Whole-house dehumidifiers are essential for homes located in humid areas. Humid environments are breeding grounds for mold and bacteria negatively affecting your IAQ.
Uncontrolled humidity levels also lead to uncomfortable living conditions.
If you have ever looked at your smartphone weather app and seen the weather, say it is 70 degrees outside, but it feels like 75, for example?
That is because of high humidity levels.
This article will cover the benefits of a whole-house dehumidifier, what it is, how it works, what it does, and the best ones you can buy.
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The main reasons you should consider a whole-house dehumidifier
The human body has a small window where we are most comfortable.
Controlling humidity levels can help keep you within those comfort levels.
It is the job of your HVAC contractor to keep your home within those comfort levels.
The main reasons to consider a whole-home dehumidifier are:
To maintain comfortable living conditions
To maintain safe living conditions
To reduce the operating cost of your HVAC system
To reduce the ownership cost of your HVAC system
Below will dive deeper into each of these reasons.
The optimal humidity level for living conditions is between 30-50%.
If the humidity level in your home is over 50%, it can lead to unsafe living conditions and cost you money, whether from direct energy consumption or service and repair costs.
When humidity is over 50%, it inhibits bacterial growth, viruses, fungi, and dust mites and can lead to volatile organic compounds in your home — all leading to potential health issues.
High humidity levels make the air feel warmer and it also makes it harder to cool or heat.
Think of a desert; for example, the air is dry, and you experience scorching weather during the day and extreme temperature drops at night.
In contrast, more humid areas such as Florida experience less drastic temperature changes between day and night.
This is because of the high humidity, where it is harder to cool or heat the air.
That is why areas with higher humidity levels may experience a higher cost to own and operate an HVAC system. High humidity will cause you to keep your AC on for longer to cool the air.
In addition to high energy costs, running your AC for extended periods will cause wear and tear on your system leading to more service calls, repairs, and a shorter lifespan of your system and costing you more money at the end of the day.
What is a dehumidifier?
Just like it sounds, a dehumidifier is a system that removes humidity or moisture from the air in your home.
There are two main types of dehumidifiers, portable dehumidifiers, and whole-house dehumidifiers.
Portable dehumidifiers are an excellent solution for small bedrooms and can come at a more affordable price.
However, they do not work as well. Whole-house dehumidifiers are a better option if you are looking for a better, more complete solution.
In most cases, you will need a professional to install a whole-house dehumidifier.
You can see our guide on choosing an HVAC contractor if you consider hiring one.
How does a dehumidifier work?
A whole-house dehumidifier works with a few basic concepts in science, and it is pretty simple.
A dehumidifier extracts moisture through condensation.
Condensation is when moisture in the air becomes dew on objects.
In general, the warmer the air, the more water it can hold before condensation.
The dehumidifier has refrigerated coils that reach very cold temperatures.
Warm air passes through the coils, and moisture is removed from the air via condensation.
A drain pan catches and drains the water, and the HVAC system recirculates the air into your home.
For that reason, whole-home dehumidifiers are the more effective and complete solution to dehumidification.
It utilizes the whole HVAC system, which circulates the air in your entire home.
The best whole-house dehumidifiers you can buy
When buying and installing a whole-house dehumidifier, you want to be sure to buy it from a reputable brand that has excellent warranties.
Some well-known brands in the industry that make whole-house dehumidifiers are:
It is best to consult with an HVAC professional about which system is best for you.
A professional will guide you regarding what dehumidifiers have the best warranties and how each one performs.
Check out our guide on how to choose an HVAC company for advice before making a decision.