Kiln Drying with a Household Dehumidifier

      Rigging up a homeowner-type dehumidifier to dry small amounts of wood may be cheaper to begin with, but has practical limitations. April 11, 2008

Question
The knowledge base contains an older article about using a small homeowner-type dehumidifier. The problem is that the unit isn't designed to be used at high temperatures and the coil will get ruined from tannic acid if you dry oak. Has anyone out there recently tried to use small dehumidifiers to dry lumber? I have some experience using an EBAC unit, but I am thinking about making a very small kiln as seen in a magazine article.

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
There are many ways to dry wood. Using a home-type DH will indeed work. However, it does not have the best control system. The coils may not last very long. It is not designed for drying wood. So, in the long run, it is not too economical. Releasing DH gases when you get a leak in the coils is also not a good environmental practice. For a commercial operation, you might also find that 130 F temperature is a good idea and therefore using an larger commercial DH unit might be the wisest choice.



From contributor G:
I used to do just that a few years ago. I bought about 6 used dehumidifiers for about $50 each and put in 2 or 3 per kiln. Of the six, one would run at 120 degrees. The rest would shut off on their high pressure limit resets. I went with Nyle kilns after that and have been very happy. They cost more but do last much longer and are easier to control and less hassle.


From Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
For many people needing only small quantities of wood, their attic will provide perfect drying for AD material. This is much safer than having a light bulb in a box and is actually more effective as well. The attic will often get hot enough to kill any insects and will begin to set the resin also.



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