new dehumidifier for basement?

Hi all,
got a fairly old (1940's) house with a basement that tends to get humid in the summertime - no visible water intrusion, it just gets damp. I assume because it stays nice and cool down there and the hot air from outside has a lot of water in it that just can't stay when the air cools off. I have an old dehumidifier that came with the house, but I don't think it's doing a whole lot - it runs a lot, but the container never seems to get full. I suspect that this is wasting a lot of electricity, plus it's loud. (the door is missing to the laundry room, so if I'm trying to sit in the other room and watch TV I have to turn the volume up when it kicks on.) I suspect I should just buy a new one, any particular recommendations on brands? Quiet would be my first concern, efficiency second. I may not need it at all once it gets warm as we have central A/C installed (which we didn't last year) but there are still a couple months where it is warm/humid that I probably won't use the A/C.
thanks
nate
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I offer no answer, but just a few ideas. Air circulation with air from the rest of the home or outside may be a good part of your solution. Newer units are more efficient. Note: not all dehumidifiers are suitable for basement use. I suspect that may be part of the problem you are having with your current one. Take a look at it after it has been running a while. Do you see frost build up on the coils? If so you likely have a unit that is not suitable for basement use. Also the frost likely will make it noisier. Make sure those coils are kept clean and there is good airflow to the unit. If it is in the laundry room, it is not going to dehumidify the rest of the basement as well as if it were more centrally located. You may need a new location of fans to move the air around more.

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Actually my "laundry room" is in fact half the basement, and is connected to the remainder of the basement by an open doorway. Even if I were going to put a new door in, it would either be louvered or have a vent panel in it because there is no cold air return from the other side of the basement, and all the gas-fired appliances are in there. The comments are appreciated, though.
I do think the A/C may help because it will be circulating the air, which was not possible before (had a heat-only thermostat which wouldn't allow the furnace fan to be controlled separately.) I may also try simply running the fan by itself when it's warm but not hot upstairs.
How could one tell without running a dehumidifier whether it's suitable for use in a basement or not?
nate
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Just get a low temp dehumidifier, then it wont freeze and you have no worry. But the sears low temp unit was their largest, it might be oversized for you.
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A new unit will be alot more efficent, 50-75%, many models freeze up below 65-68f air temp, check the basement temp before you buy one, there are low temp models sold incase you are below 68f. You have to hear the unit to see if its quiet, one year I bough a sears , it was quiet, the following year I bought another sears, its design was changed and its noisy. Also get one with a drain and run a hose to a drain.
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ransley wrote:

Hmm, good to know. I do tend to keep the thermostat set at 67F, would be lower if not for SWMBO. My natural comfortable temperature is about 65-66F. The basement probably is always cooler than the rest of the house. Obviously it will be hotter in the summertime when I have the thermostat set for cooling but spring and fall definitely the coolest part of the house.
nate
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Stay away from the Sears Branded dehumidifers -- I've had nothing but problems with them.
I like the Whirlpool 50 and 70 pint ones that are at Lowes [and other places]. They're energy star rated and they are designed to operate at the lower temps [upper 50's].
I keep my basement and crawl spaces at about 35-40% which has worked out quite well.
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we have always been pleased with kenmore dehumidifiers! you might also benefit from have a small fan, moving the air around down there!
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wrote:

Yes our smallish Kenmore, in a 35 by 46 foot, approx 40 year old, mainly unfinished basement is tending to freeze up and clog the coils with ice; even at a minimum setting especially during each winter. Temp. of our mainly below ground basement tends to be around 50 deg. F. So tend to agree the low temp, in our only occasionally heated, plus some heat loss from main floor above, is likely cause of frozen-up coils. As an experiment have put a standard desk fan to blow at the coils, which seems to help a bit. At least dissipating more quickly, the ice that forms, whenever the dehumidifier compressor cycles off! Also thinking of rearranging so that the the built in dehumidifier fan runs all the time unit is plugged in; regardless of whether compressor is running, to more readily dissipate ice formation; won't be the whole answer but may help? The compressor cuts out of course when the water reservoir fills up. May rig an alarm to this to warn need to empty. Another alternative is to run the drainage into a basement floor drain all the time. Any thouhts. Also have another older but very similar model (obtained free at a flea market!) which doesn't seem to work as well.
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wrote:

You may want to seal the walls if they are concrete. There are rubber-based paints made specifically for this. Dehumidifiers are noisy and require considerable power. You can put the dehumidifier on a 24-hour timer so it only runs at certain hours. A fan can help circulate air or you can run the furnace blower. Moisture tends to move away from warmer locations and toward cooler areas.
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Get a new one that is "energy star" and has a built in humidity sensor. Then set it up to drain to a floor drain and then all you have to do is set you humidity level and forget it.
If you don't have a floor drain the feed it into a "descasent pump" [like what is used a lot with furnaces etc] that will pump it to a drain.

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Old non energy star units were hogs, for about $3 a month mine dehumidifys 25x25
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You should look google for a GOOD dehumidifier for your basement. I can offer our website link which of course is the best dehumidifier out there because it's made just for basements. http://www.basementsystems.com/dehumidifier /
We deal with basements everyday so i'd ask you to research about our product called the Sanidry Dehumidifier.
Hopefully you will find a good solutions for your humidity problem
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