Basement Dehumidifiers-OscarAir or another brand?

by Douglas
(Columbus, Ohio, USA)

This past weekend 7 April 2012, a technician from The Basement Doctor had measured the humidity in my basement at 57%. He then recommended I purchase a SaniDry dehumidifier at about $2150.00 because the humidity was over 50%.

I listened to his presentation of how keeping the humidity in my basement below 50% would help prevent formation of mold, dust mites and other nasties. (they did excellent necessary work on my basement last year which I am pleased with). I took the brochure on the dehydrator and told him I would think about it.

Well I have been doing research about dehumidifers and came across OscarAir website which compared their Dri-Basement dehumidifier to all others including the comparable SaniDry and Santa Fe Classic which you point out are made by the same company. OscarAir claims that tests conducted on their dehumidifier shows it is superior to all others, especially in these areas: covers a larger area of 3500 square feet; higher airflow of 360 CFM; removes more water per day in 105 pints; quieter at 52dBA,; uses less wattage 744, less amperage 6.58, higher pints/Kwh 5.63; will operate down to a lower room temperature 45 degrees; longer drain hose of 25 feet; option of use of two different Merv size filters of 8 or 11. Also costs less at about $1185.00.

So my question: is OscarAir's comparison apples to apples and is their quality as good or better than the others? Could you recommend them or would I be better with the more expensive proven industry standard dehumidiers?

Thanks,

Doug
Columbus, Ohio




Answer

Hi Doug and thank you for your question.

I recently answered a similar question from another visitor. His question was about the OscarAir Dri-Crawl-Space dehumidifier but I believe you will find my answer to his question includes many items relevant to yours. You will find his question and my answer here.

In my view the critical question is "how much confidence do you place in OscarAir's claims for their dehumidifiers?" I will not express an opinion on this but allow you to draw your own conclusions when you have read my answer to the earlier question.

From your question I am assuming that the page on which you quote items from the Dri-Basement dehumidifier specifications was this one:

http://www.basementdehumidifiers.net/

I do not intend to conduct a detailed analysis of this page here but will simply mention two items, near the bottom of the page, beneath the heading "Dri-Basement is the Quiet Dehumidifier!"

In the three short paragraphs beneath this heading the writer refers to the table immediately below in which the noise levels of various basement dehumidifiers are compared. S/he notes that the difference in noise level between the loudest and the quietest models is 16.5dBA. The writer goes on to say that 16.5dBA is a "..31.7% variance from the best to worst performing unit..".

16.5 is indeed 31.7% of 52 but the statement reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of the decibel scale. Like the Richter Scale, used to measure the magnitude of an earthquake, the Decibel Scale is a logarithmic not a linear scale. The statement that 68.5 dBA is 31.7% greater than 52dBA is, therefore, meaningless and misleading. In fact the difference between the two is greater than this spurious percentage suggests which means that the writer understates the alleged advantage of the Dri-Basement Dehumidifier over the Aprilaire 1710A.

Furthermore, in the table the SaniDry Basement dehumidifier is reported to have a noise output of 54dBA whereas the Santa Fe Classic is reported at 62dBA. As these two units are essentially identical and are both manufactured by Therma-Stor I find this puzzling.

If you share my view that the issue on which your decision depends is your confidence in the information published by Basementdehumidifiers.net I would guess that you will now have enough information to make that decision. For the record I fully stand by the final paragraph of my answer to the earlier question and, if the decision was mine to make, would choose a Santa Fe product.

I hope this is helpful.

Tom (Webmaster)

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