Are Whole-Home Dehumidifiers Worth It? A Buyer’s Guide

Are Whole-Home Dehumidifiers Worth It? A Buyer’s Guide

Excessive humidity indoors can cause a whole lot of trouble for your health and your home. (“Excessive” means indoor relative humidity which measures above the recommended range of 30-55%.) You may have already tried using a portable dehumidifier to solve the problem, without much luck. Now it’s time to consider whole-home dehumidifier installation.

If you’ve looked at the price of whole-home dehumidifiers, you know that these appliances are far from cheap. The question is, though, are they worth installing? Our answer is YES… and here’s why.

Why Do I Need A Whole-Home Dehumidifier?

A whole-home dehumidifier will provide lots of advantages:

1. Energy savings. GTA summers are not just hot; they’re also humid. When that humidity rises, you feel hotter. Your air conditioner will deal with some, but not all, of the excess humidity. Plus, it’s expensive to run. Install a whole-home dehumidifier, and you’ll feel cool and comfortable at a higher AC setting. As a result, you’ll save electricity and money.

2. Better health for you. High indoor humidity provides the perfect breeding ground for dust mites, mould, and mildew. Breathing in these organisms is not healthy for anybody, but it’s especially dangerous for Ontarians who suffer from respiratory allergies and asthma. Whole-home dehumidifiers help solve the problem at its source.

3. A healthier home, too. It’s not just the humans who’ll benefit from whole house 

dehumidifier installation. Your house will, as well. Lowered humidity levels clear up dank musty-smelling air. They also keep wood from warping or rotting, paint from peeling, insulation from being damaged, and condensation from forming on window panes in winter.

Check Humidity Levels: Hygrometer

Humid weather is not the only culprit. All sorts of everyday activities — like showering, cooking, washing clothes, even watering potted plants — can add moisture to the air indoors. (Check out our tips on reducing humidity in your home.)

Not sure whether you have a household humidity problem… or how bad it might be? Try measuring it with the aid of an analog or digital “hygrometer.” This easy-to-use gizmo is available for a few dollars online or at your local hardware store. There’s even an app.

You’ll be best off taking humidity measurements in several rooms because levels tend to vary in different parts of your home. Ideally, relative humidity readings should be 40-50% in summer or a bit lower in winter. Anything above that is a sign that you could benefit from a dehumidifier.

How Do Whole-Home Dehumidifiers Work?

Whole-home dehumidifiers work in one of these 3 ways:

1. Desiccant dehumidification

This type of dehumidifier utilizes a chemical desiccant (drying agent) to reduce moisture in the air. Though effective at dehumidifying, they are not known for their energy efficiency.

2. Dehumidifying ventilation

These dehumidifiers contain a sensor controller, which you set to a predetermined level. When the sensor detects moisture levels above that level, it will automatically turn on a ventilating exhaust fan. However, this method is not ideal because the fan pulls some humid outdoor air into your home as it operates. Installed in your basement, it can also depressurize the area — hazardous for houses equipped with gas furnaces.

3. Condensate dehumidification

Here is a kind of system that works rather similarly to air conditioning. A super-chilled coil works to condense airborne humidity into a liquid state and then either drain it away (usually via a basement floor drain) or collect it in an interior reservoir.

Whole-Home vs. Portable Dehumidifiers

Cost-effective. Portable dehumidifiers often seem attractive because of their relatively low purchase and installation price. In the long run, though, whole-home dehumidifiers tend to pay for themselves due to their extended lifespan and affordable cost to run.

Discreet and low-maintenance. Other advantages of a whole-home dehumidifier are that it will be quieter and more discreet (tucked away in your basement), as well as lower maintenance. With portable dehumidifiers, you’ll have to manually pull out and empty the collection tank every day or two. Whole-home dehumidifiers usually just require an annual filter cleaning.

Efficient. A whole-home dehumidifier will adjust humidity levels throughout your house, while a portable dehumidifier can only work in 1-2 rooms.

When you look at the big picture, whole-home dehumidifiers come out as a much better option than portables in all ways, but one: you can’t take them along when you move. However, if you plan to stay in your current home long-term, this will be a non-issue.

2 Of The Best Whole-Home Dehumidifiers Brands

By now, you should have a clearer picture of how a whole-home dehumidifier can help make your home a healthier, more comfortable place. Next, we’ll give you recommendations for specific brands.

Here are two excellent types that we carry at Dr HVAC:

Aprilaire Dehumidifier

Aprilaire is a solid brand that’s been in business for almost 70 years. They still manufacture their dehumidifiers in the USA and back them with a 5-year warranty. Moisture reduction is simplified with intuitive digital control.

Aprilaire dehumidifiers are available in various models. They’re designed to dehumidify spaces anywhere from 2,800 to 7,200 square feet, removing 35-60 litres of water every day.

GeneralAire Dehumidifier

GeneralAire is another reputable brand. Residential whole-house dehumidifiers are one of this company’s specialties. Their touch screen Wi-Fi dehumidifiers are super-convenient, allowing you to monitor and adjust your home’s humidity levels from wherever you are (great for vacationers!).

Dr HVAC Knows Dehumidifiers

Are you ready for more comfortable, healthier indoor air? Or are you still wondering whether a whole-home dehumidifier is for you?

Either way, call the Doctor. Dr HVAC’s friendly, expert technicians will answer all your questions and help you make an informed decision. We install trusted whole-home dehumidifier brands and stand behind the products we sell.

I WANT A HEALTHY, COMFORTABLE HOME