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Should I Add a Whole House Dehumidifier to My AC System?

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Many people believe that if you have an AC system, you don’t need a dehumidifier too. The truth is, there are benefits to having both. If you have a humidity problem, or if family members suffer from asthma or allergies, a whole house dehumidifier can be effective at purifying the air and increasing the overall comfort of your home.

Is a Whole House Dehumidifier Right for You?

One of the most common reasons people purchase dehumidifiers is to make their living space more comfortable. Some homeowners can get by with portable room dehumidifiers to take care of their air quality needs. Room dehumidifiers are usually less expensive, easier to move around, and simpler to install. However, they offer only temporary relief in one room or area. They’re also less energy efficient and you have to remember to regularly empty the condensate pan.

If someone in your home has severe allergies or asthma, the improved quality of your home’s air could be worth the investment of a whole home dehumidifier. Similarly, if you live in an area with high levels of humidity and perhaps have even found mold growing in your home before, installing a whole house dehumidifier now can save you much more costly mold removal or other home repairs down the road. It can also protect against the warping of wood flooring and furniture, and odors caused by mold and humidity.

How Do These Dehumidifiers Work? 

A whole house dehumidifier works in conjunction with your home’s heating and cooling system by drawing warm, moist air into the unit by a fan. The moisture in the air then condenses into water droplets which get drained outside the home. Whole-house dehumidifiers can be installed in either new or existing homes.

What are the Benefits of Using a Whole House Dehumidifier?

    • Your air conditioning system won’t need to work as hard because it’s easier to cool dry air than moist air. Therefore, it consumes less energy and saves you money.
    • Drier air feels cooler.  You can set your thermostat 1-3 degrees higher and save more money on cooling costs.
    • The U.S Environmental Protection Agency recommends indoor humidity be between 40-60%. This decreases the chance of dangerous molds and mildew growing inside your home.
    • Dust mites and other allergens thrive in humid environments. Lower relative humidity (below 50%) can reduce dust mite infestations and other allergy triggers.
    • Whole-house dehumidifiers require minimal maintenance compared to portable dehumidifiers.

Whole house dehumidifiers – worth the investment?

The upfront cost could be a drawback for some. Installation of a whole house dehumidifier can run from hundreds to a few thousand dollars, depending upon the size of your home.

However, the advantages of whole house dehumidifiers can far outweigh the initial cost. Especially when you consider their ability to automatically control humidity throughout your entire home. And when compared to portable room dehumidifiers, they have better filters to clean allergens from the air, they require less maintenance and are up to 4 times more energy efficient. They also help your AC system operate more efficiently.

When choosing the best dehumidifier for your needs, first determine the area that you need to control the humidity in. If your excess humidity problem is mostly seasonal, limited to a room or two, or only in a small area, then a portable dehumidifier may be the best. However, if it’s a larger area, multiple floors, or throughout your entire home, and you have allergy sufferers in the family, a whole house dehumidifier may be exactly what you need to give your loved ones the comfort they deserve.

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