Dehumidifier advice for ~1200 sq. ft. finished basement


Old 09-30-11, 01:39 PM
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Dehumidifier advice for ~1200 sq. ft. finished basement

I am in MD, just outside of DC and it feels damp in our finished, ~1200 sq. ft. basement, which is a fully underground (i.e., windows have light only b/c window wells). We plan to use a dehumidifier mostly in the summer and tend to keep the basement AC at 70-80. We plan to place the unit in our laundry room with a hose that will go down to the drain in the floor.

We do not seem to have major issues as far as I can tell (knock on wood). But, I recently hung out a pair of jeans to dry and it took about 2-3 days to dry completely (during a period of daily rain, following a few weeks of rain!).
  • We have a "200 amp electrical service panel" but we only have a regular outlet available for a dehumidifier. Would 200 amps work for a unit of 45 -50? Would it work for a unit of 70 pints? We are thinking we will start with a 45 pint unit b/c of what a neighbor uses and others have recommended. I am not sure we need 70 pints, but I am now curious b/c I have received conflicting information from store folks... one fellow said that 60 pints and above require a special outlet (like a dryer). But another fellow said that was not the case). Does a 70 pint dehumidifier really require a special outlet (like a dryer outlet)?
  • How can we operate the dehumidifier so it will work most efficiently - humidity and energy wise? Reviews suggest people use them differently. Some folks use the unit's humidity reading, others a timer (internal to the unit), or just on/off as they see fit... seems some approaches would waste energy, right?

The many, many reviews in consumer reports, consumer search amazon this forums are conflicting.... and I am confused about what brand/model unit to purchase. But, I am looking to spend $200-350 for a decent one that has: energy efficiency, good costumer service, warranty ( b/c reviews speak to how often new units break). While those units of $1,000 look great, it too much for us at the moment... Do the major Consumer Report-type brands really differ that much?

After this, we may consider getting one attached to the HVAC system... but that is for another post.

Any advice is welcome. I have tried to bold what was relevant.. but include enough info for some who'd think it necessary....
Old 09-30-11, 02:27 PM
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First the $1000 dollar units like thermo stor are so much better than the cheap units. now to your question Get the biggest unit you can 45 pints is very small. You will be happy you have the extra capacity during no load times. spring and fall is when your unit should work its hardest so don't forget to run it then. They will use a reg 120 volt 15amp circuit. As far as the time on you will have to see what works best. 12 hours on 12 hours off worked best for my house. but during wet weather id run it 24/7
Old 09-30-11, 02:53 PM
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I cannot recall the brand name but I bought a new one a few years ago at Menards - they carried only one brand and two models and I bought the bigger one, paying a little over $200.

Jeans do not take 2-3 days to dry in my basement, I have been very happy with my choice.

BTW, I operate mine on the RH setting, I set it at 35%.
Old 10-04-11, 08:33 PM
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Most commercial devices use less than 15 amps which equals 1800 watts at 120volts. My hair drier is rated 1650 watts (92% of max). My dehumidifier is rated 390 watts (22% of max); 3.6 amps (24% of max), and 25 pints. It has an energy factor of 1.19 Liters per KWH (Killlawatt hour). In runs 80% of the time for a total cost of abount $45/month or $540/year. That is the most expense thing that runs in my house. Dryer is #2 at $12/month, #3 is computer at $11/month etc.

ENERGY STAR Dehumidifiers Product List

List Posted on October 04, 2011
Below are currently qualified ENERGY STAR models available for sale in the U.S.

As you can see from the table above (on the web site) you have to get a huge dehumidifier in order to get a higher energy factor. Yes it would run less that 80% of the time but it would also take four times the energy to run it.

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