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Old 09-26-16, 09:16 AM   #1
Daox
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Default More efficient dehumidification?

About a year ago, my dehumidifier in my basement that I've had for the past 8+ years (ever since I bought the house) broke. Mechanically its fine and runs, but the electronic controller is shot. When you plug it in, it kinda freaks out and the display flashes in an unintelligible way. So, my very kind father in law recently gave me a dehumidifier that he had laying around in his garage. However, it has now been a month and HOLY COW, my electric use has gone through the freakin roof! I'm typically under 300 kWh in the summer and now I'm over 800 kWh. I expected my usage to be higher, but not nearly triple. I do understand it had to run to pull the moisture out of the whole basement, but this is ridiculous. I know the unit is fairly old as well.

So, I am in search of a more efficient dehumidifier. It is nearing the end of summer, and I don't run the dehumidifier during the winter because it just isn't needed. Thus, I am looking for any and all suggestions on what I can do for next summer. I'm contemplating everything from just buying a new unit to a smallish project (like fixing my older but more efficient unit) if there is a decent benefit. Unfortunately, I don't have time for a large scale project. So, I'm looking for your suggestions on what to do in this situation, features to look for on a new unit, etc. Thanks!


Here is the tag from my old (broke) dehumidifier. 1.77 L/kWH rating.





Here is the tag from the dehumidifier I got from my father in law. 1.15 L/kWh rating.




As you can see, my broken unit is much more efficient than the unit that I was gifted.

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Old 09-26-16, 09:24 AM   #2
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Wow, looking on energystar.gov now, there are a good handful of units above 2.5 L/kWh, some even above 4 L/kWh. However, they're all fairly large units rated for 100+ pints per day, and they appear to be whole house dehumidifiers. The 35 pints per day unit has been able to keep up pretty well even with the recent steady rains we have had all last week. Those units appear to top out around 1.85 L/kWh.
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Old 09-27-16, 10:48 AM   #3
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After poking around the interwebz, I've narrowed things down a bit. Right now, I'm considering the Frigidaire FAD301NWD. Its their lower end model 30 pint unit. Mechanical, not digital control. I monitor humidity with a remote sensor anyways, and I can adjust the machine that way. This unit is good for 1.85 l/kwh.

I'm still debating trying to fix my broken dehumidifier. Has anyone had any luck replacing or fixing the controls on these things, or window A/C units, etc? A quick search on ebay for the model number comes up with nada.
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Old 09-27-16, 11:05 AM   #4
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Upon further searching it looks like I may be able to get a new control board for $35... Options.

Anyone care to weigh in?
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Old 09-27-16, 11:46 AM   #5
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If you can get a replacement control board for $35, that's pretty much a no-brainer. Super easy to swap out: usually just a handful of screws and the thing just unplugs. Plug new board in, reassemble enough to test before reassembling everything. If it acts like it should for a few minutes, you're good to go. Unplug the unit, reassemble everything, should be good to go for a long time. While you're in there, you could add a little bit of surge protection if you want.

Rigging a control isn't too difficult, but it depends on a lot of other factors. Mainly, how much is your time worth? The re-rigged unit might not look or act the same as the original control. If the original board isn't completely fried, the brawny parts (relays, sensors, power supply, buffer chip, etc.) can be reused to a certain extent. Deciphering the original design, configuring the thing to do what you want, and debugging the rig takes time and expertise that you may not want to invest on a small appliance.
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Old 09-27-16, 10:31 PM   #6
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I'm surprised no one has suggested using an arduino, a temperature/humidity sensor, and a relay board to convert this 1.77 L/kWH unit with a defective humidistat to an smarter device. If you don't want to play with 120V via relays, you could just insert a "power switch tail" and hardwire the compressor to run when the tail is triggered ON, although admittedly the power switch tail is not inexpensive.
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Old 09-27-16, 11:39 PM   #7
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The digital dehumidifiers usually have a regulated 5 VDC and/or 12VDC rail, as well as an unregulated low voltage source,on the control bosrd, that you can tap into to run a developer board. They also have a relay driver chip that is connected to all the parts that need to be switched. An arduino stamp can be "jumped" into various points of the existing control board without many extra parts at all. I've detailed this procedure in previous threads. It's kinda fun!

Here's one:
http://ecorenovator.org/forum/geothe...-window-c.html

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Old 10-06-16, 10:35 AM   #8
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My friend was running 2 dehumidifiers in his basement.
He complained that the dehumidifiers were heating the house up during the day causing the slightly under sized central A/C to run well into the night when he turned it on in the evening.

I recommend that he toss the stupid dehumidifiers and add an A/C discharge in the basement and cut a hole in the intake duct. And leave the air conditioner on, but turned up to 80 to 85 during summer days.
That kind of worked.

So next he pulled a section of intake duct out.
Now he says it works great. He says including the basement in the hvac circuit cools the house down with in a few minutes because the air mass in the basement is like a cold thermal storage and circulating the air is enough to keep the basement nice and dry. Much dryer than the dehumidifiers were ever able to keep it. He also keeps the A/C off during the day.
He also says doing this has reduced the power bill by 1/3.


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