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Whats cheaper ? running a dehumidifier or a small electric heater.

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Seasoned Oak, Aug 28, 2012.

  1. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    I run a dehumidifier all summer near my stove as i get a lot of rust over summer otherwise.
    Anything below 70% humidity and the stove is OK but without the dehumidifier it goes into the 80s.
    THe dehumidifier use a lot of Kw and I was wondering if i could protect my stove with a small electric heater inside or something. heard once that some put a 100w light bulb inside their stoves for the summer.

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  2. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    Was thining the same thing on the lightbulb idea. Perhaps a small clf inside...will put out some heat, but probably not as much as an incadescent.
    Would think the that heater would be more power useage as it would run 24/7, vs the dehumidifier that would only kick on when the room reaches a certain humidity level.
  3. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    I'd be more concerned about the outside of the stove getting rusty than the inside. A little surface oxidation (rust) due to humidity is a drop in the bucket compared to the oxidation that occurs during the normal course of burning...but I could be wrong about that...please correct me if I am.

    To answer your question, it's pretty simple math. Look how much a dehumidifier draws (amps and voltage) compared to a heater. Factor in the run time for each...and there's your answer.

    Hard part will be figuring out how much each will run (ambient temperature (thermostat) and ambient humidity (humidistat), both of which will vary widely from house to house).
  4. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    I forgot to mention that the stove is in a finished basement which is totally underground. In winter the humidity is around 25% so opposite problem,not enough moisture in the air. Have been slowly raising the set point on the dehumidifier and still no rust,have it at 70%.
  5. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    Running the dehumidifier also keeps the room more livable, and reduces the likelihood of mold or fungus, which like to grow in below-grade areas. That would be my choice - is my choice, that's what I do.
    ColdNH likes this.
  6. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    I'd vote for the light bulb, myself.
  7. Jack Straw

    Jack Straw Minister of Fire

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    If it is a finished basement aren't you concerned about mold/mildew? You really don't want the relative humidity above 60% in a living space for more than 24 hrs at a time, and it really should stay around 50%. I'd run the dehumidifier.
  8. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    How about one of them fancy heat pump water heaters?
  9. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Surprised the dehumidifier is so costly. We run one when it gets cooler and the greenhouse is all closed up to keep down humidity. It doesn't seem to be that bad.
  10. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    I run a dehumidifier and keep the levels at 60% in my basement. It's a EnergyStar level 4 dehumidifier...very efficient and keeps us cozy in the basement. $200 to buy it and I think it costs me $5 a month to run it... (the fan is ALWAYS on but is only 40 watts..when the compressor runs it will run 400 watts but it triggers on and off as needed).

    My mind simply won't let me turn the heat on in ANY room during the summer months.

    A
  11. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Any info, maker, specs on that dehumidifier?
  12. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    I made a mistake...when the compressor runs, it uses 588 watts (4.9 amps). It is a Whirlpool GOld Accudry AD35USV. I turn it on in April and it runs until November. Non-stop. Ever. lol.

    Crap! I just noticed there was a recall on this unit 1.5 years ago. LOL. Sigh. Gotta start the process to return it!!!

    Andrew
  13. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    I think how much humidity you have to remove plays a big part too... i got rid of an old dh and bought a new energy star rated unit... the efficiency rating (in pints per kwh i think) was 30 or 50 % higher but i barely noticed a diff in the electric bill. I have a wet stone basement sowhaterver i put down there runs at least half time to the tune of 150 to 300 kwh a month depending on season :(

    To the OP - buy a kill-o-watt and use it to measure how many kwh the dh uses in a day. A 100 watt bulb on constant would use 2.4 kwh/day for comparison. What you DONT want is a CFL, they put out a lot less heat for the same light output for obvious reasons.
  14. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Do they dehumidify as well?
  15. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Yes, I believe so.
  16. maverick06

    maverick06 Minister of Fire

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    yep, they pull heat from the basement air and put it in the water. They will dehimidify the air also. But you are in pa (as am I). I dont think its worth the money for you, good if you are down south. If the surface is rusting, i would be inclined to look into painting the surface with appropriate paint.
  17. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    [quote="jharkin, post: 1165395, member: 11939" :(

    To the OP - buy a kill-o-watt and use it to measure how many kwh the dh uses in a day. A 100 watt bulb on constant would use 2.4 kwh/day for comparison. What you DONT want is a CFL, they put out a lot less heat for the same light output for obvious reasons.[/quote]


    Yes i forgot i have one of those(kill-o-watt) I just put it on.My DH seems to run about 25% of the time. My E Bill runs about $100 in winter and $160 in summer. A few window AC units are adding to it as well.
  18. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Ill find out by tomorrow just how many KW per day its using Now the the Kill-a-watt meter is on it. It is using 600watts but wont know till tomorrow how many hours duty cycle.
  19. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    I agree with Jharkin. It all depends on how much humidity you need to remove. For example, in my basement, all of my walls have high density spray foam on them. On top of that I have Roxul and then my gyprock. That sprayfoam prevents any humidity from coming into the basement via the walls. If I stop my humidifier, the humidity levels will reach 75% from 60% within 36 hours or so.

    A
  20. save$

    save$ Minister of Fire

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    I struggled with this for many $ years. Then discovered that if I ran a high powered fan sat at the base of the stairs and blowing up the stairs, that the air on both levels would mix. Didn't matter if the upstairs windows were open or not. Moisture level down and no musty odor. Cost a whole lot less to run.
  21. Redbarn

    Redbarn Burning Hunk

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    We have a Geyser HPWH. Works great to dehumidify the basement and put the heat into our DHW.
    We used to use oil for summer DHW and now save 1 gall oil/day. Dehumidifies so well that I ran air pipes up to the ground floor and dehumidified a chunk of the house.

    A Geyser would not be cost effective unless you used it to replaced the wood/oil/propane used for summer DHW and got the dehumidifying as a bonus.
  22. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    I appears im using about 2Kw a day,way less than i imagined,so im better off running the DH. Now when we have heavy rain events i get some wall seepage and the DH runs more to dry it up. Ill be coating the walls with dryloc soon so ill see if that helps. wish i could save this moisture for winter when it gets so dry the wood starts to crack. 20-25%RH
  23. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    2 Kw doesn't seem too bad whatsoever. Where I live I only pay $0.068/Kw h so that would cost me about 15 cents.

    You tried the kill-a-watt to see how much it was using?

    Andrew
  24. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Yes I have a Kill-a-watt meter. I was quite surprised by the low usage but its been dry (little rain) and we are in a water table deficit right now. Most of my basement moisture comes from rain events seeping through the porous foundation walls. WHen it raining normally the DH runs a lot more often.
  25. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    That's probably about the cheapest electric sold in North America. I pay about 0.15 kw/hr which isn't too much over "average"

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