oct 06, 2018 8:10 pm

I select based on dehumidifier capacity (pints per hour) but then next look for one that can operate at low temperature, and will automatically resume after a power outage. Most are poor quality, but the cheap one I am using now has been going strong for six years. That might be a record.

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unclescrooge
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Re: Dehumidifier and humidity meter recommendations

Post by unclescrooge » Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:27 pm

whodidntante wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 8:10 pm
I select based on dehumidifier capacity (pints per hour) but then next look for one that can operate at low temperature, and will automatically resume after a power outage. Most are poor quality, but the cheap one I am using now has been going strong for six years. That might be a record.
Which brand is it?

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