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Quiet dehumidifier - is there one?? #2864203
06/30/19 10:57 AM
06/30/19 10:57 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,392
not in Japan anymore
ShiroKuro Offline OP
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We moved awhile back and this is our first summer in the new house. It seems that this house is more humid in the summer than where we lived before. I think it's because the house gets a lot of shade and the a/c doesn't have to work very much, which is great for the electric bill but not so great for the RH readings.

I have been using a free standing dehumidifier in my piano room (Frigidaire FAD301NWDA1). As far as dehumidifying, it works great. The only problem is it's noisy and I hate that. I've been reading online and it seems like there are dehumidifiers that don't have compressors, but they don't work very well. I also did a search here and didn't really find much helpful info. Depending on the weather, if I don't use the dehumidifier, the RH shoots up to above 70% and that makes me very nervous. So I turn the dang dehumidifier on and off, and the RH fluctuates between 50% and maybe 68%, but that can't be good either.

BTW, I'm not going to consider a damp-chaser for my upright because I'm currently shopping for a grand. Once I have a new piano, if it seems necessary I'll consider a damp-chaser, but I'm not there yet. But one of my goals is to hopefully get the humidity under control so that I don't have to worry when I get a new piano.

Does anyone know of any any quiet dehumidifiers? Or have any other suggestions?


Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u

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Re: Quiet dehumidifier - is there one?? [Re: ShiroKuro] #2864225
06/30/19 11:55 AM
06/30/19 11:55 AM
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Georgia, USA
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Hello again, ShiroKuro!

I used to worry about my pianos and humidity swings, a lot. But I don't worry about it as much these days. All my pianos are housed in an enviorument I would consider average, better than some and not as good as others. I do have a whole-room dehumidifier in my piano shop in my detached garage, but I do not have a central HVAC system in that space. But the floor is 4" concrete with a vapor barrier underneath, and the walls and ceiling are insulated with 4" batt fiberglass insulation (R-13?). Surprisingly, the whole-room dehumidifier, (forgot the exact size) does an excellent job of controlling the humidity in that space.

Also, as an added benefit to the whole-room dehumidifier, as I said, I do not have my piano shop heated or cooled, but if the outdoor temperature gets really high or really low, the dehumidifer will keep the temperature in the space slightly cooler in summer or slightly warmer in winter than the outside temp. So, although it is a dehumidifier, it does slightly heat and cool as needed, as well as control the %RH.

If I'm out in my piano shop playing one of my pianos, and the dehumidifier is running, I will shut it off some of the time, but I usually just play the piano louder. Besides, I like the more upbeat, fast tempo types of music (I have two basic tempos... fast and faster smile ) and quite often, my playing and singing will drown out the sound of the dehumidifier, if it is running.

My music room in my house, where I have two of my best grand pianos, the space is heated and cooled by my central HVAC system. I do have some dehumidifying heating rods underneath the soundboard of my Yamaha C7, in case the %RH gets too high. The heating rods are controlled by a humidistat (similar to a thermostat) that energizes the heating rods if the RH gets above 60%. I have had that set-up for several years, and the tuning on the C7 holds like a rock.

I have a digital humidistat/thermometer in both my music room and my piano shop to keep a check on the RH. In my local, it is very rare that the RH gets too low, but can easily get too high. I would say in both my music shop and my music room, the %RH varies between a low of 35% and a high of 65% during different times of the year.

As for the dehumidifiers without the vapor-compression type compressor, they use what is called Electrocaloric cooling, which uses an electric current and electrostatic actuation phenomenon that creates a heat exchange/cooling effect. It is sometimes referred to as "solid state cooling". In my view, yes, it works, and the technology is improving, but it is still not quite as good as the conventional vapor-compression cooling system using various refrigerant chemicals. It would be some quieter, but still has a fan to move the air across the electrolytic plates.

Having the dehumidifier in your piano room is a good idea, and as extra precaution to control the humidity level. If you get tired of turning off the dehumidifier every time you play your piano, you could install a sensor on your piano bench/seat so that a switch would shut off the dehumidifier every time you sit on the piano bench, but that would be a little extreme. smile

Hope this helps!

Rick





Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Quiet dehumidifier - is there one?? [Re: ShiroKuro] #2864228
06/30/19 12:09 PM
06/30/19 12:09 PM
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not in Japan anymore
ShiroKuro Offline OP
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Hi Rickster, thanks for the comments!!

Can I give you some background about my house and see if you have any other advice? First, my piano room is above the crawl space. The crawl space already has a moisture barrier down there, and when we bough the house, and the inspection happened in a week where it rained hard for 5 days straight, the humidity and moisture readings that the inspector did in the crawl space were "good" (I don't remember now what they were though. I just remember he was saying "wow, that's a great sign, especially in this weather"). So I don't think there's much else to be done in that area.

Second, the rest of the house is actually over a full basement (walk-out on one side). The house is very shady, and the HVAC is new, two-stage, and I think part of the reason the RH in the main level is high is because the HVAC kind of is too efficient and doesn't run a lot and mostly runs on the lower stage.

But the HVAC does sit in the basement (the full-basement part) and I don't have a dehumidifier running down there. Do HVACs take in air from their surroundings? (i.e., not only from the return vents?)
If yes, is it possible that if I set up a dehumidifier in the basement and had it running all the time, that it could have a positive affect on the RH in the main level?

Basically, I really hate that dehumidifier and would over-joyed if I didn't have to have it on at all. It's in the living room (piano room), but I can hear it if I'm in the family room, bedroom or in my office. So I'm hoping there's a work-around that will let me get away from using it....


Last edited by ShiroKuro; 06/30/19 12:10 PM.

Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u

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Re: Quiet dehumidifier - is there one?? [Re: ShiroKuro] #2864238
06/30/19 12:29 PM
06/30/19 12:29 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
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Georgia, USA
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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
But the HVAC does sit in the basement (the full-basement part) and I don't have a dehumidifier running down there. Do HVACs take in air from their surroundings? (i.e., not only from the return vents?)
If yes, is it possible that if I set up a dehumidifier in the basement and had it running all the time, that it could have a positive affect on the RH in the main level?

Basically, I really hate that dehumidifier and would over-joyed if I didn't have to have it on at all. It's in the living room (piano room), but I can hear it if I'm in the family room, bedroom or in my office. So I'm hoping there's a work-around that will let me get away from using it....

All central HVAC systems have a supply and a return ducting system. The return air is taken from the conditioned space and then heated or cooled, and the supply registers deliver the freshly conditioned air back into the conditioned space. If your basement is heated and cooled as part of the system, and has some return registers, your idea of locating the dehumidifier in the basement might work to some extent. Basements can have a tendency to be more humid than the remainder of the living space anyway, but not always.

As far as your HVAC unit not running enough to control the humidity level adequately, this is actually a problem in many homes. In Georgia, it is now required that all new homes built (since 2011) have a professional HVAC load-calculation done and then a blower-door test on the HVAC duct system, to test the efficiency (leakage) of the duct system. Many HVAC contractors, unfortunately, are not properly trained to do a formal load calculation on a particular home/building and quite often over-size the HVAC system. This is good for the contractor, because the system will cool the house under the most extreme conditions, but it is bad for the homeowner, in that the unit will short-cycle and not run long enough to adequately remove the humidity. It happens all too often.

There is, however, a humidity control system that can be added to your central HVAC system. It is an option and an add-on that can be set to maintain the humidity level that is most comfortable to you or suit your needs. Perhaps you can contact a reputable HVAC contractor and discuss that with them. Hopefully, your system is not over-sized for you home.

Hope this helps!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Quiet dehumidifier - is there one?? [Re: ShiroKuro] #2864243
06/30/19 12:46 PM
06/30/19 12:46 PM
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ShiroKuro Offline OP
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Hmmm, I'm thinking there are no return vents in the basement... Just leaky ductwork! :P

So HVACs don't take up air around the actual air handler then? (We have a standard split system heat pump, w/ air handler in the basement, compressor outside)

The dehumidifier-in-basement might not have a big impact, but I'll try it anyway.

As to our HVAC/house, we have a 3-ton unit, there was a load calculation done by a local company (well-regarded, I trust them) before it was installed. It's supposed to be a pretty efficient model, and like I said it's a two stage, and generally runs on the lower stage. Our electric bills are half of what they were in our old house (which was a similar size, but with old HVAC). So the other thing I'm hoping is that I don't cancel out that savings by plugging in a bazillion dehumidifiers! whome

Oh and just fyi the house is about 1500 sqft and the basement is about 900 sqft. There are vents (add-ons attached to the ducts, not part of original ductwork) in the basement and there's one finished room down there with two ceiling vents but no returns. The thing about the HVAC is that the ductwork is probably not great, but we can't afford to have it re-done if I want to buy a grand piano anytime soon. But I kind of wonder if a smaller HVAC wouldn't have been as effective with the current ductwork. Leaving aside the readings on the hygrometer, the house feels comfortable and the cooling works very well. In any case, even if the unit is over-sized, it's sort of a moot point because we're not going to replace a brand new HVAC either! crazy

But if I can't get a good handle on the problem, I might look into the whole house humidity control system, I wonder how expensive those are.


Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u

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Re: Quiet dehumidifier - is there one?? [Re: ShiroKuro] #2864245
06/30/19 12:48 PM
06/30/19 12:48 PM
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Good post, one I'm interested in now that I'm a piano owner.

I did see these 'Music sorb' humidity pouches posted somewhere else as an alternative which I am considering myself as a precautionary measure, thoughts?

https://musicsorbonline.com/product/piano-pouches/

Re: Quiet dehumidifier - is there one?? [Re: ShiroKuro] #2864250
06/30/19 01:01 PM
06/30/19 01:01 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
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not in Japan anymore
ShiroKuro Offline OP
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Wow those are expensive! When I lived in Japan, I used to get something similar to the "cassettes" from my piano tuner and keep them in my upright piano, I would always get new ones with each tuning (I generally had him come twice a year). I am pretty sure they were no where near that expensive. Granted, that was in Japan, so it's irrelevant. And now I live in the US Southeast...

BTW RJ's Dad, thanks for posting the link (despite my complaint about the price!) I don't think I'll get these for my current piano, but I will definitely keep them in mind for when I get a grand piano.

Although, I wonder if they work better in uprights because it's a closed environment ... and then, if that's the case, maybe they would work better in a grand with the lid closed?

RJ's Dad, what part of the US (?) do you live in? (if not US, my apologies!)


Last edited by ShiroKuro; 06/30/19 01:01 PM.

Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u

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Re: Quiet dehumidifier - is there one?? [Re: ShiroKuro] #2864253
06/30/19 01:11 PM
06/30/19 01:11 PM
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I don't know if you have an option to put in a window air conditioner, but many newer models include a dehumidification mode. I put one in my piano room and it's much quieter because the compressor is sitting outside the window, so the only thing I hear is the fan on low speed. Also there's never anything to drain because it drains outside. Mine draws 4 amps in dehumidify mode and takes out 30 pints per day, so it's more efficient than the older free standing dehumidifiers that I've used in the past. Before I got this window unit I had a free standing dehumidifier in the room and I had to shut it off while I was practicing because it was so loud.

We also have central A/C that works fine, but is not able to properly maintain the humidity in the house for a piano, especially when the weather outside is relatively cool but very humid. My piano is in a separate room, so I can shut the door and control the climate separately from the rest of the house. If you have your piano in a central living area, it is more difficult to control things. You may be forced to run your central heat to warm the house up a little and then run the A/C so it will stay on long enough to dehumidify the air.

Last edited by MarkL; 06/30/19 01:12 PM.

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Re: Quiet dehumidifier - is there one?? [Re: ShiroKuro] #2864255
06/30/19 01:15 PM
06/30/19 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Wow those are expensive!

BTW RJ's Dad, thanks for posting the link (despite my complaint about the price!) I don't think I'll get these for my current piano, but I will definitely keep them in mind for when I get a grand piano.



RJ's Dad, what part of the US (?) do you live in? (if not US, my apologies!)



ShiroKuro,

I'm in the US/Northeast.

Re: posting link, you're welcome! I got a lot of help here searching for a piano and am glad to help pay it forward, someone posted they'd never see me again and I promised otherwise...

Re: Expensive, Agree, which is why I haven't gotten them yet!


Cheers.

Re: Quiet dehumidifier - is there one?? [Re: ShiroKuro] #2864292
06/30/19 03:11 PM
06/30/19 03:11 PM
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Georgia, USA
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The newer HVAC units nowadays are MUCH more efficient that the older units. Mostly because the US Department of Energy mandates energy efficiency requirements for HVAC systems.

In regards to the HVAC heat-load calculations, there are computer software programs that do that very well. The data entered into the software program include geographical location, types of construction, size of floors, exterior walls, ceilings, doors, windows, and R-values of the insulation used, as well as other factors. Also, in the field of HVAC, it is better to slightly undersize a cooling system than to oversize one. Some people complain that their HVAC unit runs all the time and it must be undersized. Fact is, the HVAC system will use less energy, provide better humidity control, and better over-all comfort, if it does run all the time. It is designed to run and not to sit idol.

An oversized unit that runs a short time, cools the house down quickly and then shuts off soon after it starts (short-cycling) will consume more power by starting and stopping and provide less humidity control. If the humidity level in the home is high, it will not feel as comfortable as if it were lower.

One of the biggest sources of energy inefficiency and waste in the US is oversized HVAC systems and systems with leaky duct systems, or systems that are not properly charged with refrigerant and running at peak performance. Many units are either under-charged or over-charged with refrigerant, or have other issues that cause inefficiency.

In regards to properly sized HVAC systems (in tons of cooling capacity/ 12,000 BTUs = 1 ton of cooling capacity) for a certain building or structure, there are some rules of thumb that can be used; but I always taught my HVACR students to never use rules of thumb, but proper mechanical engineering formulas and accepted methods and standards.

Some rules of thumb that some contractors have used over the years:

Old house, poorly insulated, lots of air leakage - 1 ton of cooling for every 400 sq. ft. of floor space. Example: 1200 sq. ft = 3 tons of cooling (36,000 BTU)
Older house, but not an ancient relic, moderately insulated and less air leakage than the old house - 1 ton of cooling for every 500 sq. ft. of floor space. Example: 1200 sq. ft. = 2.4 tons or a 2.5 ton unit. (30,000 BTU)
Newer house, well insulated, low outside air leakage - 1 ton of cooling for every 600 sq. ft. of floor space. Example: 1200 sq. ft. = 2 tons (24,000 BTU)

The 5- air-changes per hour rule of thumb: Calculate cubic feet of air in house X 5; to be conditioned/circulated 5 times per hour (5 air changes per hour); convert cubic feet per hour to cubic feet per minute. 400 CFM (cubic feet per minute) is required for 1 ton of cooling capacity. Divide the cubic feet per hour by 400CFM. That is roughly how many tons of cooling needed for that amount of air. Example: 1200 sq. ft. house with 8 feet ceilings; 1200X8=9600 CF X 5 air changes per hour = 48,000 cubic feet per hour. 48000CFH/60 (60 minutes in an hour) = 800CFM (cubic feet per minute). 800CFM/400CFM per ton of cooling = 2 tons of cooling = 24,000BTU.

Again, these are just some rules of thumb that many HVAC contractors use. It is best to do a detailed, formal ACCA manual J or D load calculation (J=residential; D=commercial).

Sorry for the OT, but I suppose it is really not OT because it ultimately affects the environment our pianos are housed in... plus, I like talking about this stuff. smile

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Quiet dehumidifier - is there one?? [Re: ShiroKuro] #2864342
06/30/19 04:18 PM
06/30/19 04:18 PM
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ShiroKuro Offline OP
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Geez! I should have talked to you when we were choosing our HVAC!!

I think it's probably the right size though. I got estimates from three different companies, and each did load calculations. One company told me their calculation was that I need a 3.2 ton, but they don't make them in that size, so they recommended we get a 3.5 ton unit. They also wanted to sell me on $8,000 to $10,000 worth of duct work! I say no thank you.

Anyway, our house is, I am certain, quite leaky. (and, single pane windows that are original to the house! We will not be getting new windows anytime soon though, the piano comes first!)

So, maybe we could get by with a smaller system, but I kinda doubt it, just from living in the house and also comparing it to our old house etc. Also, this house is surrounded by shade trees and does not get a lot of direct sunlight at almost any time during the day, and I think that has a big impact. I am pretty sure our unit is not short cycling. I just think it's a humid locale.

Having said all that though, I should call the company that did the install and ask. Maybe they have some advice, or can come out and make sure there's not some setting or something that needs to be changed.


Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u

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Re: Quiet dehumidifier - is there one?? [Re: ShiroKuro] #2864400
06/30/19 05:22 PM
06/30/19 05:22 PM
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Lady Bird Online content
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ShiroKuro,
We have a Frigidaire as well but it is a different model
to yours.It is able to control the humidty in our whole
house.(1,500 sq ft )Because of this we just stand it in
an area where we do not hear it that much. It is also not overwhelming in the noise it produces.
I have a few hygrometers and so I can see it is able
to keep the humidity between 53 and 57%
If I do not use a dehumidifier the humidity can also go
over 70% at certainly times.
I just thought I would let you know.

Re: Quiet dehumidifier - is there one?? [Re: ShiroKuro] #2864401
06/30/19 05:24 PM
06/30/19 05:24 PM
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not in Japan anymore
ShiroKuro Offline OP
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Wow, that's super interesting! Do you have an open floor plan? I can't imagine how a dehumidifier in one room in our home could have much impact on the other rooms.

Oh, also, is yours a 70 pint? Mine is only 30, but still, just because of our floorplan, I can't imagine that it would work that. never say never though!


Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u

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Re: Quiet dehumidifier - is there one?? [Re: ShiroKuro] #2864432
06/30/19 06:13 PM
06/30/19 06:13 PM
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Lady Bird Online content
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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Wow, that's super interesting! Do you have an open floor plan? I can't imagine how a dehumidifier in one room in our home could have much impact on the other rooms.

Oh, also, is yours a 70 pint? Mine is only 30, but still, just because of our floorplan, I can't imagine that it would work that. never say never though!

Yes mine is 70 pint .The piano area is not really open
plan but my husband put in a door on the side of the
piano room .The humidifier stands in a passage
not all that far from the piano room but I could move
it further away and it still would be effective.
I would not have it too near the piano because it really
is powerful.
Often I would have on at 60% and it will keep the humidity around 56% If it has been raining I will have
it set at 55% I never have needed to set it lower than
this.

http://www.dehumidifierbuyersguide.com



Last edited by Lady Bird; 06/30/19 06:17 PM. Reason: Missing word
Re: Quiet dehumidifier - is there one?? [Re: ShiroKuro] #2864438
06/30/19 06:19 PM
06/30/19 06:19 PM
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not in Japan anymore
ShiroKuro Offline OP
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Thanks for all the info!!


Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u

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Re: Quiet dehumidifier - is there one?? [Re: ShiroKuro] #2864468
06/30/19 07:25 PM
06/30/19 07:25 PM
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I've been using a desiccant dehumidifier for the past 2 years or so and it works excellent in a closed room environment. The room is 12x19x11 feet and I have It controlled with an external humidistat called "Moisture King". Year around the house is between 70-80 RH and I keep the piano room tight from 52-55 RH with only having to small 4 pint water tank every 4 days or so. I could lower it but I found that the dehumidifier would fire on too much and waste energy and considering that under 55% is suitable for any piano I have decided to keep set that range. The dehumidifier itself set to come one with the low/econ setting so you can barely hear it . I also have a pump style dehumidifier I use around the house and it's a night and day difference in terms of sound.


EcoSeb DD122EA-CLASSIC Desiccant




Re: Quiet dehumidifier - is there one?? [Re: ShiroKuro] #2864482
06/30/19 08:01 PM
06/30/19 08:01 PM
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L

Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 2,091
North Vancouver
When I say not an open floor plan, there there is an
open doorway to a small dining area and kitchen.
(RH side)On the LH of the piano room there is a doorway(with door) that leads to a passage (going by
kitchen /dining area )to other rooms round a corner to
another bedroom ,near the back door which is always closed, that is where the dehumidifier stands.
A confusing description ShiroKuro but I hope you get
the main idea of the area.


Last edited by Lady Bird; 06/30/19 08:03 PM. Reason: Missing word
Re: Quiet dehumidifier - is there one?? [Re: ShiroKuro] #2864506
06/30/19 09:01 PM
06/30/19 09:01 PM
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 129
oldMH Offline
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oldMH  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 129
We use a 50-pint Frigidaire dehumidifer. I bought it partly because it is less noisy than others. Model number is FFAD5033R1.

Re: Quiet dehumidifier - is there one?? [Re: ShiroKuro] #2864514
06/30/19 09:40 PM
06/30/19 09:40 PM
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 2,091
North Vancouver
L
Lady Bird Online content
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Lady Bird  Online Content
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L

Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 2,091
North Vancouver
The 70 pint I would say is not noisy., at we do not think so ! It gets its work done soon as well.

Re: Quiet dehumidifier - is there one?? [Re: Lady Bird] #2864628
07/01/19 07:36 AM
07/01/19 07:36 AM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 2,598
In the Ozarks of Missouri
NobleHouse Offline
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NobleHouse  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 2,598
In the Ozarks of Missouri
Originally Posted by Lady Bird
The 70 pint I would say is not noisy., at we do not think so ! It gets its work done soon as well.


We also use the 70 pint Frigidaire. It works great, however, I think it is on the noisy side.


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