Best method to dehumidify a garage wood shop?

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Forum topic by jnovak posted 08-14-2020 02:17 AM 981 views 0 times favorited 35 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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19 posts in 527 days

08-14-2020 02:17 AM

Topic tags/keywords: garage humidity control woodworking

I live in Minnesota and there are some weeks throughout our summers that get real humid. This particular summer I have a lot of projects I want to work on but it’s been consistently high humidity….and I’m wondering what is the best method for dehumidifying my 2 car garage wood shop?

I have an overhead gas heater that covers my late Fall, Winter, early Spring times of year but would like to work out there in the summer months but worry about expansion/contraction of my wood projects if I can’t control the humidity.

Thanks for any feedback!

35 replies so far

View Scap's profile


127 posts in 775 days

#1 posted 08-14-2020 02:54 AM

Mr Slim mini split should do the trick.

View Aj2's profile


3323 posts in 2645 days

#2 posted 08-14-2020 02:59 AM

I think I’m in the same boat as you.
I select my projects carefully during the summer months for the reasons you mention. I’m on the fringes of the low desert 30 + temp swings with high humidity one week and bone dry the next.
I’m mostly doing maintenance on my machines right now it feels productive.

Good Luck

-- Aj

View jnovak's profile


19 posts in 527 days

#3 posted 08-14-2020 03:01 AM

One thing I forgot to mention is the size of my garage/wood shop. It’s a standard 2-car garage at about 500 square feet. Mr Slim looks like it’d work for a much bigger space but not sure I want to go through that much expense. Definitely keeping it as an option though.

View furnman487's profile


25 posts in 581 days

#4 posted 08-14-2020 03:16 AM

I live in Alabama and yes, we have humidity! My shop is in a basement garage and about a week after moving in the house I knew I had to find a solution or everything metal was going to rust away. Bought a dehumidifier at Lowe’s and installed it in the corner near the garage door. Keeps the humidity at 50% or lower and no more rust on tools. You’ll need to run a drain hose to the outside or constantly be emptying a bucket. Been working great for about 5 years now.

View WhyMe's profile


1309 posts in 2408 days

#5 posted 08-14-2020 12:00 PM

Use a dehumidifier as suggested by furnman487. I have a 70 pint one in my shop and it keeps it at 50% with no problem. Obviously you need to keep the shop closed up and not open and close the garage doors more than needed.

View jnovak's profile


19 posts in 527 days

#6 posted 08-14-2020 12:16 PM

Thanks folks for the insight. Next question….my garage work shop is only a little over 500 sq feet. The dehumidifiers I’m looking at cover 1500, 3000 or 4500 square feet. Do I get one of the larger ones (3000 or 4500) so it doesn’t cycle on and off all the time? Or the 1500 sq foot one…which based on the square footage coverage seems overkill already….but I know they can be overrated as to what they actually cover sometimes (and much of it is dependent on the humidity as well). Thoughts?

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6415 posts in 3341 days

#7 posted 08-14-2020 01:27 PM

I’d get the largest one you can find…typically that’s the 70 pint model. Remember your garage will leak more outside air in than a residence….plus, those ratings are about as accurate as the 6.5 HP your shop vac has.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View WhyMe's profile


1309 posts in 2408 days

#8 posted 08-14-2020 01:44 PM

Depends on just how humid and damp it is in your garage. My 70 pint is used in 720 sgft garage. I’d say you want at least a 50 pint. I don’t think cycling is an issue like for AC units. My 70 doesn’t short cycle but it does run alot.

View controlfreak's profile


1217 posts in 449 days

#9 posted 08-14-2020 02:39 PM

A mini split would be the bomb. I opted to put a small window unit through the wall in my shop and is seems to be doing okay. I bought a humidity gauge but keep forgetting to read it. A dehumidifier that cycles on and off will also do well but the temperature will increase.

View PeteStaehling's profile


137 posts in 1967 days

#10 posted 08-14-2020 02:50 PM

I went with a portable AC unit. Rather than use the included window hardware I vented it through a small hole in the wall. It was a lot cheaper initially than a mini-split, but is less efficient. It has modes for heating, cooling, and humidification. I over-sized it a bit for the rated area and have been happy with it.

At the time I bought it I thought I might be moving soon, otherwise I might have invested in a mini-split. The better efficiency of the mini-split would have paid for itself in just a few years.

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3467 posts in 4285 days

#11 posted 08-14-2020 03:27 PM

Ah,,, a dehumidifier. They dehumidify.
Seriously though, I’ve got one in the cellar. You can make it as dry as you want. Hook it up to a drain, or a floor drain, or even outside and you won’t have to empty it every day. Many of them have a drain plug on the side of the water collector in case eyou want to do that. They really work good. Be sure to size one for the need so It just runs an appropriate amount of time.

My AC also removes most of the humidity but you don’t want to leave that running all the time if you’re not there.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View theoldfart's profile


11998 posts in 3299 days

#12 posted 08-14-2020 03:33 PM

I went with a mini split. Never looked back. A two car garage size shop. Insulated to the nines.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View bmerrill's profile


118 posts in 921 days

#13 posted 08-14-2020 03:36 PM

Mini Split.
Cools in the summer
Heats in the winter
Very efficient to operate.

-- You are not told the truth, you have to learn the truth.

View furnman487's profile


25 posts in 581 days

#14 posted 08-14-2020 03:47 PM

I would vote for the mini split too, but it wasn’t practical for my space. Humidifier works great and much less expensive.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7894 posts in 3761 days

#15 posted 08-14-2020 04:17 PM

YEP! After ~15yr in south TX without AC, I ended up with a 20.5 SEER Mini-Split AND LOVE IT!

I can’t believe I did without for so long!... 8-(
Now, I am a Happy Camper! 8-)

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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