Doing it right - Dehumidifier Sizing
Hi, I am fairly new around here. I'm going to post in the introductions shortly. However I joined at the moment because I need some advise on this subject.
I have a Victorian-era farmhouse. Its been added onto a couple of times over the years. I am in need of a dehumidifier. Our last one conked out after 7 years of service. I have decided that I'm going to do it right this time and spend the money on a good one instead of the crap they sell at Homer Desperate, Sears, etc. To make sure I go about this in the right way I've been trying to do some research with regard to sizing.
Given the age of the home, our duct work layout is not exactly what one might call modern. While we have return air "drops" from the first floor to the basement, the returns are not connected to the intake on the furnace. "Open returns" Ive heard this called. There isn't much that can be done about this due to the layout of the basement, ceiling height, placement of the furnace in relation to the return drops, etc. The basement itself is about 900 sq. ft. unfinished. The rest of the house is about another 2700 sq. ft. two stories.
So here's my question that I came here for: Since the furnace is essentially drawing ambient air from the basement do I need to get a dehumidifier that is designed to handle the entire 3600 sq. ft. of the house incl. the basement or can I get away with something smaller? This is pretty important because the price difference between between one that can handle the whole thing (Santa Fe Max Dry) and one just for the basement square footage (Santa Fe Compact 2) is nearly $1000. Or could I get away with something in between?
I sincerely appreciate any advice on this subject.