The Advantages of a Whole House Dehumidifier

Humid air is not just uncomfortable, it can also be bad for your home. While many people turn to portable dehumidifiers, a whole house dehumidifier may be perfect for your house.

Let’s learn more about the benefits of a whole house dehumidifier to see if they are right for your house.


fan for a whole house dehumidifier

Dehumidifies Every Room in the House

One of the main advantages of a whole house system over a portable dehumidifier is that it will dehumidify every room in the house, not just the room where it is placed. When you place a portable unit in the basement, for example, it removes moisture from the air in the downstairs area; it has little to no effect on the upstairs. (Unless, perhaps, if you have enhanced ventilation in the home.)

A whole-house dehumidifier, however, works with the entire HVAC ventilation system, so it takes in air from the entire home (through the return ducts) and pumps dehumidified air into every room that has HVAC vents. This means that when you install a whole house dehumidifier, your bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, and living room will have dry air, all by a single unit.

mold growth in a home

Reduces Chances of Mold in the Home

All dehumidifiers, whole house or otherwise, decrease the chances of mold. Household mold is an incredibly resourceful fungus that can literally survive by getting food from lumber and water from the air. Humidity can actually be used as mold’s water source. By decreasing the amount of moisture in the home, you can ensure that mold is less likely to grow.

With a regular dehumidifier, you get this advantage for a single room in the home. Most people place dehumidifiers in the basement to reduce the chances of mold growth in this area, a common location for mold. With a whole house unit, once again you get the advantage all through the home, not just a single room, meaning every room, from the basement to the bathrooms to the living room to rooms upstairs, are less likely to experience mold growth, which is a common source of indoor air pollution.


Keeps Bugs from Infesting Your Home

Moisture causes mold, which can be a big enough problem. In addition, mold leads to certain types of bugs in the home. There are many different types of insects that are known to feed on mold. These insects can create health issues, especially for people who may have allergies. By using a whole house dehumidifier, you can reduce the chances of mold, and therefore reduce the chances of mold-eating bugs from infesting your home.


Can (in Theory) Reduce Energy Bills

Air with lower relative humidity feels cooler, so while running an air conditioning unit and a dehumidifier may seem more expensive, you may be able to raise the temperature setting on your thermostat when you have a whole house dehumidifier. A two or three degrees change may not seem like much, but over the course of the air-conditioning season, reducing overall use can result in significant savings. So, a whole house dehumidifier can save energy, but it’s dependent on setting your A/C to a little higher temperature.


Usually Less Maintenance Than Portable Dehumidifiers

Most portable dehumidifiers have a tank that needs to be emptied on a regular basis. With a whole house dehumidifier, however, there is less maintenance, making ownership much more convenient.

All dehumidifiers, by definition, pull moisture from the air. However, this moisture doesn’t just disappear, it needs to be placed somewhere. With most portable dehumidifiers, you will have a tank that holds the water. On a regular basis, you will need to check the tank and empty it otherwise it will stop operating if full.

The frequency of how often you empty the tank will depend on the humidity levels in the home, as well as the unit itself. However, you’ll likely need to empty the tank on a daily basis, which can be a bit of a hassle.

With a whole house dehumidifier, however, you won’t have to empty a tank because there isn’t one. Instead of taking the water and storing it in a reservoir, a whole house dehumidifier has an attached hose. Any collected moisture is then sent through the hose to a nearby drain. While some portable units have hose options, a whole house fan gives you an unprecedented level of convenience, making it simple and easy to keep your home comfortable.


How Much Does a Whole house Dehumidifier Cost?

According to Remodeling Expense, a website that compiles information on the cost of home renovations, upgrades, and repairs, the cost of a whole house dehumidifier ranges from roughly $1,760 for lower-cost units to about $2,295 for one of the best units available. This includes installation.

Angie’s List, another reputable site for home information, has essentially the same numbers. They say that a whole house dehumidifier costs from $1,100 to as much as $1,700, and does not include installation.

air conditioner whole house dehumidifier installation

Proper Installation of a Whole house Dehumidifier

Most people will want to have a professional install their whole home dehumidifier. While it is a fairly simple process, proper installation will ensure the best performance. Generally, there are two ways you can install the dehumidifier: either by tying it into the existing ductwork, or by creating a dedicated return.

To install into existing ductwork (usually the return), the technician will first check whether the return ducts have space for the new unit. Dehumidifiers usually need four to six feet of space to fit properly, but if there is not enough existing room, the technician can make changes to ensure a proper fit.

Next, the professional will connect the new ducts to the dehumidifier. One duct will take air from the return and send it into the whole house dehumidifier, while the other will connect the dehumidifier to the air conditioner.

The dehumidifier will then need to be properly wired to ensure it will work correctly. Most technicians will wire the dehumidifier to your home’s air system so that it operates whenever you turn the air conditioning on. Essentially, this makes the whole house dehumidifier a part of the air-conditioning system, making it more convenient and easy to use; just turn on the A/C, and your home will be dehumidified.

The other way to install the whole house dehumidifier is to add a dedicated return. Basically, this just adds a new vent system that goes from the dehumidifier into the air conditioner. This is a simple and effective way to install the unit and can be useful when there is no room for the dehumidifier in the existing ductwork.

To start, the technician will install new returns to the bottom story of the home. He or she may be able to install return vents on the main floor and basement, but usually a return from the basement will do the trick.

The next part of the installation process is when the technician creates proper wiring for the unit. This is a step that can be complex, and improper wiring is dangerous, which is why trained professionals should usually handle installation.

Finally, the technician will check the rooms for pressure balance. Improper balance can create many issues in the home, and you don’t want too much or too little. Installing new return vents can create pressure changes, so this is an important step that should be completed before the technician leaves.


Get a High-Quality Air Purifier to Go with Your Whole house Dehumidifier

Whether on the existing vents or with a new return, once the whole house dehumidifier is installed, you’ll have comfortable air all through your home!

An air purifier is a great way to keep the air in your home clean, and they complement dehumidifiers perfectly. Contact Oransi to learn more about our full selection of top-quality products, including purifiers with HEPA, UV light, and activated charcoal.