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Recommendations on dehumidifier for woodshop

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Forum topic by NewbieInWV posted 03-01-2021 04:13 PM 371 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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NewbieInWV

29 posts in 1640 days


03-01-2021 04:13 PM

Topic tags/keywords: dehumidifier rust

Hi All,

A quick search on this topic yielded no recent conversations, so…

I live in West Virginia and have a 1400sf insulated garage/shop. It’s heated with propane for my comfort in winter. I have not felt the need to air condition as temps are never uncomfortably hot.

My problem is humidity. A minor problem is managing the moisture in the lumber I use for my projects, but I’m doing ok with that. The bigger problem is rust on my tools, particularly the large, expensive ones! The problem is compounded by the two vehicles we park in the garage laden with the rain, snow and slush of the season. In the winter the garage air is cold and full of moisture, measuring about 85% recently. The thermostat is set on 40 degrees unless I’m in the shop, when I crank it all the way up to 60.

I was thinking of adding a dehumidifier mounted to the ceiling or wall. The research I’ve done suggests the following considerations: 1. Plan on regular maintenance to keep it as dust-free as possible. 2. Rust is a result of temperature changes as much or more than humidity levels. 3. Installing an air conditioner is an option, but I don’t need to cool. Heat from the dehumidifier would actually be a good thing for me.

I’m wondering if a dehumidifier is really the solution I need. I thought about keeping the thermostat set at 60 24/7, but that seems to be a very expensive way to keep rust off my tools. I’m in the shop maybe 10-20 hours a week, so burning propane all day would give me gas, pardon the pud.

Also, I’d rather not consider leaving the cars outside during the winter. My marriage is going very well at the moment, and I don’t want to risk my bliss.

-- Mike H, Elkins WV


14 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6917 posts in 3544 days


#1 posted 03-01-2021 04:43 PM

That propane heater is vented isn’t it? If it’s ventless it could be a part of your problem. I think I might consider keeping the room a little warmer, maybe 55º when you’re not in there. Alternatively, I guess the dehumidifier would solve the problem, but I have no experience using on in the winter time. I do run a floor model most of the summer in my dedicated shop, and it doesn’t seem to have a problem with the dust.

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

View Kudzupatch's profile

Kudzupatch

168 posts in 2259 days


#2 posted 03-01-2021 04:49 PM

I had one in my shop and will be buying another this summer. Alabama is famous for our humidity and it really makes is more comfortable in the shop. I run the A/C less with it. Didn’t notice any difference in rust formation but I plan on replacing the one that died for comfort reasons.

-- Jeff Horton * Kudzu Craft skin boats* www.kudzucraft.com

View Mosquito's profile

Mosquito

11025 posts in 3343 days


#3 posted 03-01-2021 04:56 PM

85% humidity in the winter would be nice, my problem is the other way around, left unmitigated, I’ll see 10% humidity in my shop in the winter lol

I run a portable style dehumidifier in the summers though. I have had 2 different ones (after one quit working after 5 years), and my main requirement is getting one with a discharge pump to so I don’t have to drain the tank, or rely on just gravity fed drainage hose. The pump hose is much smaller than a garden hose, and I run it out through the bottom corner of the garage door opening and into the landscape rock just off the front apron.

My shop is 672sqft, and I use a 50-pint (by the new testing ratings), which is supposed to be overkill for my space, and while it might be, it gets the job done. I figured, with non-insulated/vapor barrier sealed slab, and a 8×16 garage door having more instead of less was better. That and this size was the smallest I could get with a pump locally

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - http://www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods - http://www.TheModsquito.com

View NewbieInWV's profile

NewbieInWV

29 posts in 1640 days


#4 posted 03-01-2021 05:07 PM

Yes the heater is vented. Thanks.


That propane heater is vented isn t it? If it s ventless it could be a part of your problem. I think I might consider keeping the room a little warmer, maybe 55º when you re not in there. Alternatively, I guess the dehumidifier would solve the problem, but I have no experience using on in the winter time. I do run a floor model most of the summer in my dedicated shop, and it doesn t seem to have a problem with the dust.

- Fred Hargis


-- Mike H, Elkins WV

View NewbieInWV's profile

NewbieInWV

29 posts in 1640 days


#5 posted 03-01-2021 05:08 PM

Yes the heater is vented. Thanks.


That propane heater is vented isn t it? If it s ventless it could be a part of your problem. I think I might consider keeping the room a little warmer, maybe 55º when you re not in there. Alternatively, I guess the dehumidifier would solve the problem, but I have no experience using on in the winter time. I do run a floor model most of the summer in my dedicated shop, and it doesn t seem to have a problem with the dust.

- Fred Hargis


85% humidity in the winter would be nice, my problem is the other way around, left unmitigated, I ll see 10% humidity in my shop in the winter lol

I run a portable style dehumidifier in the summers though. I have had 2 different ones (after one quit working after 5 years), and my main requirement is getting one with a discharge pump to so I don t have to drain the tank, or rely on just gravity fed drainage hose. The pump hose is much smaller than a garden hose, and I run it out through the bottom corner of the garage door opening and into the landscape rock just off the front apron.

My shop is 672sqft, and I use a 50-pint (by the new testing ratings), which is supposed to be overkill for my space, and while it might be, it gets the job done. I figured, with non-insulated/vapor barrier sealed slab, and a 8×16 garage door having more instead of less was better. That and this size was the smallest I could get with a pump locally

- Mosquito


-- Mike H, Elkins WV

View NewbieInWV's profile

NewbieInWV

29 posts in 1640 days


#6 posted 03-01-2021 05:09 PM

I’m lucky that I have a trough drain running through the middle of the garage, separating the car floor from the shop floor. So that’ll be where I drain the dehumidifier, if I go that route.


85% humidity in the winter would be nice, my problem is the other way around, left unmitigated, I ll see 10% humidity in my shop in the winter lol

I run a portable style dehumidifier in the summers though. I have had 2 different ones (after one quit working after 5 years), and my main requirement is getting one with a discharge pump to so I don t have to drain the tank, or rely on just gravity fed drainage hose. The pump hose is much smaller than a garden hose, and I run it out through the bottom corner of the garage door opening and into the landscape rock just off the front apron.

My shop is 672sqft, and I use a 50-pint (by the new testing ratings), which is supposed to be overkill for my space, and while it might be, it gets the job done. I figured, with non-insulated/vapor barrier sealed slab, and a 8×16 garage door having more instead of less was better. That and this size was the smallest I could get with a pump locally

- Mosquito


-- Mike H, Elkins WV

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

7463 posts in 1625 days


#7 posted 03-01-2021 11:53 PM

I too heat with propane in my barn/garage shop, where I am both heavily insulated, and drywalled. I don’t have a shop heater, instead I am using my old furnace from the house. It’s drained directly outside, and the drain has a heat tape to keep the drippage from freezing. No rusty tools.

I’m also at 55 when not in the shop, as Fred suggested. None of my finishes, glues, or anything with some water has any issues. Initially I thought cheap, and just went to 40, thinking it isn’t frozen, so it will all be good. None of it was right for use until I had booted the heat to 68 for at least 2 hours, so I lost a lot of time to waiting.

I think it’s going to come down to getting your water out of the barn. Floor drain that is open, is essentially still water in the shop. If you have a concrete floor, you are already moist enough.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Kirk650's profile

Kirk650

735 posts in 1799 days


#8 posted 03-02-2021 02:12 AM

If you get a dehumidifier, spend the money to get a good commercial one. I bought a Honeywell home type unit, which lasted a couple of months. It was extremely difficult to get my money back from those people.

View jdh122's profile

jdh122

1232 posts in 3868 days


#9 posted 03-02-2021 11:58 AM

You should make sure you get a dehumidifier rated for cold temperatures. Regular models lose efficiency around 65 F and can have problems with coils freezing. Read the label carefully…

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View tvrgeek's profile

tvrgeek

1747 posts in 2700 days


#10 posted 03-02-2021 12:09 PM

As I found out the new split HVAC systems run at higher temps and do a very poor job of de-humifying, I added a $100 big box dehumidifier. Failed in short order. Tried a different brand. Failed in short order. My crawlspace has a very expensive one. ( $800) First one failed with a known issue, but second one seems to be holding up. For my shop, a forum member gave me two larger big-box units that the pumps had failed. First one is working fine. I just have it on a shelf to gravity drain, holding the second in reserve.

I pay the price (a lot) to keep my shop around 70 to 75, 50% year round. Wood is stable. Tools fine, and I am comfortable.

My unit is on the opposite end ( car side) of my shop and I have a MERV 13 filter taped to it’s input. With the exception of when the bag blew off my DC, it stays clean, but I also have filters on my mini-split and an ambient air filter to supplement the DC.

View NewbieInWV's profile

NewbieInWV

29 posts in 1640 days


#11 posted 03-02-2021 02:00 PM

Great suggestions and information. Thanks all!

-- Mike H, Elkins WV

View Mosquito's profile

Mosquito

11025 posts in 3343 days


#12 posted 03-02-2021 02:16 PM

Obviously, based on your original post, you’re aware of how the dehumidifiers work (or at least that their heat stays in the room, so it’s probably unnecessary to say, but I will just in case… If you plan to use it at all in the summer, keep in mind the added heat from that. When I run my dehumidifier in the summer it usually raises the temperature of my shop around 5-10° depending on how hot and humid it gets, and for how long. The 10° was when we had a week of 90’s with 75%+ humidity, otherwise it’s usually closer to 5-7°. Something to consider, since you don’t have AC, just in case you need it year round (I’m not sure what WV summer is like, I run a humidifier in the winter and dehumidifier in the summer up here)

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - http://www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods - http://www.TheModsquito.com

View Robert's profile

Robert

4519 posts in 2531 days


#13 posted 03-02-2021 02:37 PM

I think you’re looking at a whole house type unit. I would consult an AC pro. This is one of those things you want to do right or could waste money and time.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View controlfreak's profile

controlfreak

1964 posts in 652 days


#14 posted 03-02-2021 03:52 PM

I leave the window unit AC running at about 80 degrees when I am not in there and a little lower on the weekends. Seems to work okay.

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