Home dehumidifiers remove moisture from the air in your living space. These useful appliances help maintain consistent indoor relative humidity, keeping your property’s indoor air quality (IAQ) drier, more comfortable, healthier – and, will help to prevent structural damage caused by mold. According to FEMA, it doesn’t take long for mold colonies to grow in a damp indoor environment – in the right conditions, within 24 to 48 hours after initial exposure.1
If high indoor humidity is a concern in your property, dehumidification will help control indoor moisture and prevent mold growth. Portable and whole house dehumidifier systems are two options to consider for indoor humidity control – but there’s also a third option that might be the best solution. Did you know there are also tankless dehumidifiers that are wall mounted? In this blog, we’ll review all three dehumidification options so you can decide which solution is best for you.
Portable dehumidifiers are affordable solutions for smaller homes, rooms and apartments. They require no installation and plug into standard electrical outlets, so they can be moved from room to room as needed. The availability of different unit sizes accommodates a variety of room spaces and dehumidification needs. However, they normally rest on the floor, and depending on the dimensions, can take up considerable space, potentially posing a trip hazard. They are noisy during operation, and require residents to frequently empty a reservoir tank – which can be messy and bothersome – as well as routine cleaning to prevent mold growth in the unit. Not always the best choice for multi-family residences.
Another option to control relative indoor humidity is a whole house dehumidifier. These large units treat the home’s entire air volume by running airflow through the HVAC system. They do a great job of removing moisture from the air when the HVAC system runs – but only when it runs. Although they are relatively expensive to purchase and install, they require minimal maintenance, just an annual check and filter change.
At Innovative Dehumidifier Systems we not only have in-wall and on-wall units but we also now have two whole house dehumidifier units. Our two options for whole house units include the WH85 and the WH120 removing 85 PPD in 15k cubic feet and 120 PPD in 21k cubic feet. These units are equipped with digital display, auto defrost, auto restart and low temperature operation as well as a 10 inch duct collar kit available for attachment. Adding these two whole house units to our fleet has made us a one-stop-shop for our customers.
It’s important to weigh the pros and cons before selecting your dehumidification solution. If you think a whole house dehumidifier is right for your property, there are six important factors to consider before making that investment.
6 Factors to Consider Before Installing a
Whole House Dehumidifier
- HVAC INDEPENDENT
- TYPE OF PROPERTY
Whole-house dehumidifiers range in price from about $1,000 – $3,000 without installation. The cost of installing a whole house dehumidifier is typically as expensive as the unit itself, since technicians must integrate into the return ductwork of an HVAC system. The average installation price tag is about $2,000,2 so the total cost of a whole-house dehumidifier can range from $3,000 to over $5,000 depending on the cost of labor, time involved and work needed for installation.
The whole house dehumidifier installation can be very technical. For this reason, it is required that a licensed HVAC contractor completes the work to ensure proper function. In many cases, the warranty will be voided if installation is not completed by a professional.
Home dehumidifier systems are often categorized by their water removal per day, also known as the Water Removal Capacity, and is measured in pints. A dehumidification unit’s capacity is affected by two things: the size of the space and the amount of moisture in the air (saturation). Spaces less than 2,000 sq. ft. typically need a unit with a removal capacity from 20-30 pints per day. When the same size space is fully saturated with relative indoor humidity ranging from 90-100% humidity, the space may need 30-50 pints removed daily – at least to get the moisture under control.3 On average, a whole-house dehumidifier can remove up to 98 pints of water per day. That’s a lot of water, and it may sound great, but is it necessary or overkill? On average, a family of four only adds 25 pints of moisture to the air each day. An oversized dehumidification system is an inefficient and costly way to remove moisture.
The unit’s capacity is affected by two things: the size of the space and the amount of moisture in the air (saturation).
4. HVAC INDEPENDENT
Whole house dehumidifiers work in conjunction with HVAC systems, drawing air through the return ductwork, to remove moisture. Unfortunately, whole house dehumidifiers are not independent of HVAC systems and only dehumidify while HVAC system is operating. Can these units remove excess moisture if they aren’t running? No. Whole house dehumidifiers depend on the HVAC to be running to remove moisture, and no one wants to pay for their HVAC to run all the time. Dehumidifier systems for houses should complement cooling and heating systems; they should not be dependent on them. An independent dehumidifier that automatically removes moisture to keep relative humidity below 60% is essential for comfortable and healthy IAQ and mold control. The key to hands-free moisture removal and mold prevention is an independent system not reliant on tenant’s temperature preferences or HVAC operation.
5. TYPE OF PROPERTY
Whole house dehumidifiers are designed to dehumidify large spaces and single-family homes. Generally, they are capable of removing moisture in spaces from 2,500 to 4,000 sq. ft.4 Apartments tend to be much smaller, averaging 1,015 sq. ft.5, which is a fraction of the recommended square footage to justify the use of a whole house unit. Whole house dehumidifiers are oversized and inefficient for apartments.
The noise that an appliance makes is often an afterthought but can be a huge nuisance. Whole house systems, on average, have a noise level of 55 Decibels (dBA), due to their size, installation, and fan speed. An example of an appliance that makes 50 dBA would be a refrigerator, an example of 60 dBA would be an air conditioner6; a whole house dehumidifier creates a noise ranging somewhere between the two appliances.
Results that Matter
Supplemental dehumidification is an easy solution to aid in mold prevention
Understanding how the size of space, type of property, and level of dehumidification needed helps determine the best dehumidification system for your property. Whole house dehumidifiers can control moisture related issues in larger spaces, but only in conjunction with HVAC systems while they are running. For smaller spaces such as apartments, it is important to have a reliable and independent system to maintain consistent indoor relative humidity.
Independent Dehumidification System – Another Solution May Be Better
The benefits of an independent dehumidification system are valuable in maintaining a healthy humidity level to help prevent mold and protect your property.
The tankless IW25-4 IN Wall/ ON Wall dehumidifier removes up to 29 pints of moisture per day in spaces up to 1,500 square feet – with no tank to empty. The tamper-proof dehumidifier’s controls are hidden behind the front cover for a hands-free system, completely independent of the HVAC system. Equipped with an LED filter maintenance indicator, the washable MERV-8 filters are easy to access. The slim and sleek design is paintable and fits with almost any décor. The unit requires little maintenance, and wall installation keeps it conveniently out of the way. The bi-polar ion generator helps further clean the air without adding ozone. Quiet and energy efficient, the IW25-4 is an independent dehumidifier system specifically designed for multifamily housing to help prevent mold before it starts to grow.
What Causes Mold in Apartments?
Understand why an excess of moisture will lead to indoor mold growth
- Dealing with Mold & Mildew in Your Flood Damaged Home? https://www.fema.gov/pdf/rebuild/recover/fema_mold_brochure_english.pdf
- How much does a Dehumidifier Cost to Install? https://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/heating-and-cooling/dehumidifier/
- What else should I look for when buying a dehumidifier? https://www.energystar.gov/products/appliances/dehumidifiers
- What Size Dehumidifier Do I Need? https://www.bhg.com/home-improvement/what-size-dehumidifier/#:~:text=What%20Dehumidifier%20Size%20to%20Get,certain%20times%20of%20the%20year.
- How Much Square Footage Do I Need? https://www.apartments.com/blog/how-much-square-footage-do-i-need
- Noise Level Chart https://www.noisehelp.com/noise-level-chart.html