Doesn't it have a humidistat that will turn it off when the humidity
level gets low enough? If so, I'd leave it on year 'round. Otherwise,
buy a hygrometer to monitor humidity levels to make your decision.
"Give a hungry man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him to fish
and . . . he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day."
How does your dehumidifier work in such a large space? Does it increase
the cost of your electricity by much? I get quite a bit of moisture in
my garage workshop and was wondering if this would be a good solution.
I only get moisture in the winter, summers and fall is quite dry.
If you're heating the house, turn it off. The drop in RH from cold outside
air being heated is significant. If your humidistat wants to keep it
running, it's a good bet it's broken.
Then there's the fact that a dehumidifier in colder air freezes up and just
wastes electricity - assuming there's enough moisture in the air to freeze
up on, that is.
As to garages, rickluce - I would no more attempt to dehumidify the
neighborhood than I would to air condition it. Which by the way, dries the
air. Takes a fairly intrusion-controlled space before either is worthwhile.
I am in Ohio (couple states east of you) and in the winter, I am having to run a
whole house humidifier to keep the humidity to a decent level and reduce static
electricity build up on the carpets and cat...
Usually the air inside of a house in this region gets drier during the winter
months because the humidity outside is low also...I would suggest only running
it in spring, summer and fall unless you have central air.
Turn it off (you can rig a thermostat for this) if the air temperature
in the room drops within a few degrees of freezing. You can sometimes
achieve this with a timeswitch too.
Humidifiers work by dropping the air temperature to just below freezing.
This causes moisture to precipitate as frost on the humidifier
evaporator. However if the air is already near to this temperature, they
are increasingly less effective.
In Illinois I'd expect that your winters are pretty dry and you wouldn't
need the dehumidifier in winter anyway. My winters are damp and I need
it most just now, sadly when its least effective.
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