Window ac vs dehumidfier?

The prospect of changing my heating system has prompted a review of my complete heating/cooling systems. If I don't goto central ac (because of my inadequate duct size as mentioned in my earlier question) I will continue running my separate ac units. My question is this: Right now I have a few large ac units running upstairs in the summer & those work fine for cooling the house. In our finished basement (in a split-entry ranch of about 2200sq ft) I have a dehumidifier as the vinyl floor sits on concrete & gets wet when its humid. The dehumidifier does a good job of getting rid of the humidity but dumps warm air out & thus is fighting my attempts to cool the downstairs as well.(The downstairs is open & thus allot of cool air naturally falls down the stairs to keep the basement fairly cool) Would a window ac unit do as good a job of dehumidifying the basement as the dehumidifier while cooling the room as well?
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Would a window ac unit do as good a job of dehumidifying the basement

Maybe, depends on the temperature and humidity. A de-humidifier is essentially an airconditioner with no exhaust of the hot air. Thus, the coil will condense the moisture and let it drain into a pan while the heat stays in the room maintaining the same temperature. An AC unit exhausts the heat to the outside and cools the room at the same time. As long as the AC runs long enough it will dehumidify also. If the temperature drops so low that the AC is not needed, you will not longer get dehumidification and may have to run the stand alone unit.
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New dehumidifiers, energy star, are very efficient. mine only heats the basement a degree or 2 and only consumes 350 watts its 52 pint. An ac unit may make your basement just plain cold. Actualy central air would be as cheap to run as you window units and cool 3x better, more evenly. Maybe minor duct upgrades could make central air workable. I had that problem and just added one return. It was that or no AC
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Probably not. An AC unit will be trying to cool the air, if the room is cool it will not run. Have you considered that running two AC units and possibly a third, and/or a dehumidifier, it may be cheaper in the long to put in central AC? Greg
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Yes Greg , I am considering adding central ac but (as is mentioned in another thread) the main duct in the house is only 8x8 which is evidently ok for heat but too small for ac. I would have to rip down plaster ceilings in the basement to even get at the ducts...let alone the cost involved of replacing them. I'll consider adding central ac only if I can use my present duct system or somehow add to it. In the mean time, the cooling season here in Mass is only a few months long & if I can fine tune the system I have I'll be happy.

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How humid is it outdoors? How about close the cellar door, and put in an exhaust fan?
A window or wall AC will remove some humidity, but like the other poster says -- as long as it's calling for cooling.
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Christopher A. Young
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