Whole House Dehumidifiers: What You Need to Know Complete Guide

Are you worried about the humidity in your home? Do persistent musty smells and excessive condensation have you concerned about your family’s health? Investing in a whole house dehumidifier might be the solution you’ve been looking for.

In this article, you’ll discover how to identify and address problems caused by indoor humidity, and explore the options available when it comes to dehumidifiers.

Humidity levels in homes can be damaging to the structure and materials it is built from. It also creates discomfort for anyone living in the space, leading to sticky skin, respiratory ailments and other health concerns. Installing a whole house dehumidifier is one way to address your humidity issues and maintain a comfortable inside environment year-round.

Dehumidifiers come in a variety of shapes, sizes, functions and prices. To ensure that you buy the system that best fits your needs, learning what you need to know about them ahead of time is important. This article will provide you with an overview of types of home dehumidifiers available on the market today, including their features and benefits. We’ll discuss how they work, how to choose one for your home and how often they should be serviced and maintained. By the end of this article, you’ll have all the information you need to make an informed decision when purchasing a dehumidifier for your home.

How Whole House Dehumidifiers Work

Whole house dehumidifiers work by drawing warm, moisture-laden air from different areas of your home and condensing it. As the air passes over coils containing refrigerant, the heat is released and replaced with cooler temperatures. When this happens, the humidity in the air condenses into water droplets which then fall into a collection tray below. The cooled, drier air is then recirculated back into other rooms of your home. This process is similar to how a refrigerator operates, but instead of cooling food it cools and dehumidifies your entire house.

Unlike portable dehumidifiers that are limited to one or two rooms at a time, whole house dehumidifiers are generally installed alongside existing heating systems or an HVAC unit in order to service multiple rooms or an entire home at once. Whole house humidification also has the added benefits of helping keep hardwood floors from warping as well as preventing mold and mildew growth due to excess moisture in carpets and fabrics.

Depending on where you install your dehumidifier and what type you purchase, many manufacturers now offer features such as touch screen controls, adjustable humidity levels and automatic shut off when desired humidity levels are reached. Care should be taken when selecting a model so that you are sure to purchase one that meets both your budget and energy efficiency requirements for optimal performance.

Explanation of the mechanics behind whole house dehumidifiers

Whole house dehumidifiers are devices that use mechanical components to draw moisture from the air and control relative humidity levels. Dehumidifiers can significantly improve indoor air quality, promote better health, and protect furniture, fabrics, and home décor from damage caused by excess moisture.

To properly understand how a dehumidifier works, you first need to understand the components of a unit. Most dehumidiers come with several key components which include an evaporator coil, condenser coil, compressor motor, fan blades and collection bucket or reservoir tank. The evaporator coil removes moisture from the air by drawing warm humid air over it’s cooling coils. The coils cool the humid air below its dew point which causes condensation to form on its surface – this is what pulls moisture out of the air. The condensed water is then collected into a collection bucket or reservoir tank embedded into the unit itself.

From there it’s pumped or gravity fed through a drain pipe connected to the exterior of the house – this keeps any potential flooding inside the unit in check while regulating humidity levels within your home environment. Air is then cycled back through the unit where it’s drawn over heated condenser coils which recondense water vapor thus bringing warmth to your living areas in colder months as well as promoting good indoor air quality all year round!

Benefits of Whole House Dehumidifiers

Whole house dehumidifiers offer a number of benefits over other models on the market. As primary residential units that capture, store and remove moisture from the air, they provide a variety of advantages to homeowners. Below are just some of the reasons why you should consider installing one in your home:

-Convenience- Whole house dehumidifiers are much easier to install and use than portable versions. Once installed, they require minimal maintenance and upkeep.

-Reduced Energy Costs- Since whole house dehumidifiers cover larger areas, they operate more efficiently than their smaller counterparts. They also provide better humidity regulation throughout your home, leading to lower energy bills over time.

-Better Air Quality- By removing excess moisture from indoor spaces, whole house dehumidifiers reduce mold growth while automatically promoting cleaner air indoors. This can help reduce exposure to allergens and other airborne contaminants contributing to poor indoor air quality.

-Improved Comfort Levels– Excessive humidity can make indoor spaces feel stuffy and uncomfortable—especially during the summer months. By regulating moisturizer levels throughout your home, whole house dehumidifiers help create a more comfortable living environment for you and your family year round.

Improved indoor air quality

Having a dehumidifier can significantly improve the indoor air quality in your home. Not only does this help with allergies and other respiratory health issues, it also improves comfort levels by reducing humidity in the air. High humidity makes it difficult to regulate temperature, particularly during hot summer months or when living in a space that has poor ventilation.

In order to maximize the efficiency of your dehumidifier and improve indoor air quality, here are some considerations to keep in mind:

  • Proper sizimg: When selecting a dehumidifier for your home, size is important. If you choose one that’s too small for the space, it won’t be able to effectively reduce moisture levels throughout your home; if you have a model that’s too large, it will cost more energy to operate and may take longer than necessary to reach desired humidity levels. Consider hiring an HVAC professional to come and assess your needs.
  • Air filters: Many whole-house dehumidifiers come equipped with built-in air filters which help remove particles from the air as they collect water vapor. These filters need regular changing every few months in order to continuously keep debris out of the system and maximize its efficiency.
  • Ventilation: Having adequate ventilation is key to maintaining healthy indoor air quality — without fresh air coming in from outside, pollutants can not be adequately cycled out of the house which can contribute to higher humidity levels indoors due to reduced airflow through windows or doors.

These simple steps ensure that you get the most out of your whole house dehumidifier and create a healthier home environment by reducing excess moisture levels indoors and improving overall indoor air quality.

Prevention of mold and mildew growth

Mold and mildew growth can disrupt the indoor environment and cause allergies and other respiratory illnesses in occupants of the home. Light, warmth, and food are the requirements for mold and mildew growth in your home. Moisture is an important factor as well, so reducing humidity levels can help to prevent mold and mildew from growing. Whole house dehumidifiers are designed to remove excess moisture from the air that is then circulated throughout a building.

When using a whole house dehumidifier, it is important to maintain appropriate environmental conditions that are not conducive to the growth of mold or mildew. This includes monitoring relative humidity levels below 50% in order to reduce condensation on cold surfaces like windows or pipes. Additionally, it should be noted that warm temperatures above 77°F can promote mold growth; maintaining cooler temperatures within your home will discourage it significantly by depriving it of ideal conditions for growth.

Whole house dehumidifiers also feature built-in humidistats which allow you to easily monitor relative humidity levels throughout your home; they provide an easy way for you to keep track of environmental conditions without needing any special equipment. This ensures that you have a full understanding of how much moisture is present in your indoor environment at any given time, allowing you to adjust your device’s settings as needed in order to maintain comfortable living conditions with minimal moisture levels for prevention of mold or mildew buildup.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Whole House Dehumidifier

Selecting a whole house dehumidifier is an important decision that requires careful consideration. Here are a few factors you should weigh as you shop for the perfect model:

Size: The size of the unit you choose should correspond to the area it will need to cover. The capacity of a unit is usually calculated in pint (pt) output per day, with larger models having higher capacities. Consider buying a larger unit to ensure proper coverage, since smaller units may not be able to do their job sufficiently.

Type: Whole house dehumidifiers can be found in two styles— built-in or portable. Built-in units are generally stationary and use preexisting ductwork to distribute humidity throughout the home. Portable units are more tactical and often need to be moved around as they are used at various points in the house. Both models effectively reduce humidity but selecting the right one depends on your unique situation and needs.

Efficiency: Dehumidifiers vary significantly when it comes time for energy efficiency performance, with some models being far more efficient than others. On average, minimum efficiency rating values (MERV) of eight or higher tend to be most efficient when it comes to full-house dehumidification. Check for Energy Star ratings before making your purchase and look for information on power consumption levels which can help you estimate how much electricity will be used by the dehumidifier over its lifetime usage period.

Home size and layout

When shopping for a whole-house dehumidifier, it is important to understand the size of your home and the layout of rooms. This will help you choose a unit that is capable of removing all of the excess moisture from each area. Generally, consider the size and type of home you live in when selecting a dehumidifier.

For example:

  • Small homes up to 2,000 square feet can be accommodated with a unit between 30 and 40 pints per day.
  • Medium and larger homes over 2,000 square feet may require a unit with greater capacity such as 70 to 135 pints per day.
  • Homes in humid areas will also require higher capacity units—up to 225 pints per day or more.

It’s also helpful to take into account the layout and design of your home when selecting a dehumidifier. This includes areas like basements that have little or no air circulation which often have high humidity levels that require specialized treatment. Consider if you have open floor plans, multiple levels, lofted ceilings or oddly shaped rooms when making your selection and purchase one that meets all of your needs without overburdening other components in your HVAC system (such as air circulating fans).

Installation and Maintenance

Once you have chosen the right whole house dehumidifier and had it delivered, installation and maintenance can help keep it running smoothly for a long time. The best way to ensure that your dehumidifier is installed correctly is to hire a professional. They will make sure everything is set up properly and that any loose connections are tightened.

Once your unit is installed, you should regularly perform some basic maintenance tasks. This can include:

  • Cleaning the filter: The filter should be removed and cleaned on a monthly basis to keep dust and debris from clogging the system.
  • Checking the drain line: The drain line should be checked occasionally for debris or mineral build-up to make sure water isn’t backing up in the unit or being wasted due to blockages.
  • Inspecting seals : All seals and gaskets should be inspected regularly to make sure they are tightly sealed.
  • Adding refrigerant : Refrigerant levels should be topped up at least every two years or as needed depending on usage.
  • Testing furnace air flow : You should occasionally check the air flow of your furnace by holding a piece of paper over one of its vents while it’s running; if the paper doesn’t move, then there may be an issue with air flow that needs to be addressed by a professional technician

These regular checks can help keep your unit operating as efficiently as possible by reducing energy usage and extending its lifespan. Along with this routine maintenance, your dehumidifier also needs regular inspections by an HVAC professional for proper operation year round; these checkups are usually done at least once every two years but may need to happen more frequently depending on environmental conditions where you live or work.

Whole Home Dehumidifiers | Total Home Performance | Eastern Shore, MD

Steps for proper installation of a whole house dehumidifier

A whole house dehumidifier helps remove moisture from the air inside your home, thereby improving its air quality and helping to prevent mold, dust mites, and bacterial growth. Installing a dehumidifier can be challenging but these simple steps will ensure that the process goes smoothly:

  1. Select a dehumidifier size. Before you purchase a dehumidifier, make sure that it is properly sized to meet the needs of your home. Calculate the volume of air in all living spaces combined and then consider the humidity level of your area. The manufacturer should include sizing recommendations in their product details.
  2. Select an ideal location for installation. The best place for a whole house dehumidifier is near an existing furnace or air conditioner blower, since they typically exhaust damp air directly outside of the home or recirculate it through duct work after removing moisture and other impurities from it. It’s important to ensure that there is enough room around the unit for proper airflow, as well as easy access for maintenance and filter changes when necessary.
  3. Check local municipal regulations for any potential restrictions on outdoor noise levels if you are planning on installing an outdoor unit near living spaces such as bedrooms or windows. 1 Most likely you will need to soundproof any adjacent walls or treat with acoustic insulation if deemed necessary by local ordinances/codes. 2
  4. Safety-proof areas where kids may have access to protect them from hazards associated with exposed water levels along with any electrical components like wiring and motors. 3
  5. Install properly-sized ducting within applicable municipal code requirements to ensure proper diffusion of moist air from our space. 4 Having correct-sized ducting also helps increase efficiency which can significantly reduce running costs associated with operating a whole house dehumidifier. 5
  6. Install correct safety switches according to municipally approved recommendations such as ground fault circuit interrupters (or GFCIs) if deemed not already included with your model of unit, 6 which helps minimize risk of shock hazards 7, fire risks due to overloading, 8 spiraling power bills due too inefficient models, 9 etc…
  7. Following all manufacturer instructions thoroughly including testing phase afterwards where necessary should help reduce incidents associated improperly installed units, 10 further influencing positive outcomes considering overall level of comfort felt within residence. 11 12

Maintenance tips to keep the dehumidifier running efficiently

To maintain the condition and efficiency of your dehumidifier, some maintenance activities should be performed at regular intervals. Firstly, check the air filter regularly. In addition to this, you should also inspect the thermostat setting and ensure that it is functioning properly. It is also recommended to not place the dehumidifier near heat sources, such as stoves, fireplaces and heaters. This may cause overheating, which can damage its components or create other problems.

Apart from this, you should also check condensation drainage periodically. Condensation tubing can get clogged due to dust and debris build-up in the air filter and humidistat. Therefore, make sure these parts are well maintained by vacuuming off dust often and replacing them if necessary. Additionally, it is important to clean the coils occasionally with a soft brush or compressed air as they attract dust particles over time.

Finally, you should winterize the dehumidifier at least once a year; if possible twice or even more often depending on how often it is used during that period of time in order for its long life usage. To winterize your dehumidifier, you will need to turn off any power sources running through it before unscrewing its covers carefully for inspection of internal parts such as motors or switches for any defects or damage that may cause eventual malfunctioning of any components during winter season cycles resulting in device non-usage issues over time as well as additional repair costs due to broken parts beyond repairable potentials usually classified under excess servicing requirements although not necessarily always needing extra attention beyond regular maintenance support services required on a continual basis very much depending on humidity levels control settings regulated by temperature settings specifically adjusting such parts accordingly especially when active usage levels are both significant in elevation above average capacity wavelengths therefore requiring substantial attention throughout all lifetime usage hours along with multiple replacement scheduled servicing tasks always kept updated at most times whenever there may never be a lack of consistent quality management system applications being established when monitoring humidity levelled-based metrics throughout relentless performance engagements forming satisfying results on an ongoing basis consistently paving path towards success whenever pertaining towards maintaining high durability standards while constantly regulating levels of metric performance involving whole house dehumidifiers faithfully with ongoing practices regularly monitored without fail looking after consumers’ interests widely ensuring favourable outcomes ultimately originate from whole house dehumdifiers managed according to maintenance tips recommended under varying circumstances initially aiming towards sustaining highest possible quality measures at all given times.

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Ductwork for ERVs, Dehumidifiers, and Forced-Air Heating Systems -  GreenBuildingAdvisor

Common Concerns and FAQs

It’s common to have a few questions around whole house dehumidifiers and how they work. Here are some of the most common concerns and frequently asked questions that come up when considering purchasing a whole house dehumidifier.

Q1. What type of air installation is required to install a whole-house dehumidifier?

A1. The installation of a whole-house dehumidifier requires professional HVAC knowledge and experience in order to properly place the device, vent the exhaust, and complete any additional necessary jobs such as duct work or connection to an existing furnace or air conditioner. It’s advisable to reach out to professional HVAC services for assistance with these steps if you aren’t confident in your own abilities

Q2. Are there temperature requirements for operation?

A2. Many models of whole house dehumidifiers require temperatures over 65 degree Fahrenheit in order for them to operate properly and efficiently, meaning that they may not be suitable for households located in cooler climates where temperatures drop too low for many months out of the year.

Q3. How does it feel when the humidity levels are controlled?

A3: Once everything is set up and working properly you will notice an immediate difference in your home’s environment; there should be reduced smells, fewer allergies, less condensation on windows and surfaces, increased comfort levels, and even when normal Operation of AHUs/FCUs is resumed following commissioning improved system performance could result from setting the recommended space RH levels (though this will depend on your specific circumstances).

Addressing common concerns, such as noise level and energy usage

When installing a dehumidifier in an occupied space, noise level is one of the most important factors to consider. Most people don’t want to buy a product they can’t use because of the sound it makes. As with any appliance, you need to read the specifications and make sure you choose a model that is designed for low noise production. Many models have technology that allows them to reduce their noise output while still properly functioning to keep your home comfortable and dry.

Energy usage should also be taken into account when purchasing a dehumidifier for your home. The best way to ensure that you are getting the most energy efficiency from your unit is by buying an Energy Star certified model, or considering a newer model with energy-saving features like those on the top dehumidifiers we’ve highlighted in this guide. These features can significantly reduce power consumption, so be sure to read about them in our buying guide before making your purchase!

Answering frequently asked questions about whole house dehumidifiers

When it comes to whole house dehumidifiers, there are a lot of questions that arise. How much does a whole house dehumidifier cost? What size should I buy for my home? Does humidity level affect your health? This guide is here to answer all of your questions about whole house dehumidifiers.

What Is A Whole House Dehumidifier? A whole house dehumidifier is an appliance designed to remove moisture from the air inside your home and reduce overall humidity levels in all rooms. It works sort of like an air conditioner, but without actually cooling the air. Instead, it recirculates the same air throughout your entire home and removes excess moisture in the process. This can help prevent mildew and mold growth, reduce musty odors, keep window condensation in check and provide relief from allergies and respiratory conditions caused by high humidity levels in the home.

How Much Does A Whole House Dehumidifier Cost? It really depends on the size and type of unit you purchase. For example, larger capacity units intended for homes with greater square footage tend to be more expensive than their smaller counterparts—but still cost much less than central air conditioning systems. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $150-$1,000+ for a quality whole house dehumidifier depending on how powerful it is etc.

How Big Of A Unit Do I Need? The size of unit you need depends on how much water vapor needs to be removed from a given area per day (in pints). Most models come with room-size ratings that allow you to properly match it up with your living space; for example 30 pints per day unit would be great for a 500 sq ft living area while a 70 pint per day unit would be necessary for 1,500 sq ft living area or more). Additionally other factors such as insulation level, age of windows/doors draft levels etc… will play into the sizing equation as well… its best ot work closely with a qualified HVAC specialist before making any final decisions regarding size or value selection..

Does Humidity Level Affect Your Health? Yes! High humidity can trigger allergies and affect those who suffer from asthma or other respiratory conditions—causing difficulty breathing due to increased mucus production in the sinuses. Additionally increased dampness in certain areas may lead to rapid growths if airborne dust mite spores happen present in those areas as well – due ti certain ideal “breeding” temperatures/environments created by higher indoor relative humiditing.. In short – maintaining proper interior ventilation & lower indoor relative humidities will ensure not only better health but also healthier overall living environment – free from allergens & airborne contaminants.


In conclusion, whole house dehumidifiers are an excellent choice for controlling the humidity levels in your home. They provide fast and effective relief from high humidity problems and can even extend the life of your home’s furnishings. Additionally, they offer more efficient energy usage than portable dehumidifiers, making them a great option for any homeowner looking to save money on their energy bills.

Furthermore, whole house dehumidifiers require much less maintenance than other models and make it easier to maintain proper humidity levels in each room of the home. When choosing a whole house dehumidifier, be sure to consider all factors such as size, energy efficiency/ cost savings, ease of installation/servicing, portability and warranty options. This will allow you to find the right unit for your specific needs.

With proper installation and maintenance, a quality whole house dehumidifier can help you keep indoor air healthier and help protect your home from potential damage caused by excess moisture.

How to Duct Your Dehumidifier | Sylvane


What do I need to know before buying a dehumidifier? 

You should consider the size of the area you want to dehumidify, the type of dehumidifier you need, the noise level, and the features that come with it.

Is it worth it to install a whole house dehumidifier? 

It depends on your needs and budget. If you have high humidity levels throughout your house, a whole house dehumidifier can be more efficient and cost-effective than using multiple portable units.

Is one dehumidifier enough for a whole house? 

It depends on the size of the house and the humidity levels. In some cases, one dehumidifier may be enough, but in others, you may need multiple units or a whole house dehumidifier.

Do dehumidifiers use a lot of electricity?

 The amount of electricity a dehumidifier uses depends on its size and capacity. Generally, larger units and those with more features use more electricity.

Should I run my dehumidifier everyday?

 It depends on the humidity levels in your home. If you have high humidity levels, it is recommended to run the dehumidifier regularly to maintain a healthy indoor environment.

Do I need a dehumidifier if I have AC? 

An AC can remove some moisture from the air, but it may not be sufficient in high humidity areas. A dehumidifier can complement an AC and provide additional moisture removal.

How long do whole house dehumidifiers last?

 The lifespan of a whole house dehumidifier depends on its quality, usage, and maintenance. Generally, they can last anywhere from 5 to 15 years.

Where is the best place to put a whole house dehumidifier? 

A whole house dehumidifier should be installed in an area with good ventilation and accessibility, such as a basement or utility room.

When should you not use a dehumidifier?

 Dehumidifiers are not recommended in areas with low humidity levels or during the winter months when indoor heating can dry out the air.

Will dehumidifier dry out damp walls? 

Dehumidifiers can help reduce moisture in the air, which can prevent dampness and mold growth on walls. However, they will not necessarily dry out already damp walls.

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