Comments for Dehumidifiers for Crawl Space
Ebac vs. Santa Fe

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Sep 08, 2011
Comment regarding Ducting - TrueDry Dehumidifiers
by: Anonymous

Hi Tom,

3 different contractors have recommended 3 different types of duct work for the TrueDry dehumidifier. First contractor recommends round metal uninsulated duct. The second contractor recommends insulated round metal duct. The third contractor recommends flex duct. What is your take on these different ducts? The first contractor states that insulated ducting is necessary if it cold air that is being circulated. For dehumidification, heated air is being circulated. I some times wonder if these people know what they are talking about and are just suggesting unnecessary extras. Thanks!

Webmaster's comment


It is difficult for me to comment on the assessments made by the three contractors as they have the advantage of having surveyed the area but I share your scepticism regarding the reason put forward for using insulated ducting. As you rightly say a dehumidifier warms the air so the discharge air will be warmer than the ambient air.

The main advantage of using insulated duct, by which I mean insulated flex duct, is that doing so, on the discharge side, can significantly reduce noise. This may be a sufficient reason for preferring it as all these powerful dehumidifiers are a little loud. Insulated flex duct is typically a little more expensive than uninsulated foil flex duct but both types are widely used for ducting dehumidifiers.

Provided the ducting is installed correctly I see no reason why any of the three options would not be satisfactory with respect to humidity control so you are probably best to be guided by the priority you place on noise reduction, the prices you are quoted for the work by the various contractors and the reputation of each of the contractors among their customers.

Tom (Webmaster)

Aug 28, 2011
Follow up on Honeywell TruDry to Tom's Response
by: Anonymous

In one of your earlier responses when I had asked about ducting, you indicated that with ducting the dehumidifier, the unit loses some of its efficacy. With that being the case, does high CFM vs. low CFM help? Also, even though 60 pints extraction is all I need, the HVAC contractor recommended 90 pints extraction TrueDry dehumidifier, which has 200 CFM. Will this help with ducting as far as the efficacy of the unit or is he just selling me a bigger unit? Thanks!

Webmaster's comment.

The use of ducting will reduce the air flow volume by a modest amount. This will affect all dehumidifiers equally.

A ducted installation will, however, improve the air circulation in your crawl space and, on balance, will improve dehumidification by at least as much as would be necessary to cancel out the slight reduction in air flow volume. This also applies to all dehumidifiers equally.

The 90 pint Honeywell TrueDry is more energy efficient than the 65 pint Santa Fe Compact. This is simply because a higher capacity dehumidifier is always more energy efficient than a lower capacity model. For the sake of completeness I should reiterate that the Ebac is not Energy Star qualified and will cost more to run than either.

Since the cost of energy used to run any dehumidifier will always exceed the purchase cost of that dehumidifier over a number of years of use the energy saving should more than compensate for the higher initial purchase price of the higher capacity model.

In addition to energy savings there are two other benefits. Because the dehumidifier has a higher capacity it will run for fewer hours per day to control humidity in your crawl space. This means that, 1, it will last longer because it will wear more slowly and, 2, that the noise nuisance will be present for fewer hours each day.

I cannot guess at the motivation of your HVAC contractor. Clearly selling you a more expensive dehumidifier is financially beneficial to the contractor but is also to your advantage, a "win win situation".


Aug 26, 2011
Honeywell TrueDRY DH90 vs. Santa Fe
by: Anonymous

Due to restricted access to my crawl space, I've to set the unit in the basement and duct it to the crawl space for easy maintenance after installation. After extensive research, this is my only option. When I contacted HVAC people to do the ducting for any of these units, my choice would be either one of the following -- Santa Fe, Ebac, or Dri-Crawpace, the HVAC people recommended Honeywell TrueDry DH90 for my crawl space for them to warranty their labor. What do you know about this dehumidifier as far as efficiency and breakdowns? Is this unit as good as the units recommended by you on your website?

Webmaster's comment

I am happy to be able to reassure you about the Honeywell TrueDry dehumidifier.

The Honeywell TrueDry range of whole house dehumidifiers is marketed by Honeywell under their own, well known brand but is manufactured on their behalf by Therma-Stor the manufacturers of the Santa Fe range.

Therma-Stor markets the Santa Fe dehumidifiers as "basement and crawl space dehumidifiers" as this appeals to buyers seeking dehumidifiers for these specific areas.

Therma-Stor also manufactures whole house dehumidifiers under its Ultra Aire brand. The Ultra Aire units are virtually identical to the TrueDry range it manufactures for Honeywell.

Labelling the Ultra Aire range as whole house dehumidifiers obviously increases their appeal to buyers looking for whole house solutions but these units are also sold as basement and crawl space dehumidifers and internally are very similar to the Santa Fe range.

Your HVAC contractor is perhaps being a little particular in insisting on the Honeywell unit in order to warranty the installation but this probably reflects their greater experience with this model.

With respect to breakdowns and efficiency there is nothing to choose between the Santa Fe and Honeywell brands because, in most significant respects, they are the same and share many components.

If the price asked by your HVAC contractor is acceptable and you have confidence in them you have nothing to lose by agreeing to their proposal and having the TrueDry unit installed.

I hope this is helpful.

Aug 16, 2011
Low CFM vs. High CFM
by: Anonymous

Follow up question to my earlier comment--is low CFM better then high CFM. Santa Fe has only 190 CFM vs 300 of Ebac's.

Webmaster's comments.

The water removing capacity of a dehumidifier is a result of the combination of several factors one of which is the air flow volume, expressed as cubic feet per minute (CFM). The particular combination of components selected by a manufacturer will reflect both their own philosophies and, more importantly, the applications for which their dehumidifiers are designed.

As I said in my earlier reply, the Ebac is designed for use in demanding industrial applications, particularly those where effective low temperature operation is needed. The Santa Fe is built for tough environments also but even a crawl space will rarely be as hostile environment as, for example, a North Sea oil rig.

The Ebac's qualities would make it the preferred choice for use in a very cold basement or crawl space but for typical domestic applications I repeat my recommendation in favor of the Santa Fe unit.

Aug 16, 2011
Question regarding removing the Dehumidifier?
by: Anonymous

If the unit is turned off and not run between November and March, can it then be just left in the crawl space? Does it still need to be covered with insulated material? Also, I have not seen favorable comments on the connection of hose and water drainage on Santa Fe unit on this site and other sites?

Webmaster's comments.

Dehumidifiers designed for residential use cannot be operated in sub freezing temperatures. In such conditions it is advisable to protect the dehumidifier, at least with insulating material, while it is not in use. A crawl space dehumidifier is an expensive piece of kit and if it was my dehumidifier I would make the effort and remove it entirely from the crawl space during the winter months.

I am not sure whether the second point means that you have seen unfavorable comments or that the absence of any comment leaves you unsure about how reliable the drainage arrangements are.

The comments I have seen sugest that the drainage arrangements for Santa Fe dehumidifiers are both easy to set up and effective. I know, of course, that problems are often found with the continuous drainage feature built into most portable dehumidifiers but the Santa Fe and other basement/crawl space dehumidifiers differ in one major respect.

They are designed for continuous drainage only, there is no bucket. If there were any problems with their drainage system the units would be returned frequently as they would be merely expensive paper weights. This is not happening and consumer satisfaction is high. You may rest assured that the drainage arrangements work.

Obviously the gravity fed drainage system is only suitable for use if there is a near by floor drain or sump. For those who need to feed the water over any significant distance, or to a higher level, a condensate pump will be needed. These may be of any brand you prefer but Therma-Stor will supply a condensate pump, at an additional charge, if needed.

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