Author Topic: Portable dehumidifier?  (Read 3477 times)

rawsted

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Portable dehumidifier?
« on: November 24, 2014, 01:13:07 PM »
I live in the swamps of Florida. Right now, in late November, we're between cold fronts and the outdoor humidity is 73%. This is not too worrisome, and my energy bill should be relatively low for the next few months as I don't see a need to run the heat hardly at all during our "cold season"

However, I'm worried about next summer. With temperatures in the 90-100F range and humidity at 100% for months on end, both my sanity as well as the condition of my dwelling are at stake. I'm concerned that a 82F thermostat setting will not remove enough humidity from inside my place to either (a) be anywhere near comfortable or (b) adequately discourage mold/mildew growth.

With that, would I be better served at all by keeping the thermostat at 82F and purchasing/running a portable dehumidifier for the summer months? My condo is a 2/2 at 1531 sq. ft., and the A/C unit is a 2003 Trane. Or would a better option be to just just set the thermostat a little lower, say in the 78-80 range?

Any insights greatly appreciated.

Villanelle

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Re: Portable dehumidifier?
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2014, 01:24:16 PM »
When I lived in Japan, I tried to use a dehumidifier to cut down on A/C usage.  The problem I found was that the machine generated a lot of heat, so while it cut humidity, it raised the temps so I was just as uncomfortable.    You'd probably also need more than one dehumdifier for a 1530sqft place.

That said, I did zero research, so maybe different units don't have quite this problem.  I got the dehumidifier free from the military, so I used the one they handed me.  It was brand new, so age wasn't a problem, but I have no idea of the quality. 

In all my closets, I used large desiccants and a few corners that I worried about. This might be an option.  You can buy these that are about the size of a 16oz can, and when they are full of moisture, you pop them in the oven to cook out all the moisture and then reuse them.  I used a disposable kind that worked until a puddle of water collected on the top, and then they were tossed.  They were cheap and worked well. 
« Last Edit: November 24, 2014, 02:46:58 PM by Villanelle »

rawsted

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Re: Portable dehumidifier?
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2014, 01:30:18 PM »
Interesting -- I hadn't considered the potential side effects of a dehumidifier, as I'm really not all that familiar with them. I'll definitely look into the desiccants when the time comes though, thanks!

Rangifer

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Re: Portable dehumidifier?
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2014, 03:23:48 PM »
Just use the A/C. You'd need hundreds worth of dessicant to get the job done in a space that big, or multiple dehumidifiers which are pretty noisy (most of them run the fan 24/7).

highcountry

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Re: Portable dehumidifier?
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2014, 03:30:09 PM »
I am not familiar with hot humidity, but lived in the pacific northwest for over ten years.  I loved my dehumidifier, and wish I had bought one years earlier.  I had a soleus air dehumidifier, and it worked great, and was actually pretty quiet.  I recommend it strongly.

The Borgs

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Re: Portable dehumidifier?
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2014, 03:50:03 PM »
We're in Australia, outside humidity is 80% plus and it's pretty hot. We've been in our little apartment 8 years now and early on I just used the little dessicants (damp rid). After having to repaint twice due to mould on walls, wash all of our soft furnishings a few times (losing some entirely they were so bad) and going through rather a lot of furry shoes, we got a dehumidifier.

Yes, our electricity bill has gone up and yes running it does make the place a bit warmer. But it's been 12 months now and nothing has gone mouldy, I'm not cleaning mould from furniture either (none of which can be good for our health) so we're happy. On very hot days we alternate between use of that and use of the air con, the dehumidifier does a much better job of it than the air con. And I still keep some hanging dessicant in the wardrobe (even though we don't close the doors on it) since the air doesn't circulate so well in there.

rawsted

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Re: Portable dehumidifier?
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2014, 07:24:00 AM »
We're in Australia, outside humidity is 80% plus and it's pretty hot. We've been in our little apartment 8 years now and early on I just used the little dessicants (damp rid). After having to repaint twice due to mould on walls, wash all of our soft furnishings a few times (losing some entirely they were so bad) and going through rather a lot of furry shoes, we got a dehumidifier.

Yes, our electricity bill has gone up and yes running it does make the place a bit warmer. But it's been 12 months now and nothing has gone mouldy, I'm not cleaning mould from furniture either (none of which can be good for our health) so we're happy. On very hot days we alternate between use of that and use of the air con, the dehumidifier does a much better job of it than the air con. And I still keep some hanging dessicant in the wardrobe (even though we don't close the doors on it) since the air doesn't circulate so well in there.
This is pretty much along the lines of what I had assumed would be the case. I suppose I'll just have to do some experimentation next summer and, if it seems warranted, I'll pick up a dehumidifier, otherwise I'll just roll with the desiccant. Thanks everyone!

Villanelle

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Re: Portable dehumidifier?
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2014, 09:25:04 AM »
To be clear, I didn't use the desiccants to dehumidify my house. :lol  I thought that went without saying.  Yes, that would take hundreds. 

I used them in places with poor air circulation, where the risk of mold or mildew seemed highest.  I had one in each of our three closets and one in a storage area. 

They were simply to spot treat worrisome areas, which was an even bigger concern for us because we had no central a/c and pretty much never ran the units in any space except the master bedroom and then living room.  Of course they won't make the air in the house feel more comfortable, but then can prevent mold in places that don't have much circulating air and don't get as much of that dry A/C air when it is on. 

rawsted

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Re: Portable dehumidifier?
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2014, 04:26:57 PM »
Right, I suppose I should have been more clear. I'd roll with the desiccant in high-risk areas like those you mentioned, and flick the t-stat down a few degrees ><