Dehumidification Versus Cooling for a Wood Shop

An undersized air conditioner will dehumidify effectively as it cools the shop. August 24, 2008

I just wanted to get some feedback from those that dehumidify their whole shop to help condition lumber MC. I'm in a well-insulated, 1500 square foot warehouse without heat or A/C. I was planning on running a dehumidifier and a couple of fans. Naturally, I live in a coastal (humid) area. Is anyone else using a similar setup and can recommend a dehumidifier? I’ve read a ton of posts about failures caused by poorly managing moisture content and want to reduce the likelihood of this in my work.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor D:
I would suggest an air conditioner instead of a dehumidifier. In a space of that size a window unit should work just fine. A/C is way more effective at reducing humidity plus you get to stay cool.

From contributor T:
A/C and a dehumidifier is about the same thing. It is not possible to dehumidify in the summer without cooling the air. Here is a trick - size some small A/C units and "undersize" them so they are forced to run all of the time. A/C units cannot dehumidify unless they are running, so by undersizing them it forces them to run all of the time.

If you are trying to dial in and control the humidity to a certain spec, then a dehumidifier may make sense, but it would have to work in conjunction with some sort of cooling system. I have a couple of Trane split systems with gas furnaces that are 1-ton each with a 1,100 square foot shop. My humidity levels stay consistently below 65% in central Indiana.