I have benefitted enormously from reading these forums, so I'm a bit of a "long time listener, first-time caller" here!
I'm looking quite seriously into whole-house dehumidifiers, with the primary goal being decreased humidity in the winter months. We are in a 1600sqft cinder block home (built in '52) in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. Smooth stucco exterior (no air gap, no nothing) and interior plaster directly over the block (no air gap, no wall board, no nothing). Having replaced all windows and been zealous about air sealing while doing so (in other words, tightening the envelope), we have had trouble the past few winters with direct condensation in bedrooms, leading to mold growth and funk. We are now looking at spray foaming the roof deck, so things will be even tighter.
I'm hoping that we can knock out most of this trouble with a whole house dehumidifier tied in to our forced-air HVAC system, and possibly with ceiling fans in the bedrooms for even more air mixing/movement. I have paid most attention to Aprilaire and to Ultra-Aire products, in both cases assuming we will also have the optional ventilation duct installed to add fresh air to the house. Our ~1000sqft, basically unfinished basement does not have water infiltration problems, but is definitely musty and humid. Finally facing reality down there (rather than staying in denial), I bought a hygrometer at Lowes and am finding 70% readings to be common over the past two weeks.
I was very excited to see that Aprilaire units can actually be "zoned" now - with a primary/secondary setup and controlled dampers. This would let me kill two birds with one stone, drying out the basement, removing odors and nastiness down there, while also dehumidifying the house as needed. As far as I can tell, Ultra-Aire does not have this same zoning option. This seems a bit surprising to me, so I figured I would put it to folks here for follow up: can Ultra-Aire dehumidifiers be zoned in this way? Or is Aprilaire my only option for a two-zone central dehumidifier?
Long run-up to a basic question, I know....but I also would welcome any other comments/suggestions about this setup that folks might offer!