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Crushed stone dehumidifier? Answered

We have a house in Maine and when we bought it there was a big built-in box in the basement 3' X 8' by 4' tall filled with crushed stone.  It is huge.  It has an electric fan that pulls air down through the stone and pipes it upstairs to a sun porch.  Unfortunately the fan has never worked for us so we are unable to "test" the system.  This basement does get damp in the spring and we would like confirmation that this is probably a home-made dehumidifier.  What do you think? 

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seandogue

3 years ago

It could either be a thermal battery for heat or via versa, ie, it could be a clever method of cooling during the warmer months.

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iceng

3 years ago

Interesting what PeterCD and Steve came up with, a mass physical contrivance used long ago, that I never heard of.

I would ask, what kind of fan construction and any idea if the fan was the only one or if it was reversible ?

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steveastroukiceng

Answer 3 years ago

It would have pulled warm air from the sunroom, and heated the stone ,the stored heat would have been blown out when wanted.

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steveastrouk

3 years ago

I think it was as PeterCD said a thermal store. This concept went out of fashion, because it was a mould trap.

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petercd

3 years ago

If the basement gets damp it wont "dehumidify" anything, its more likely a cooler/thermal interchanger.

Only way to find out is to get the fan running, chances are it wasnt very effective in comparasion to the electricty used and hence allowed to fall into a poor state.