6 Pros And Cons Of A Whole House Dehumidifier
Dehumidifiers are finding their way into more homes these days. That comes as no surprise given how dehumidifiers help keep home interiors comfortable and free from unwanted foreign bodies. You may even be contemplating a dehumidifier purchase yourself.
While browsing your options, you’ll inevitably stumble upon whole-house dehumidifiers. A whole-house dehumidifier is a significant purchase. You have to weigh its pros and cons carefully to determine if it’s worth the investment.
When it comes to whole-house dehumidifier pros and cons, high cost and difficult installation stand out as the main cons. As for the pros of owning a whole-home dehumidifier, those include greater comfort, improved air quality, and inhibiting mold growth. Whole-house dehumidifiers can also work quietly without adversely affecting your home décor or HVAC system.
Adding a whole-house dehumidifier to your home is a big decision. Make sure you take everything important into consideration before deciding by checking out the details included in this article.
A Refresher on Dehumidifiers
Before getting deep into the pros and cons of whole house dehumidifiers, let’s take a moment to remember how they work. When a dehumidifier is switched on, it starts pulling warm air into it right away. A fan built into the dehumidifier is responsible for pulling the warm air in.
Once the warm air is inside the dehumidifier, it passes through the refrigerated coils of the machine. That causes the warm air to cool down and eventually condense. The condensation then drips into a container as the processed air is funneled back into your home.
Along with taking the humidity out of the air, the dehumidifier does a few other things. It also removes allergens and other small particles hanging in the air. Dehumidifiers are also known to prevent the growth of mold.
What Are the Pros of Using a Whole-House Dehumidifier?
Now that we’re back up to speed on what dehumidifiers do, let’s discuss the benefits they bring to your home. We’ll talk about the benefits of dehumidifiers and also touch on the benefits of whole-house variants over their portable counterparts.
1. A Comfortable Environment Present Throughout Your Home
The main reason why most homeowners seek out dehumidifiers is because they want to be comfortable at home. Plenty of humidity hanging in the air often keeps people from getting comfortable.
The warm and sticky feeling humid air brings is unpleasant and irritating. Humid air also tends to weigh heavily on people. Over time, staying in a consistently humid environment can really wear you down. Whole-house dehumidifiers are able to address all those issues. They introduce fresh and lighter air into your home.
Because the dehumidifier is working for your entire home, the comfort isn’t localized to one place. You can stay anywhere inside and feel comfortable. That’s a big advantage that whole-house dehumidifiers have over their portable counterparts.
2. Improved Air Quality in All Rooms
We all want fresh air inside our homes. We open up our windows in order to welcome in all that fresh air. The problem with doing that is that you may also be unintentionally bringing unwanted particles inside your home.
For instance, trace amounts of pollen could blow into your home. Breathing in those pollen particles could trigger potential allergies. Small dust and dirt particles could also make their way inside your home and cause all kinds of problems.
The good news is that dehumidifiers can solve your problems related to those pesky particles. Your whole house dehumidifier can process the air coming from outside and filter out any particles present in it. Once that happens, you can enjoy fresher and cleaner air throughout your home.
Whole-house dehumidifiers also excel at filtering greater amounts of air. You can get fresh air into your home quicker by relying on a whole-house dehumidifier as opposed to something portable.
3. Effective Deterrent against Mold and Fungi
Homeowners want nothing to do with mold. Apart from the health problems it causes, mold can also lead to the spread of an unpleasant odor throughout your home. Different types of fungi can similarly contribute to the production of foul-smelling air and trigger other health issues. So, what causes mold and fungi to grow inside homes? Moisture is among the main culprits in this case.
If you want to control the spread of mold and fungi inside your home, a whole-house dehumidifier will help immensely. The coverage it provides is comprehensive. It can prevent the growth of mold and fungi even in spots you don’t frequent, which is really helpful.
4. Additional Help for Your HVAC System
It’s common to find households that use both dehumidifiers and air conditioners. That’s because those two appliances work very well together. Consider for a moment what an air conditioner is designed to do. Air conditioners process the air in your home and cool it down. That’s not all air conditioners do, however.
In order to properly cool the air, those appliances also have to filter out any particles hanging in the air. If an air conditioner has to process regular air, it will have to work harder to remove any particles present. This is where the dehumidifier comes in.
Because the dehumidifier filters out the particles in the air, it effectively lessens the burden placed on the air conditioner. The air conditioner won’t have to work as hard to provide the level of comfort you’re seeking.
An air conditioner will be able to work more efficiently thanks to the presence of the whole house dehumidifier. An air conditioner that doesn’t have to work excessively hard will last longer.
5. Better Protection for Your Furniture and Fixtures
An important thing to remember about humidity is that it does more than just make us feel uncomfortable. Humidity can also have an effect on certain items inside our home.
Excessive amounts of moisture in the air can lead to certain wooden items becoming deformed and/or weaker. The pieces of wooden furniture you have can be particularly susceptible to the damaging effects of excess moisture. Too much moisture can also cause problems for the paints and wallpapers covering your home. They may peel off faster than expected due to the high humidity.
A whole-house dehumidifier can keep those things from happening. The longevity of those items will improve if you regularly use a dehumidifier inside your home. Using a whole-house dehumidifier is even better because you aren’t leaving any fixtures or pieces of furniture vulnerable.
6. Operates without Disturbing Your Home
Whole-house dehumidifiers can fit well inside most homes. Because you can have the dehumidifier connected to your HVAC system, it can work without disrupting your home décor.
You don’t have to worry about it being an eyesore or obstacle whenever you have guests over. It’s hard to say the same thing about portable dehumidifiers. Whole-house dehumidifiers are also capable of working quietly. You’re not getting that same kind of peaceful operation from a portable dehumidifier.
What Are the Cons of Using a Whole-House Dehumidifier?
It’s now time to talk about the cons of using a whole-house dehumidifier. Compared to the section above, this one will be significantly shorter.
1. High Cost of Acquisition
Running a dehumidifier isn’t that expensive. However, buying a whole-house dehumidifier will cost a lot of money.
Whole-house dehumidifiers typically cost in the range of $1000 to $1500. Add to that the cost of installation that often exceeds $500 and you could receive a final bill north of $2000. To put that number into better context, you can find high-quality portable dehumidifiers that are available for less than $250. You’ll have to decide if potentially paying an additional $1750 is worth it to have a whole-house dehumidifier.
2. Difficult Installation
Considering how much getting a whole-house dehumidifier professionally installed costs, you may be thinking about handling that job yourself. That’s certainly an option to consider, but it’s not one that is recommended.
Remember that whole-house dehumidifiers have to be hooked up to your ductwork to operate properly. Make a mistake during installation and you could do significant damage to your home’s ductwork. Instead of saving money, you may end up spending more to get the damaged ductwork repaired.
3. It Stays in One Place
If you ever decide to sell your home, your whole house dehumidifier is likely going to be included in the package. On one hand, the whole house dehumidifier could raise your home value slightly. On the other hand, you’ll have to purchase another whole-house dehumidifier if you want one in your new home.
How Long Should You Keep a Dehumidifier Running?
The rule of thumb when it comes to dehumidifiers is that they should work until the humidity drops to 50 percent. How long that takes will obviously vary depending on the conditions in your area. But what if you forgot to turn the dehumidifier off? Will that cause any problems?The most immediate concern with running a dehumidifier too long is that could possibly overflow. The water inside a portable unit could spill on to your floor if the container can no longer hold it. You could also be looking at a higher electricity bill due to running your dehumidifier longer than needed. While the unit can handle working long hours just fine, it’s still best to shut it down after a while.
Should You Use a Dehumidifier if the Air Already Feels Cold?
No, using a dehumidifier when the air’s already cold is not advisable. Cold air could freeze over the coils of the dehumidifier after it’s absorbed. If that happens, the coils could wind up badly damaged. Hopefully, the colder air will be more comfortable than humid air. That way, you can keep the dehumidifier off and still remain comfortable inside your home.
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