Dehumidifier failure effects

In addition to the usual and expected results of not having a dehumidifier, I noticed today that there was condensation on the ductwork in the basement.  Using my laser thermometer I found that the ducts were about 62 degrees, and that was with the AC cycled off.  I put the indoor/outdoor thermometer in the basement since it gives a reading for indoor relative humidity and the answer was 77%.

Using a Dew Point Calculator (thank you, Rochester Institute of Technology!) I found that not only is the dew point 55 degrees, but it is putting the mechanicals and stored items in the basement at risk.  A 55 degree Fahrenheit dew point means that you get condensation for temps above 55 degrees.

I guess I’ll be hunting up a dehumidifier ASAP, despite the sticker-shock I experienced a few days ago.  Seemed to me that our old one, that was given to us by my sister-in-law, that worked at a rate of 70 pints per hour, cost about $100 plus tax.  Today a similar one costs $250.  Having found a dehumidifier calculator I think we can actually get by with one of the smallest sizes they sell but in a pinch I have been told I can exchange for a larger one if needed.

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About lgiletti

What's to say? I cook, I garden, I repair things. I get into trouble sometimes but I get myself out again.
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2 Responses to Dehumidifier failure effects

  1. vi says:

    ??? A 55 degree dew point means you get condensation at 55 and below, not above. The hotter the air is, the more moisture it can hold, while the colder it is, the less it can hold. This is why dew falls at night when the temperatures go down and why you get condensation on the outside of a cold glass, not a hot cup of tea. In the case of your basement, I think you would want to look at the difference between the room temperature and the surface temperature of your ducts.

    • lgiletti says:

      You’ve got a good point. I’d forgotten all about the condensation on the ducts because I solved the problem by getting a dehumidifier, of course. I think regardless of dew points and relative humidity, our basement is just too damp not to have a dehumidifier in the summer months.

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