How does the IW25 Compare with “Whole House” Dehumidifier Systems?
This article is accompanied by an information dehumidifier comparison chart, that can be viewed HERE.
Before we can compare our product with what’s on the market today, it’s important to start by defining the two broad classifications of dehumidifier solutions, both of which do not accurately or completely define the Innovative Dehumidifier IW25 product.
The two broad classifications available for dehumidifier systems or products are PORTABLE and WHOLE HOUSE.
Portable dehumidifiers are those that are for smaller spaces (usually single rooms less than 600 square feet), they are generally plugged into a standard 110 outlet, a user has to manually empty the water collection reservoir, and yes – they can be moved from place to place because they are portable.
A Whole House dehumidifier is one that is engineered for larger spaces (Average 2916 square feet – thus the “whole house” designation), they are not portable because of their size and are meant to be ducted directly into the existing ductwork. This ducted feature means that the Whole House system is placed behind the wall or within the wall cavity. It also means that it works symbiotically with the existing HVAC system in the property, not “independently” like the portable units.
These are the broad, general classifications for most dehumidifiers on the market today. There are also a few products that are whole house that aren’t ducted (as described), just as there are smaller room dehumidifiers that aren’t portable because they hang on the wall or are window units.
What is important to point out is until now there was no product on the market that accurately and specifically addresses the needs of the “in between” scenarios that do not fall into “single room” or larger “whole house” designations.
IW25 was specifically engineered to address that “medium” scenario, which is to say, apartments or multifamily properties that have high relative humidity issues, and who have residents that aren’t the actual owner(s) of the property and/or absentee & 2nd home owners. (That’s an important factor that will be discuss in detail below).
The IW25 Fixed Dehumidifier is not a portable unit, and shouldn’t be considered a solution to that kind of application. The IW25 is engineered to effectively control the humidity of mid-range spaces (up to 1400 square feet), that is installed within the wall cavity, and that is not ducted but works in concert with the HVAC in a secondary capacity.
So when comparing the IW25 Dehumidifier to a Whole House system, it’s important to focus on five main factors. The order of importance depends exclusively on the project need:
One) Property Type
Whole home dehumidifiers are generally engineered for typical single family homes, which on average start at 1900 square feet. Whole House systems can be used in smaller properties, but you would be purchasing more coverage than you need at a higher price*. (*SEE CHART)
The IW25 can work in basements and specific targeted areas of single family homes (just like the Portables and Whole House systems), but was specifically engineered for apartment and multifamily properties that are on average smaller than single family homes.
The IW25 also addresses the unique issue of occupant behavior, a factor a typical single family home owner does not have to contend with when trying to resolve high humidity issues. In an apartment, the property owner generally is not the one living in the unit, and typical dehumidifier products on the market today require occupant participation (running the unit appropriately, having it set to the appropriate levels, changing/cleaning filters, emptying reservoirs, general maintenance and upkeep, etc). If the occupant is not invested in the resolution of the high humidity issues, chances are the solution won’t work effectively, negating the purpose of the product in the first place.
Whole House systems on average (including costs of installation) run 40 to 50% more than an IW25 unit, which is in direct relation to the fact that whole systems are high capacity and built to cover larger square foot areas. Average price of the whole house systems we looked at was $1255*. This price does not include shipping, installation, maintenance, or energy costs. (*SEE CHART)
As far as maintenance and energy costs, the IW25 is also more cost-effective because of its size and energy consumption. Whole House Systems draw an average of 7.1 Amps, where the IW25 draws 3.5 Amps. The IW25 is also more cost-effective in the way it was engineered for installation.
The IW25 was specifically engineered to sit near the air handler in a standard wall stud cavity. The installation process of a Whole House system is much more invasive, which is lengthier and more expensive. In short, the IW25 is easier to install. On average the IW25 can be installed in 30 minutes to an hour. A Whole House dehumidifier system can take the better part of a day to install.
Four) Coverage Efficiency
Coverage efficiency refers the amount of water that the dehumidifier product or system can draw out of the ambient air (circulated or otherwise). Another way to define this is Water Removal Capacity. Whole House systems start with an average Water Removal Capacity of 67.5 pints of per day.
The IW25 has a Water Removal Capacity of 25 pints per day. When choosing a dehumidifier property owners are recommended to select a product that is not over or under sized for the intended space.
Noise level of dehumidifier products is always an issue that buyers consider. In general, Whole House systems are louder than the IW25 fixed dehumidifier. Standard, ducted Whole House systems have an average noise level of 55 dBa (decibels). The higher noise output ranges are based on size, capacity, and fan speed. In comparison, the IW25 has a dBa rating of less than 47.
To put it in comparison of the average noise levels of other common mechanical appliances found in the home, the IW25 is quieter than a refrigerator (50 dBa) while the average noise level of a standard, ducted Whole House system would be louder. (Reference)
The IW25 Fixed Dehumidifier by Innovative Dehumidifier Systems is a product that fits a specific niche for smaller sized properties (specifically apartment or multi-family units) where a Whole House System would be too much coverage. Also, the IW25 Dehumidifier was specifically engineered to address the issues of Occupant Behavior on the property’s humidity level, an issue the Whole House Systems do not address. These over-riding factors make the Whole House system a more expensive and less efficient solution to these specific types properties and situations.
WHOLE HOUSE SYSTEMS COMPARED:
|AprilAire 1730 Specs: ftp://ftp.aprilaire.com/Fulfillment/Dehumidifiers/855_Dehumid_1730Aspec.pdf|
|AprilAire 1830 Specs: ftp://ftp.aprilaire.com/Fulfillment/Dehumidifiers/Model-1830-spec-sheet-887.pdf|
|Honeywell DR65 Specs: https://www.forwardthinking.honeywell.com/products/dehumidification/dehumidification_products.html|
|Ultra Aire 70H Specs: https://www.ultra-aire.com/products/dehumidifiers/ultra-aire-70h|