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Thread: Cleanable Dehumidifier?

  1. #1
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    Default Cleanable Dehumidifier?

    A dehumidifier is a must for a basement shop, both to keep tools from rusting and to keep lumber at a good moisture content. Shops, however, tend to be dusty places and that can clog the dehumidifier cooling coils and drain pans.

    On old-style dehumidifiers (like the one on the right) both cooling and heating coils were easily accessible, and the water dropped directly into the bucket so that there was no drain pan to clog. Newer dehumidifiers (like the one on the left) are nice and sleek, but you have to do some major disassembly to get to the cooling coil and have to completely disassemble to get good access to the heating coil and the drain pan. They have a filter to clean the incoming air, but some dust inevitably gets through the filter and ends up clogging the cooling coil and the drain pan.

    I just spent several hours disassembling, cleaning, and reassembling a modern Frigidaire dehumidifier. If I could replace it with one that was easier to clean I would, but I can't find any domestic dehumidifiers of the old style. Some commercial units are still built like that, but they are very pricey.

    Does anyone know of a reasonably-priced dehumidifier that is easy to clean?
    I will beg you for advice, your reply will be concise, and I will listen very nicely and then go out and do exactly what I want! (Apologies to Lerner and Lowe.)

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Cleanable Dehumidifier?

    I don't know of any that are easy to clean,but you might bodge a pleated furnace filter over the intake grill.
    R
    Sleep with one eye open.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Cleanable Dehumidifier?

    [begin rant] Modern dehumidifiers are expensive, energy hogs & designed to die after 2 years (or less if the warranty is less). [end rant]

    However - absolutely necessary in some places.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  4. #4
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    Default

    Craigslist, etc

    Kevin


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Cleanable Dehumidifier?

    Arggggh!

    I just pulled out mine because a floor in the basement is moving due to moisture. 3 YO machine. It's dead.

    Junk. I've tried GE, LG, & Frigidaire - not a one has lasted more than 2 years. This is why I won't buy one on C/L...
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Cleanable Dehumidifier?

    I was just about to write that my De Longhi dehumidifier seems well made and has been reliable, and then I realised that I have had it for around 20 years! My information is hardly a comment on their current products!
    Money may not buy happiness, but it can buy a boat that will pull right up next to it!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Cleanable Dehumidifier?

    I have been shopping for one to use in my crawl space. I am about 90% sure I am going with Aprilaire model.

    https://www.aprilaire.com/whole-hous...s/dehumidifier

    The 1820 is at the head of my list. here is a link to the IOM. It appears to be easy access to all the internals for cleaning.

    https://www.hvacpartsshop.com/conten...ion-manual.pdf

    About $1100.00 on amazon prime with free shipping
    I don't cuss much for a sailor - that said, I may cuss to much for a preacher...

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Cleanable Dehumidifier?

    Alkorn:

    You raise a good point about accessibility of coils.

    I just bought a new one, a Hisense at Lowe’s. Runs all the time this rainier-than-normal New England Summer; but electrical bill so-far suggests that it may be more second-generation efficient than previous ones (I hope so). Maybe could wear itself out sooner, too. Cost was $240.

    Cleaning instructions direct the owner to air filter, exterior, water bucket, water bucket float, but NOTHING said about cleaning the coils.

    Other than going to the lengths you have, that is, un-guided disassembly, would compressed air directed into the interior work?

    Who wants to be the first to try it?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Cleanable Dehumidifier?

    Quote Originally Posted by stumpstalker View Post
    Alkorn:
    Other than going to the lengths you have, that is, un-guided disassembly, would compressed air directed into the interior work?

    Who wants to be the first to try it?
    You should also clean your refrigerator coils periodically. (do as I say, not...) OK, not a dehumidifier, but a coil is a coil. Another recommendation was to use compressed air and an air filter to capture the dust cloud. I blew the dirt out of the coils on a refrigerator once with a leaf blower. I was moving, it was outside, The leaf blower was right there... What an impressive cloud of black dust! The thought of doing that indoors does not conjure up a pretty picture.

    My 95 year old father can't drag buckets of water up the basement stairs anymore. I ran the dehumidifier drain line to the condensate pump for the furnace. So far so good.

    An alternative to a dehumidifier would be a window air conditioner with a humidistat. (The link, which may go bad soon, is to an 8000 BTU window shaker with a humidistat for $280.) If the AC unit is not vented to the outside, it will heat the shop to some extent, same as a dehumidifier, which has the same condenser and expansion coils, but ducted differently. With a little ingenuity you can arrange a mount to duct out the window when it's hot and recirculate the air when it's cold. Building a good filter into the cabinet would help. A dehumidifier is also a heater. All of the energy used to condense water is dumped into the room, so drying your shop in the summer has its drawbacks, but there is an advantage in the winter, when you don't need to dehumidify s much.
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Cleanable Dehumidifier?

    Thanks for the feedback. Some comments in return.

    - Regarding compressed air: the coils at the air inlet are the evaporator (cooling) coils. Because they are at the inlet and are also wet, they collect most of the dust. They are the easiest to access. If I blow air on them I may drive the dirt on to the condenser (heating) coils, which are harder to get to.

    - Regarding refrigerator coils: I'm not constantly creating sawdust a few feet away from my refrigerator.

    - Regarding an AC unit: Dehumidifiers remove more moisture per watt-hour than air conditioners do. This is because the condenser is in the cool air stream leaving the evaporator instead of in the hot outdoor air. Lower condenser temperature means lower discharge pressure for the compressor, and it doesn't work as hard.

    I think I'll have to keep on doing this arduous cleaning occasionally. When this unit croaks, I may consider buying a more robust unit like Crusty Ol Salt is considering, but they're awfully pricey.
    I will beg you for advice, your reply will be concise, and I will listen very nicely and then go out and do exactly what I want! (Apologies to Lerner and Lowe.)

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