Ultra Aire 70H Whole
House Dehumidifier Review


The Ultra Aire 70H is a whole house dehumidifier suitable for a home with a floor area of up to 1800 square feet (manufacturer's recommendation). Is is one of the best dehumidifier models for an apartment or a smaller house.


The 70H replaces the popular Ultra Aire 65H which has established an enviable reputation for performance and reliability and has been widely praised in dehumidifier reviews by consumers. The Ultra Aire Dehumidifier range is manufactured by Therma-Stor, well known for their Santa Fe (basement & crawl space) and Phoenix (water damage restoration) dehumidifier brands.


The Ultra Aire 70H retains all the advantages of its predecessor and incorporates a number of significant improvements which make it an even more attractive whole house dehumidifier for owners of more compact homes. These improvements include a higher water extraction capacity, greater energy efficiency, quieter operation and more flexible ducting options to allow installation in the most suitable and convenient areas of any home.

Ultra Aire 70H Whole House Dehumidifier




Overview


The Ultra Aire 70H will extract up to 70 pints of water per day and is Energy Star® qualified, with an impressive Energy Factor of 2.32 l/kw. The 70H is a whole house dehumidifier built to commercial quality standards and designed to operate efficiently in low temperatures, at which a portable home dehumidifier would be relatively ineffective. The 70H can be integrated with your existing HVAC ducting, installed with separate ducting or operated in stand-alone mode in a single large area of your home, such as a basement or crawl space.


The water collected from the air, the condensate, can be drained to a nearby floor level drain or sump by gravity alone. A separate condensate pump is available as an option if required. The unit may be operated using the controls incorporated in the unit or by use of a wired remote control panel. The unit may also be used to draw outdoor air into the home to improve ventilation and air quality.


Features


The Ultra Aire 70H Whole House Dehumidifier, in common with all Therma-Stor dehumidifiers, has simple controls and no superficial "bells and whistles". The principal "features" of this dehumidifier lie in its capability to do a first class job in a demanding environment, reliably, economically and with minimal maintenance.


The most obvious feature of the 70H is its small size and relatively light weight. The unit is low in height and longer than it is tall which is ideal for installation in tight corners of your home. Its external dimensions are 28 x 12 x 12 inches and it weighs just 55lb, only a little more than a typical 70 pint portable home dehumidifier.


The most common location for the 70H will be alongside your boiler, usually in the basement, but it can equally well be installed in a crawl space, an attic or any other location which is convenient and unobtrusive. Within the area in which it is installed it can be sited within a smaller enclosure, such as a closet, to remain out of sight and to reduce the noise nuisance that all dehumidifiers create.


To make installing the Ultra Aire 70H in tight corners even easier it has two features which provide very flexible installation options.


  1. The unit has been designed to allow either vertical or horizontal airflow discharge and the design of the cabinet enables quick and easy conversion from one mode to the other. This allows the dehumidifier to be adapted more easily to the configuration of existing ducting and places fewer restrictions on your choice of site for the installation.

  2. For even greater convenience the second feature is an optional "hang kit" which allows the dehumidifier to be suspended, from a floor joist for example. This can be a space saver and will increase the effectiveness of the dehumidifier's gravity fed continuous drainage system.


The Ultra Aire 70H is manufactured to commercial standards and is encased in a robust steel cabinet which encloses high quality components, including the fan, refrigeration system and humidistat. The quality of these components confers a number of benefits.


  1. The unit is considerably more durable than a portable home dehumidifier and may be expected to outlast two or even three of these much more fragile appliances in the tough environments in which it can operate.

  2. The Ultra Aire 70H is considerably more energy efficient than a 70 pint portable model. Both may be Energy Star certified but a typical 70 pint portable home dehumidifier achieves an Energy Factor (EF) of only 1.8 litres of water removed for every kilowatt hour of energy used, the minimum required by Energy Star for a 70 pint unit. The 70H far surpasses this with an EF of 2.32 which means that it will extract approximately 29% more water for every energy dollar you spend.

  3. The quality of the components allows the Ultra Aire 70H to operate effectively at low temperatures, much lower than those at which a portable room dehumidifier can function economically. At temperatures in the 50's F the superior Energy Efficiency of the 70H, in comparison with a portable, is even more marked.


In addition, the use of a whole house dehumidifier will allow you to set the thermostat on your Air-Con system a couple of degrees higher since the temperature you perceive is lower when the air is drier, a further energy saving. The reason for this is that the body's cooling system, sweating, works more effectively at lower relative humidity as sweat evaporates more quickly than it does in more humid conditions.


Naturally the Ultra Aire 70H includes an adjustable humidistat. Once again quality counts as this instrument is more accurate than those fitted to portable home dehumidifiers.


This device is important as it both protects you and your home, by keeping relative humidity at a comfortable and safe level, and also saves energy by switching off the dehumidifier at times when it is not needed. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) recommends a level of relative humidity between 30% and 50% but you will find that around 45% will prevent mold growth, deter dust mites and maintain comfortable living conditions for you and your loved ones.


Continuous drainage is a must with this type of dehumidifier and a perfectly satisfactory gravity fed system is built into the Ultra Aire 70H. A whole house dehumidifier should require minimal maintenance by the owner and this system relieves you from the chore of emptying the dreaded bucket.


The variety of installation options makes it easy to site the dehumidifier above floor level but, if this is insufficient to achieve the flow rate needed for effective drainage a separate condensate pump is available from Therma-Stor. The pump has a vertical lift capacity of 15 feet, quite sufficient to get the water to the floor above the dehumidifier or to move the water over a greater horizontal distance.


Particles harmful to you and to the Ultra Aire 70H are removed from the air by a MERV 11 air filter. A MERV 14 or carbon filter can be purchased for greater protection. The filter should be cleaned in accordance with the instructions in the manual to ensure that the dehumidifier performs at 100% efficiency. The filter will need to be replaced every six months or so.


The Ultra Aire 70H may be used to improve ventilation of your home by drawing in outside air. As well as improving air quality this can be an economical way of reducing excess humidity when the outside air is much drier than the air inside your home. You will find more detailed information about this feature in the user's manual.


The Ultra Aire 70H extracts up to 70 pints per day from the air at 60% relative humidity and 80°F, the AHAM standard. This water extraction rate will vary and will be considerably lower in cooler and/or drier conditions.


Although designed as a whole house dehumidifier the quality and characteristics of this unit make it equally suitable for use as a basement dehumidifier or in a crawl space. In these applications it may operate in free-standing mode although ducting will make it more effective in a large basement or in one that has been partitioned to make smaller individual rooms.


The main disadvantage of the Ultra Aire 70H is the initially high cost of purchase. The greater working life time and energy efficiency of this dehumidifier should, however, more than compensate for its higher ticket price.


Manual


Click on the link to download the 70H manual.


PRODUCT SPECIFICATION

Brand Ultra Aire
Model Ultra Aire 70H Dehumidifier
Application(s) Domestic
Suitable for Whole House
Portable No
Carrying handles No
Wheels/castors No
Weight (lbs) 55
Dimensions, inches (WxDxH) 28 x 12 x 12
Dehumidification process Refrigerant
Water extraction (80°F/60% RH) 70 pints per 24 hrs
Water container capacity (pints) N/A
Container full indicator N/A
Auto-power cut off when full N/A
Continuous drainage option Yes
Operating temperature range 45°F to 90°F
Auto-Defrost Yes
Air Flow Volume (CFM) 160
Electronic controls Yes (via wired remote control panel)
Adjustable humidistat Yes
Variable fan speed settings No
Noise level TBA
Power input 110-120v/5.3amps/600W
Energy factor 2.32L/kwh


Consumer Reactions


The Ultra Air 70H was only introduced in January 2011 so it is too early to judge consumer reactions. On the basis of Therma-Stor's highly successful record, however, I have little doubt that dehumidifier reviews will praise this unit as highly as the company's earlier products.


The Ultra Aire 70H
Our Recommendation


Unlike some new dehumidifier models the Ultra Aire 70H provides real improvements and benefits for consumers. Of these the most important is the improvement in energy efficiency.


On the assumption that this unit will be as well received by users as all previous Therma-Stor products we have no hesitation in recommending the Ultra Aire 70H to our visitors.




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