Ken's E-Tip: Reducing Dehumidifier Costs
Anyone who uses them regularly knows that dehumidifiers are among the biggest electricity hogs. Using a dehumidifier to suck moisture out of the air can cost more than $100 a year on electricity bills.
There are actually many ways to minimize dehumidifying costs and still remove excess moisture. Here are a few:
Use Fans and Windows to Circulate Air
As much as possible, get fresh air moving around in damp areas. A prime reason basements and other rooms get dank is because water vapor amasses in the air and has no escape. Creating an air circulation and outlet mechanism, such as installing small windows and vents and using fans to circulate air can help calm humidity problems.
Consider Calcium Chloride
Calcium chloride is a salt crystal that absorbs moisture in the air. Hardware and home-improvement stores now sell calcium chloride-based products meant to be used as an alternative to dehumidifiers. Simply set the calcium chloride in containers in particularly damp rooms to absorb water in the air, turning the crystals to brine. The brine may be dumped down the toilet (I checked and it is septic safe). A warning: Calcium chloride can be dangerous to swallow, so make sure to keep out of reach of small children and pets.
Air Dryr 1000
Davis Instruments offers Air-Dryr 1000 as an alternative device that uses warm air to remove moisture for a third the cost of a dehumidifier. The device will handle up to 1000 cubic feet, so it may take more than one unit to condition a full basement.
Buy an Energy Efficient Dehumidifier
If the above methods do not adequately remove moisture, at least purchase an Energy Star-qualified dehumidifier model. According to EnergyStar.gov, an Energy Star model will use 10 to 20 percent less energy to remove the same amount of water as conventional models, saving $25 or more on electric bills each year. The cost for Energy Star models is comparable to non-Energy Star models.
Get the Most Out Of Your Dehumidifier
- Close all windows and doors before operating unit.
- Locate unit away from water sources (i.e., sump pump pits).
- Clean coils each season before operating.
- Target humidity level is between 30 to 50 percent.
- Units work best in temperature above 65 degrees.
- Locate away from sources of dust and dirt.
- Keep space around dehumidifier free from furniture and clutter for proper air movement.
Earn $50 Bill Credit
Let CEC install a load control device on your own electric water heater and earn a $50 one-time bill credit and a monthly $2.50 bill credit. Call 800-521-0570 x2195 to learn more. Members having a water heater installed by the cooperative are not eligible for the credits.
Twitter and Load Control
Participants in our load control program for electric heat and water heaters can find out when and how long control periods are predicted by logging onto www.central.coop and clicking our Twitter logo. Please remember these are only predictions and actual times may vary.
Be sure to join us at CEC's Annual Meeting as we celebrate our 80th Anniversary on Friday Aug. 25 at the Whitehall Camp & Conference Center in Emlenton. For more information visit www.central.coopor call 800-521-0570.