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Old 03-22-2009, 07:10 PM   #1
C44
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Whole house DEHU on a budget?


Does anyone out there have any experience or ideas on a whole house dehumidifier without the budget going thru the roof? I am a nut about energy effficiency and that makes the Thermastor units most attractive to me. However the sky-high quote I just was given, makes me want to do something more economical. For me DIY is a reluctant option but the cost and price structure of HVAC professionals, sometimes is too much to bear.

A pro that I highly respect, and have worked with for years, gave me a quote of $6500 for a setup with a 150 pint/day model and only a few frills. He tells me there is only about 10% profit in his bid and I believe him. But when a Santa Fe Max Dry model, same efficiency (6.9 amperes, 150 pints/day) can be put in a basement for $1800, that gives me a helluva budget for consulting, ducting, and the like.

I am interested in working with a professional as my 1st choice (Fort Bend County in Texas), but wll appreciate help from any source. It is not my preference to DIY but that might be the only way to get the job done...

Thanks in advance -- C44

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Old 03-22-2009, 07:21 PM   #2
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Whole house DEHU on a budget?


Not to put a wedge between friends.

But, get another quote on the same set up from someone else.
I haven't priced out a Thermastor for a while. But, I don't recall them being that super high.
Unless you have a really thick wall, and long duct run.

PS: Don't tell teddy bear, I quote his product.

Might want to check out the cost on an Aprilaire whole house dehumidifier.

Are you going to bring in fresh air also?

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Old 03-22-2009, 07:29 PM   #3
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Whole house DEHU on a budget?


I used the AprilAire... better value. Bringing in fresh air introduces many other costs, since you need to deal with the conflicting humidity levels and condensation issues.
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Old 03-23-2009, 07:25 AM   #4
C44
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Whole house DEHU on a budget?


>>I haven't priced out a Thermastor for a while. But, I don't recall them being that super high.
>>Unless you have a really thick wall, and long duct run.
>>
>>PS: Don't tell teddy bear, I quote his product.
>>
>>Might want to check out the cost on an Aprilaire whole house dehumidifier.
>>
>>Are you going to bring in fresh air also?

Thank you for your consideration and thoughtfulness with these questions. Yes I really should get another quote, however I highly respect the professional quality of this guy's work (not that he's the only one).

Since the basement (Santa Fe "SF") version of the Thermastor 150 pint/day model can be got for under $1800, that seems to tell me the wholesale cost of the whole-house (Ultra Aire "UA") version must be rather higher to the pro. Of course I am guessing since wholesale pricing tend to be confidential. And the basement version price is before adding duct collars, remote sensors or anything.

It is true this quote includes fresh air inlet and the consequent parts and labor. I do want that but have decided there should be the simplest of controls. In other words really don't want the timer input or DEC-3000 electronic controls that are exclusive to the UA line.

Yes Aprilaire models are cheaper but they use far more electricity. As in 12 amps vs. 6.9 amps. I may be odd but have the opinion an energy efficient machine is highly desirable. My general intent is to run this dehumidifier long runtimes, allowing a higher setpoint for the central AC.

Right now it looks like I have a $4500+ budget for all the other stuff. Was hoping to hear I would not be the first to put a Santa Fe model in a whole house application. While the HVAC pro community seems to favor Aprilaire and UA models, I would be highly interested in working with a pro to get this job done. The suburban area of far West Houston TX, anyone?

Thanks -- C44
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Old 03-23-2009, 10:08 AM   #5
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Whole house DEHU on a budget?


Check the ratings of both dehumidifiers again.

Are both rated at the same humidity conditions?

Thermastor rates at 60% humidity.
I forget what Aprilaire uses for there rating conditions.
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Old 03-23-2009, 11:08 AM   #6
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Whole house DEHU on a budget?


Thermastor makes it easy to see their ratings for both capacity and energy draw. Aprilaire makes you really search for these numbers, however both companies apparently accept the "AHAM" standard test conditions of 80F dry bulb, 60% RH. I have seen other manufacturers use this standard too.

Since data is a little scarce from Aprilaire, I hope you will not mind this retailer's comparison of models:
http://www.iaqsource.com/category.ph.../?category=542

My focus is on the Thermastor Santa Fe Max Dry, rated at 150 pint/day and 6.9 amps. The closest Aprilaire model is the 1770, rated at 150 pint/day and 14 amps. Is that good enough documentation for you?

Best wishes -- C44




P.S. If someone wants to talk about Aprilaire's more powerful fans... surely that is one reason why Aprilaire uses more energy. But to what advantage?

Last edited by C44; 03-23-2009 at 11:14 AM.
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Old 03-23-2009, 11:30 AM   #7
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Whole house DEHU on a budget?


Can work against high supply duct static pressure, to deliver its rated CFM.

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