View Full Version : dehumidifier or spot air conditioner?
Hello. I'm building a recording studio (mostly for listening to and editing music) that is 1/2 underground (daylight basement) in Seattle. It will be very air tight when in use with all the doors are shut, except that I have a 600 cfm fan outdoors (in a weatherproof shed) that will circulate air in when the room is in use (the fan can be throttled down to a lower speed as well). Room is about 17' x 20' x 7.5' H. When the room is in use, it will generate plenty more than enough heat right away, and when not in use the hall door will be open to an area that has forced air heating during the cooler months here in Seattle. The smallest (non split system) AC unit I could find was a 1.5 ton, so I opted for circulating with a fan, which two other people in this area have done in their basement studios with success. Still, I'll have a need for some dehumidification, which I'd probably do when I'm not actively using the room.
I'm trying to decide if I should buy a standalone dehumidifer (used in the room), or a spot air conditioner -- some of which I understand want to be connected to ducting. The reason I'm looking at the AC unit is that in the summer months on really hot days, I could turn it on for a short amount of time and cool the room down.
My other question is: would heat generated by equipment evaporate moisture, and when the fan is on, help dehumidify the room? Since my fresh air is coming from the outside, I realize that whatever the humidity is outside would obviously be a big factor on the humidity in the room. Thanks!
05-31-2005, 10:25 PM
Try a minisplit system
8,800 - 23,000 btu/h heat pumps.
06-02-2005, 11:05 AM
Operating a/c in cool climate to control humidity makes the space cold in few minutes without reducing the %RH. Operating an a/c with significant cooling load like +60% cooling cycle controls the %RH. Seattle has a cool damp climate.
A dehumidifier is the sure method of maintaining %RH. Because the room is open to the rest of the home, you will need a large dehumidifier to maintain <50%RH. Suggest you investigate the Santa Fe RX, which made for offices or libraries. It includes a good air filter, condensate pump and very quiet. Check thermastor.com
I can attest to the effectiveness of the Santa Fe RX which TeddyBear recommends. Thermastor says it is good for up to 2400 sqft, to which I would reply what the AC guys say about rules of thumb -- that the rule of thumb cannot be relied upon because it considers only sqft and no other factors.
My experience is limited to the hot-humid climate in S. Texas, of course your climate is very different but I think you can interpolate what will apply to you. My Santa Fe RX was installed in a 3400 sqft house and my observation is it knocks about 10 RH points off the humidity in spring, summer and fall. In winter the outside air is cold enough and running it is not desirable (100% at 51F will turn into 48% at 72F as it warms up).
I think this product will surely get the job done for you. Everything I have read by TeddyBear makes a lot of sense from an applied science viewpoint.
Best of luck -- P.Student
The Santa Fe certainly looks like a champ. One thing is that the room is only about 400 sq. ft. Now I did mention that when it is not in use, that I could have the doors to the rest of the half-basement (the entire basement is 1500 sq. ft.), and I can see that it could dehumidify that whole area, although I'm really only concerned about the studio. I was thinking about leaving the door open so that in the winter and cooler spring and fall days when we have the (forced air) heat on, that this would tend to keep the room drier. For the days when heat is not on, I could keep the doors closed and perhaps use a smaller capacity unit. I do like the filtration system in the Sante Fe. Thanks to everyone for your very helpful replies!
A second idea. With a small room like that, you might want to try something cheaper and use an inexpensive dehumidifier costing $200-300 or so. If you get the kind where you have to dump out a pail of condensate, that will become tiresome very quickly but perhaps you could find a way to run a tube directly into a drain. The Santa Fe RX has a condensate pump so it can pump uphill -- I am hoping you might have a floor level drain in your basement so that would be superflous.
I'm not claiming the cheapie *will* satisfy you but it might. You could expect half the energy efficiency but keep in mind how long it would have to run to make up the difference. And if you try the cheapie and then decide to upgrade to the Santa Fe, that $200-300 might be a cheap education. At least you could try out the concept and afterward, have a better idea of what matters to *you*.
For many things I find it reasonable to buy the cheapest choice at first. Sometimes it will do the job for me, other times I generally end up knowing a lot more about what I really want for the second version.
Best of luck -- P.Student
I don't have a floor drain, but could potentially plumb a drain line out the daylight side of the basement for gravity flow. I might borrow my buddy's dehumidifier (a smaller kind) and see how it pans out -- that's a great idea to try something smaller first.
Do you know if the condensate pump can be shut off in the Sante Fe if you have a gravity flow? Thanks.
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