We have a 1300 square foot beach house (two stories) in the carolinas which is often unused. I am considering adding a dehumidifier to both lessen the load on the AC and to address times when the temperature may not require AC. I have a few questions that I would welcome feedback on:
1. Would it be better to install a whole house dehumidifier as part of the HVAC system or as an independent unit. The advantage (as I see it) to installing indpendently is that I could have an intake in the upstairs and and supply in the downstairs and thus only need one unit for the whoel house (I have a walk in attic which would make this very easy to do). Otherwise, I have HVAC systems on both floors, so I would either have to get two dehumidifiers or just pick one floor. Are there other considerations between an independent or HVAC set up?
2. Since this is not a primary residence, should I be concerned about fire issues or water leakage issues with a dehumidifier? A quick internet search pulls up a lot of fire recalls for dehumidifiers. I'm a little concerned with leaving one running for weeks at a time when I am not there.
3. Any other thoughts for controlling humidity at a beach house which is often vacant?