Out damn humidity, out!
June 29, 2005 5:00 AM   Subscribe

Questions about dehumidifiers.

I live in a 600-700sf garden-level apartment in Boston. The apartment stays cool on its own because it's half below ground, but the humidity is higher than I would like (and probably much higher than my books would!). I've been thinking of purchasing the Maytag 45 pint dehumidifier, because my local Home Depot carries it, epinions has good reviews of it, and it's Energy Star qualified. Does anyone have experience with this model?

Also, what kind of results can I expect? Do I need a larger/bigger model for an apartment this size, or is this one okay? What can I expect it to do to my electricity bills?

Any experiences/advice is much appreciated!
posted by NotMyselfRightNow to Home & Garden (3 answers total)
I think you'll get very good results. Dehumidifiers are great. I have a '92 Maytag chugging along in my cellar and it makes a huge difference in the air quality, mostly by making the space less hospitable to mold & mildew. That said, they are expensive to run - about like a medium sized refrigerator, if I remember correctly - so your electric bill will take a hit. You will be happier with it if you can engineer a way to drain it with a hose rather than emptying it by hand.
posted by Alylex at 10:27 AM on June 29, 2005

Best answer: Energy Star has a website with some costing & data tools on the right menubar. Your costs will change based on how much it is operating and how much your paying for energy costs. That said, the Maytag you've selected is considered a Fedders by the Energy Star folks, and has a max capacity of 21.3 liters/day, and does 1.64 liters / kwh. I think that means 12.98 KWh a day, max.

This site has a "Dehumidifier Sizing Guide" that says a 1000sf place that is Extremely Wet would need a 23 pint model, so we can guesstimate your place will need slightly less, say 20, which is half the capacity of the Maytag, so it'll be running at 50%, so the costs, hopefully, will be more like 6.5KWh/day.

What the hell: your zip puts you in MA, and MA Electric is .07/kwh so your looking at about $14/month for the electricity.
posted by jwells at 12:04 PM on June 29, 2005

I just moved into a similar apartment in New York (it's called an "English apartment"--or flat, I guess--I'm told) and had the same dilemma. I found out right away that towels and sponges don't dry out without a dehumidifier and I was sweaty no matter what I did, which meant the air wasn't dry enough to evaporate ordinary perspiration.

I went with the 30 pint model from Home Depot (not sure of the brand, but it was the only brand they had) which I correctly guessed to be more than enough for the small studio apartment, about the size of yours. It works well, but it's LOUD and gives off heat. It's like having a window unit air conditioner completely in the apartment: you're getting noise off both sides and heat off the rear. Still, it works well. In the morning before I leave for work I put it on a low setting where it kicks in every ten minutes or so and by the time I come home, depending on the humidity outdoors, its holding tank is about half full. On weekends, I try to run it while I'm out of the apartment, but if I can't (because I tend to work at home on the weekends and don't necessarily leave), I have to sleep with earplugs or wear earphones while working--but then, I'm particularly picky about noise and disturbances.

I wondered for a while whether it would have more sense to just go ahead and get an air conditioner so the heat would be venting outside and I could take advantage of the its secondary dehumidifying capabilities, but I thought that would draw more power, the dehumidifying wouldn't be as efficient, I don't care for air conditioning during the summer, and I didn't want to block one of my three windows that look out onto a nice little garden, especially since they are not full-height windows and daylight is already a precious thing in a semi-basement apartment.
posted by Mo Nickels at 8:06 AM on July 1, 2005

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