dehumidifiers: what is reliable?

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Old 10-15-08, 10:02 AM
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dehumidifiers: what is reliable?

can anyone recommend quiet and reliable brands? ill pay more if i have to but a few years ago when i got home depot and lowes purchases, the things didnt even work correctly. Ran them over a day and didnt even fill up (with the moisture and mold problem i have (70% humidity, it should have to be emptied 100 x a day lol)

it must have a drain connector for my laundry room drain since I wont be emptying this thing out as often as it would need to be

Also, does a machine 'work around corners'. My laundry room (my boiler is in there too if it matters) connects to the kitchen and hallway but the dining room and living room are around a few bends. So will this work? someone told me to get 2 machines but then i'd have to empty the one out in the living room and i worry how loud it would be. Also the bedrooms are far so I'm wondering how far the 'reach' is?

Does it matter how many pints they advertise? And energy efficiency is top priority as it will be running a lot and PA has 50% electric rates hikes next year.

return to local store is paramount given my past experience so i know i'm limiting myself to the chain stores for the most part. Unless plumbing stores maybe carry these?

any and all advice appreciated!

edit, i see on some models the fan never turns off, isnt that wasteful?
 
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Old 10-15-08, 12:16 PM
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Sorry to say you can't get a good unit off the shelve. You will have to order one if you would like to buy a good unit. Can you install a unit that does the hole home?
 
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Old 10-15-08, 12:32 PM
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what kind of unit would do an entire house? That sounds like it would be a monster (i dont have ductwork at all in the house)

even for a room unit, what brands on order are you recommending?
 
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Old 10-15-08, 01:45 PM
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These are the best on the market. More Pints per KW
http://www.thermastor.com/Santa-Fe/
 
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Old 10-15-08, 03:17 PM
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1200 bucks..ouch....i think i wouldnt even have the height for it.

Plus they seem to say it's for the basement not a house.
 
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Old 10-15-08, 07:07 PM
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Yes they have ductable units that will do a home.
 
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Old 10-16-08, 04:47 AM
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well i dont want to run ducts just for the sake of dehumidifying so ill have to stick to a room unit for now
 
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Old 10-16-08, 08:39 AM
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I bought an LG 65 pint for around $200 and it does a great job in my basement. It is VERY loud, but the basement isn't finished, so the noise is irrelevant for me. I end up dumping the 22pint bucket out 2 times a day until I get the humidity down nice and low, and then its more like once a day. If you can find a way to hook up the hose to drain into a sump-pump or some other drain, do it and save yourself the hassle of dumping out that bucket.
 
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Old 10-16-08, 08:47 AM
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Lucky,
Don't no where you are but if you are running AC it should be able to keep RH around 50%. Make sure bath fans run for at least 20 minutes after showering. Do you have a basement or crawlspace. These could be causing your high RH. Off the shelf dehumidifiers do a very poor job of removing RH below 68-70 degrees, and there average life span is only about 5 years. Plus they are energy hogs. If you are looking for energy efficiency, extra capacity for none load times, and a dehumidifier that has merv 10 filtration and a life space more than double the off the shelf units the santa fe is the way to go.
 
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Old 10-16-08, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by dclark8822 View Post
I bought an LG 65 pint for around $200 and it does a great job in my basement. It is VERY loud, but the basement isn't finished, so the noise is irrelevant for me. I end up dumping the 22pint bucket out 2 times a day until I get the humidity down nice and low, and then its more like once a day. If you can find a way to hook up the hose to drain into a sump-pump or some other drain, do it and save yourself the hassle of dumping out that bucket.
http://www.amazon.com/Soleus-CFM-25E.../dp/B0002PCT0C

hmm the soleus on here seems to have rave reviews about being quiet. I have no problem putting a semi noisy one in the utility room where the drain is but if i need one in the living room i do need a quieter one. (and maybe will just run a 30ft hose across my house to the utility room lol)

and does more pints mean removing faster or holding more? It's honestly moot for 'quickness' as this thing will be running a lot regardless i'm sure. I have 70% in the house now. Thanks for the warning,,will stay away from LG

Originally Posted by airman.1994 View Post
Lucky,
Don't no where you are but if you are running AC it should be able to keep RH around 50%. Make sure bath fans run for at least 20 minutes after showering. Do you have a basement or crawlspace. These could be causing your high RH. Off the shelf dehumidifiers do a very poor job of removing RH below 68-70 degrees, and there average life span is only about 5 years. Plus they are energy hogs. If you are looking for energy efficiency, extra capacity for none load times, and a dehumidifier that has merv 10 filtration and a life space more than double the off the shelf units the santa fe is the way to go.
AC is only a window unit in a room i need it in in the summer and of course from sept to april/may, no AC needed in PA.

I have a cemented crawlspace (no appliances or access to above) about 3ft high with only 2 small basement windows on the north side for access from outside

the reason i need to go locally is i dont want to pay shipping back for a defective unit. I went thru 2 units a few years ago at the chain stores and thankfully just going back and returning them was ez. If i order anything thru the web, i fear i may be stuck with high return charges if it doesnt work out. I see the smaller soleus i posted above is quiet and somewhat reliable using 220W. I dont see any room units on the santa fe site..just behemoths I have no extra space for a bigger unit that needs to be 'installed'.

plus no one has definitely stated that even a big unit will get all round my hallways to my main rooms etc (assuming installed in utility room)

edit i see the compact santa fe is Width: 21"
Height: 12"
Depth: 12"
Weight: 55 lbs

doesnt seem too bad. like the other one.

what is your person experience with this type of unit and 1000 bucks is still a far cry from the 200ish or so from home depot. Can you 'sell me' on the unit or benefits of this vs off the shelf? Also it says The Sante Fe Compact was engineered for crawlspaces, and the temperature and air flow issues that they present. So does that mean it would be noisy or not appropriate for living quarters?
 

Last edited by luckydriver; 10-16-08 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 10-16-08, 10:55 AM
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here's the layout of my house...would putting a whole house one in the utility room get to the dining room/kitchen/living room? i know it probably wont suck air from the bedrooms. Keep in mind the utility room has a boiler in as well. Does that make a difference

 
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Old 10-16-08, 11:30 AM
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I do IAQ investigations, duct cleaning. Mold remediation, and testing, so I don't work for any dehumidifier company. I would check out the RH in the crawl space. In pa you are in a no load time. which means with out cooling or heating there is a need for a dehumidifier. The Santa- FE is not much bigger than any cheap dehumidifier. Plus it will give you Merv 12 filtration, and extra capacity in no load times. The # speak for themselves. This is one of the companys that we sell to my customers they are great units.
 
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Old 10-16-08, 11:33 AM
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still think Id cheak the RH in the crawl or go with a ductable unit.
 
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Old 10-16-08, 11:36 AM
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ok what's merv filtration?

and will it be affected running 8 ft from my boiler? I get tons of dust in there now and while i am getting a new boiler soon, i dont know if that will 'clean up' that utility room or not. I just dont want an overtaxed filter (ie that is the dirtiest room)

And what does extra capacity mean? taking out water faster/better etc?

and then there is the question of whether or not this will suck air from all the other rooms. If not, no point in spending the money to just dehumdify my furnace room. The santa fe manual states

The SANTA FE COMPACT can be installed in a variety of locations to meet the dehumidification needs, but should be installed directly in the area to be dehumidified. ---- so does this mean it wouldnt suck air from all over the house?


I forget if you posted in my mold thread (since you said you are a remediator) but will go check there now
 
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Old 10-16-08, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by airman.1994 View Post
still think Id cheak the RH in the crawl or go with a ductable unit.
with standing greywater in there sometimes, i'm pretty sure i'm dealing with near 100% in the crawl (plus if you saw the mold pics you'd die

but it wouldnt hurt to toss down my thermometer for the heck of it

are you trying to see if i dehumidified the crawl, the upstairs would get better?) See, until the crawl is sealed up and fixed, i just didnt think it would make sense to toss a dehumidifier down there...it would be working hard for 'nothing' with more water coming in every rain.
 
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Old 10-16-08, 12:51 PM
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The crawl is where the dehumidifier should go. This will take care of the hole home. If you have standing water that is the main reason the RH is so high in the home. Fix the water in the crawl, take care of the mold and put a dehumidifier in and you should be good to go.
 
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Old 10-17-08, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by airman.1994 View Post
The crawl is where the dehumidifier should go. This will take care of the hole home. If you have standing water that is the main reason the RH is so high in the home. Fix the water in the crawl, take care of the mold and put a dehumidifier in and you should be good to go.
ok but long term (hopefully by spring) ill be having the C/S all fixed up and insulated...then the unit wouldnt have any affect on the upstairs. I just dont wanna foam/fiberglass up the C/S and then 'waste' the conditioning setup down there.

so i'm thinking just putting it in my utility room on my main level to make that more livable. If perchance the upstairs becomes not humid as a result of my insulating, i can always move it down to the crawl. But starting downstairs and moving it up will be more difficult.
 
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Old 10-17-08, 02:20 PM
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Fiber glass will have no effect on the moisture getting into the home. Also a off the shelf dehumidifier will do very little RH removal in a crawl space. All you will be doing is pulling the moisture from the crawl to your home with your set up. It will be to cool for it to remove RH. To keep RH under control you need to close vents install a 6mill VB on ground and up wall to the dirt level. Overlap seams by two feet and seal. Then install a dehumidifier if RH is over 55%
 
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Old 10-17-08, 06:00 PM
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I was thinking of doing closed foam but they havent gotten back to me to come for an estimate. From what i hear, it totally closes off the crawl and nothing will get upstairs. So that will make the crawl its own space.

if that is true, then i dont see how putting the unit in the crawl is the best and think i should put it upstairs. I just hate to go thru the extra wiring and drainage issue in the crawl if all i do is seal it off then upstairs remains humid.

i do understand that until there is a permanent barrier that ill be pulling up wetness from the C/s to the main level...but upstairs is so bad id have to think it would be best to have the unit there doing 'direct' dehumidifying of the living space.

Plus what are the chances of putting the unit down there dehumidifying the upstairs?
 
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Old 10-17-08, 07:06 PM
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Closed cell foam will seal up the crawl. Have them put a flash coating on all wood not just between the joist. Open cell will still let the RH in. Foam will be about 3 times what fiber glass will cost.

Plus what are the chances of putting the unit down there dehumidifying the upstairs?
Your RH is coming from the CS remove it there and upstairs should correct itself.
 
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Old 10-18-08, 04:27 AM
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extending that theory...if the crawl is sealed you are saying no unit needed upstairs...

and if i get around the house properly graded and prevent water from getting in, i may not even need it in the crawl!

so sounds like in a few months i may not even need the thing and should wait on even getting one. However, i really want something short term as i'm really tired of all this dampness. So i'm stuck in the middle.

and yes on the phone i told the guy i want 100% joist coverage or i wont bother foaming. Just waiting for a call to come out
 
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Old 10-18-08, 06:56 AM
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Once crawl is done there should be no need upstairs as long as bath, kitchen, and HVAC system are working right.
 
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Old 10-19-08, 09:41 AM
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well i am getting a new boiler this year so maybe that will help

and id love it if curing bottom cures the top

I just wonder if i can design my crawl window to feed thru pipe, in total i need space for 5 rg6 cables plus any hose for the dehumidifer...right now the cables plus hose for sump comes out the window, thus it's always 'cracked' a bit...any idea if that compact unit just plugs right in a standard outlet? I have one right outside the c/s window on the side of my house.

i assume i can place the unit up front where it's near my window? thats the easiest access vs dragging it back to some corner or the middle of the space

OH there is one other thing i forgot to mention...i have 3 'rooms' in the crawl. 2 are approx 50x20 and between them is one that's probably 50x10...and separating rooms is solid block wall all except for a 2 ft empty space so you can crawl thru (a door if you will)

Will this matter at all?
 
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Old 10-20-08, 09:06 AM
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i just realized about the filters on the unit...change/clean every 6 months. I do not want to get under that crawl every 6 months...
it's not clear in the manual how to change the filter..would it be possible to put the unit close enough to my window so i could just reach in and do it? (assuming the unit is hanging from the joints of course and it reachable)

any chance i could just put the unit upstairs and run a duct thru my floor? I just really cant see me getting down that C/S 2x a year
 
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Old 10-20-08, 07:41 PM
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You could do both! But having the unit close to the center would be best.
 
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Old 10-21-08, 05:27 AM
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any idea if the Compact unit plugs right into a standard outlet or must be hardwired? And if you do a remote duct coming out of the top, does the air from the other area actually get sucked thru there to be dehumidified or is the purpose of the duct to let you know that hey, it may be 45% in here, but where the duct is is still 70% and keep on running!
 
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Old 10-21-08, 07:46 AM
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Yes will be a standard plug. If the duct is sealed then only the air from where the duct terminates will be pulled in .
 
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Old 10-21-08, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by airman.1994 View Post
If the duct is sealed then only the air from where the duct terminates will be pulled in .
I dont understand this statement. "if the duct is sealed"

So let me walk thru what i think it means

At this moment in time ( you know i change my mind minute to minute lol) i'm seriously thinking of installing it in the living space if i can be assured that running a duct thru my floor will dehumidify the crawl effectively . But I'm confused on ducting. The manual says nothing about it and per the pic, there are no holes except the front and rear of the unit. So if i'm understanding ducting, it means i have a choice of just sucking in air from the house, or else running a hose from the intake of the unit to the crawl thru my floor (if that's even possible for me) and that crawl will be dehumidified. I realize you said the humidity should travel to the dry air so in theory as the crawl dries out the upstairs should dry out too. Just wanted to make sure i'm understanding this. And in theory if the upstairs was ever too 'wet' i could just unhook the duct to the crawl and it would just work fine upstairs for a while.

Plus installing up in the living quarters would be EZ maintainance, EZ drainage and EZ plugging in (downstairs would be hard to change filter 2 times a year (not getting younger here), hard to hook up a hose outside (purchase of condensate pump and no way to really monitor if still is hooked up right) and would need new outlet (i dont do electric work so would have to pay someone to come in and do that in the crawl, which they may not even wanna do because the mold is so bad)

of course i do wonder how loud this thing is and maybe i would regret utility room installation (but maybe my boiler next to it would be louder lol)

edit: i just read in the manual it's operable down to 45F. I never went down there in the middle of winter. It could be 60 or 20 down there. I have no idea. So it almost sounds a bit risky for me to buy this until we get into the coldest part of winter and i take the temp down there...what do you think?
 

Last edited by luckydriver; 10-21-08 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 10-21-08, 11:38 AM
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i found this page and now am a bit worried about flue gas:

http://www.iaqsource.com/article.php...ducting/?id=28

Notice that in both cases a pressure relief vent has been added in the wall to prevent any unwanted positive or negative pressure buildup in the space where the dehumidifier is. If your dehumidifier shares a utility room with a furnace or boiler - negative pressure (a vacuum) could potentially draw flue gasses into the space, which is not desirable.

---------------------

from the pic on that page it sounds like they are talking about an enclosed space. Is that right? my utility room is about 12x12 and does have a boiler in it. Since there are 2 open 30 inch doors, can i assume i dont have to worry about negative pressure?

---------------

separately: i see that they are selling an 8 inch duct for the santa fe. By definition that means i have to find an 8 inch space to run a duct down into the crawl i guess. If so, then i'm not sure i want to make a hole that big in whatever floor I do find that I am able to. So now my idea of keeping the unit upstairs may be a bad one. See how nuts this is Any chance that can be somehow reduced to 4 maybe?

now i'm back to probably installing in the crawl and having to buy a condensate pump. But maybe i can just run a heavy duty extension cord to my outside outlet instead of paying an electrician to add an outlet. And that still means crawling under 2x a year to do the filter though. Sigh. But i guess if the mold and water are gone it wont be soooo bad
 
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Old 10-21-08, 04:19 PM
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Hang on, Your taking on way to much info! 1st your duct work needs to be sealed. That means any joint needs to be sealed the end should be open. 2nd you can not make a negative pressure if you are bringing in the same amount of air that is being exhausted. A dehumidifier can not do this if duct is sealed. There is no way you can reduce it down to a 4inch! 7in may be. If there is not a lot of dust you might be able to go longer than 6 months.
 
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Old 10-21-08, 05:11 PM
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yes i know it's info overload but i think the main point now is that i dont know how cold the crawl gets in winter so installing it down there sounds like it could be dangerous

i dont need to wreck a 1000 machine!

so lets say it's not ducted and it's next to my boiler..will that be ok ? i think so per your post about equal pressure

also i dont want to install in the crawl until all the mold is scrubbed off and any insulation job is done...i think that is wise dont you?
 
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Old 10-21-08, 09:00 PM
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First mold will not hurt this. All you would have to do is rinse it off with some mild cleaner in the spring. 2nd RH should be lower in the winter so unit will most likely not run in winter.
 
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Old 10-22-08, 04:45 AM
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i have 60-70 ish % year round You should see my windows every morning..2-3 inches of wet on the bottom of them (even the new ones)

and i think the unit would be a good purchase even in my boiler room for now sitting on the floor near the drain....the crawl can stay a mess all winter but at least upstairs would be dryer or more comfortable. And maybe some of the RH downstairs would even get fixed by it sucking up thru the floors. Only worry is noise..no one has told me anything about noise..any ideas on that?

and even if turns out to be the wrong choice, i can probably sell it for a decent price ..i hope
 

Last edited by luckydriver; 10-22-08 at 05:03 AM.
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Old 10-22-08, 12:44 PM
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I no this will not help but I do not know the DP on the unit but it is as quite as any store unit.
 
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Old 10-22-08, 03:40 PM
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ok i can handle store unit's noise..had one for a day here before.

so, after all these questions, can you think of a reason why i couldnt put this Compact in the boiler room and let it dry out my living space?
 
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Old 10-22-08, 05:31 PM
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No reason you can't! Just don't think it is the best place to put it. Think it would be better in the crawl.
 
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Old 10-23-08, 04:53 AM
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agreed but i'm just not up to installing electric/pump and crawling around all the mold at this time

so will this prevent all that water from gathering on the bottom of my windows every morning
 
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Old 10-23-08, 07:07 AM
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It should but don't know how much moisture is coming from crawl. Also in areas of country that have condensation on windows in winter is a sign of not enough ventilation. But with the water problems you have in the crawl this is most likely the biggest cause of the condensation.
 
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Old 10-23-08, 07:35 AM
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i had a blower door test done and i can assure you all my woodwork under my windows is providing tons of ventilation (need to get me to home depot for some caulk!)

So i agree, it's from the crawl.

next question...who's the cheapest over all price including shipping plus a nice return policy

i see one site has 15% restock fee while the other doesnt...and that's just 2 i looked at
 
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Old 10-23-08, 10:24 AM
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I don't know! I buy direct.
 
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