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Community and Q&A

High-Quality Dehumidifiers

conwaynh85 | Posted in General Questions on

Hello all,
I have had 4 santefe dehumidifiers.  2-70 and 2 98h.  Some ducted some not.  All of them have failed at the 3 or 4 year mark consistently.  Does anyone have any recommendations on a better quality brand?

Im curious why heat pump manufacturers dont make dehumidifiers.  They are not inexpensive and have the same components.  Any suggestions or recommendations would be appreciated.  Thanks


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  1. AndyKosick | | #1

    Sadly I understand Santa Fe to be one of the best brands, though I'm only personally seeing a couple go in right now and have no long term experience with them yet.

    This is an issue the GBA community should dig into because humidity is becoming a increasingly important issue. Retrofit existing and new homes are becoming tighter and making humidity management necessary and climate change appears to be driving up dew points in many areas of the country including my own. Space conditioning equipment can't handle latent without a sensible load and almost nobody offers reheat capabilities. Not to mention most of the cold climate heat pumps are chasing SEER and the expense of humidity removal.

    And Yet! It's almost common knowledge accepted without many objections that the vast majority of dehumidifiers (certainly all consumer grade) last about 3 to 5 years and die. My experience might have that more in the 2 to 4 range honestly. It's a tragedy. There's either some law physics I don't know about or the manufacturers have created the perfect self perpetuating market with little to no push back from consumers, and it comes at the expense of the planet as well, since the refrigerants are largely lost I'm guessing.

    I'd like to see Santa Fe chime in about expected service life, or some important maintenance we're all missing. It seems like if a heat pump or a fridge can last at least 12 years with few problems, what's holding back the dehumidifiers.

    Sorry about the long and unhelpful answer but this struck a nerve.

    1. Expert Member
      DCcontrarian | | #6

      Check out the Daiken Quaternity minisplits, they have a proprietary split coil that can cool and heat simultaneously and provide dehumidification without cooling.

      1. pnw_guy | | #11

        Do we know if a Quaternity operating in dehumify mode (i.e., cooling & heating simultaneously) is more efficient than a standard standalone dehumidifier?

  2. Expert Member
    DCcontrarian | | #2

    A little over five years ago I installed a Williams Air Sponge DH125 in my Rhode Island house, where it runs pretty much year round without issues. It is somewhat loud.

    Of course, the universal law is that if something good comes along, it will be discontinued. A web search tells me that this model has been discontinued and Williams seems to be completely out of the dehumidifier business.

  3. Expert Member
    DCcontrarian | | #3

    Compressors don't like being moved around. In particular, they don't like being tipped, this causes the oil to run out. It's very common for compressors to fail shortly after they are installed, this happens because they were tipped over in shipping or installation and not allowed to sit upright long enough for all the oil to run back into the compressor before starting.

    Dehumidifiers are sold as portable appliances, they almost all have wheels and handles. I would expect that moving them is a major contributor to their short life expectancy.

  4. walta100 | | #4

    Have you seen the Honeywell Dehumidifiers?

    I got one that has been returned as defective for cheap. I was impressed with its build quality.

    It had been wired up wrong and opened the fuse inside its transformer after that repair it has been flawless. I used it in my last home a lot and for a few months in the new house. It has almost 4000 hours of compresor run time on it over the last 8-10 years.

    Have you considered extending your HVAC system to condition the space?

    The one in this link looks similar.


    1. conwaynh85 | | #9

      My HVAC system does cover the entire house to include where the dehumidifier is located. The house is .65 ach50 and is very tight. I closely regulate the humidity to no more than 50% RH at 70f in the summer. The AC doesnt run enough in a super insulated house and the erv is always brining in a little bit of humidity. This meens that dehumidification is very important in my scenario. Im glad you had good luck with a honeywell, but the fact that you started with a defective one doesnt bode well either. Thanks!

      1. walta100 | | #10

        Note my unit was not defective in any way it was damaged when someone failed to read and understand the insulation instruction and connected power to the wrong terminals.

        If you think you biggest moisture source is the ERV consider an ERV with a built in heat pump CERV


  5. dustindawind | | #5

    I've had good luck with my AlorAir unit (Energy Star Sentinel 55) for a few years (fingers crossed). At $600, it's a more palatable price point to take a bet on.

  6. Expert Member
    ARMANDO COBO | | #7

    I texted with Nikki Krouger, with Santa Fe Dehumidifiers, and she's going to try to answer your questions when she can... She travels constantly. I find highly unusual for their equipment to fail this early. Who knows why... but if anyone can help you, it would be her. Good luck.

    1. conwaynh85 | | #8

      Thanks for the response. SanteFe replaced one of my 98h's for free becuase it was within the 2 year they did help. But after all four have died, im now questioning the brand and not just a one off issue.
      Im assuming a rep from santefe is just going to keep telling me its warranteed, even though past 2 years might as well be no warranty because they only cover parts and no one fixes them. My main goal here was to see of anyone had better luck with another brand. Thanks

    2. conwaynh85 | | #12

      I appreciate you reaching out to them. I got a call this morning and they are sending me a new unit with better corrosion protection on the coil. It sounds like they are working on making the exposed copper better protexted because of small leaks from corrosion. This indicates to me that they are aware of an issue. But I really appreciate them sending me a new one and working towards making a better product. Hopefully this one is more reliable, because all these new tighter houses are going to need them.

      Thanks Armando!
      Thank you SanteFe.

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