Home dehumidifier for drying lumber

      Can a home dehumidifier be used to kiln dry lumber? January 31, 2001

Q.
Can a home dehumidifier be used to kiln dry lumber after the wood has been shed dried for several months? To minimize corrosion of the unit, is there a starting moisture content level at which it is less likely to corrode the dehumidifier?

Forum Responses
You can use a home dehumidification unit, but times are longer than with commercial units and deterioration is likely at almost any MC. Remember that a 50 pint DH unit will remove about 1% MC from lumber per day if the lumber will release its MC fast enough.

Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor



Would hot lights in an insulated box accelerate that?


I have been told that the chemicals in some woods will eat the coils of a home DH quickly.


I think that with a home DH unit, you will not have as good of a control system. You may have some fire hazards, especially with hot lights. In fact, if you do this in your home, I wonder if your homeowner's insurance would cover you if you had a fire.

Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor



Home dehumidifiers can work but they are designed for operation to about 45-50% RH, which is not low enough for 6% lumber. The components are not designed to last in an acidic atmosphere and they are designed to work at temperatures below 100 degrees F. We have had scores of customers over the years who ate a pile of home dehumidifiers before giving in and buying a real system.


I have a homebuilt kiln that does exactly what you are talking about and I use an old window air conditioner as the heater and dryer. I do keep a small, portable dehumidifier in the kiln to keep the relative humidity down after I dry it so the wood stays in the 8% range until I use it.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?


Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Primary Processing

  • KnowledgeBase: Primary Processing: Kiln Construction

  • KnowledgeBase: Primary Processing: Kiln Operation

  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base


    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.



    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2014 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB











  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers


      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article