Informational Guide

Installing a Whole House Dehumidifier

by Ian Haynes

If you live in a humid region, you know how heavy the air can get, making it hard for you to breathe. The solution lies in buying a dehumidifier for your house.

Follow the guide below to learn about a whole-house dehumidifier installation and how it can benefit you by making your home environment better.

A whole-house dehumidifier is a much better option than an HVAC system since it makes your environment more comfortable.

It collects all the condensation from a room and into a storage tank. This tank must then be emptied from time to time or be connected to a pump and drained through a water line.

Here are some reasons why you need a whole-house dehumidifier installation in your house:

1. Makes Your Home More Comfortable

Humans require approximately 30 to 50% relative humidity, making whole-house dehumidifiers suitable for your comfort and health.

If the air inside your home has more moisture, it sticks to the skin. This clogs your pores and decreases your body’s ability to carry out its natural cooling process.

This combination of hotness and stickiness makes you feel highly uncomfortable. This is where dehumidifiers come in, reducing this moisture and making your home more comfortable.

2. Reduce Cooling Cost

A noticeable impact of high moisture in your home is that it makes air conditioners work harder to provide the amount of cooling required.

While your AC will work at its best to make your room as breathable as it can, your electricity bills will skyrocket.

3. Protects Your Home

Excessive moisture makes your house’s paint bubble up. It also leads to water damage on floors and walls, making your furniture warp.

However, you can prevent all this damage and protect your home by installing a whole-house dehumidifier. They extract all that extra moisture and maintain livable internal conditions.

4. Remove/Reduce Molds Inside Your Home

It is common for mold to develop in areas exposed to excess moisture, and homes with high humidity are just that.

Dehumidifiers reduce the chances of mold developing, making your house a safer place to live in the long run.

Remember, moist air increases fungus growth and leads to rotting, running the risk of stinking up the house.

2 Methods of Installing Whole House Dehumidifiers

Here are two different methods on how to install a whole-house dehumidifier:

UltraAire Dehumidifier Installation

Dedicated Return to Supply Installation Method

This is arguably the best way to install a whole-house dehumidifier. It provides several benefits that are not only restricted to your home but also affect your HVAC system.

The return-to-supply method does not use an air handler fan, forcing air into the evaporator coils. Instead, it releases the dehumidified air into the supply directly.

Moreover, while the conventional installation method creates high static pressure, making your unit work harder, this method reduces the interaction between the AC unit and dehumidifier.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Install a return duct in your house
  2. Discharge all the dry air into the supply plenum
  3. Make adjustments to control excess static pressure, which can be caused by the AC and dehumidifier running simultaneously.

The only drawback of this method is the warm air it releases inside your home. However, this warm air makes your AC and fan more efficient.

Dedicated Return to Existing Return Method

This method utilizes the return pipes connected with the existing HVAC system to remove excess air moisture.

However, it is not the best installation method. It uses an air handler fan to move the dehumidified air across the home by pushing it over the evaporator coils.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Either install various ducted returns – or a mix of ducts, door undercuts, jump ducts – and transfer grilles to achieve balanced pressure across the home.
  2. Seal return ducts with metal tape or mastic at joints and avoid using only building cavities as return pathways.
  3. Use pressure meters to check the pressure differences

Installing the Most Popular Dehumidifier Brands

There are several dehumidifier brands in the market, and each offers various benefits. Here are two of the most popular dehumidifier brands:

Aprilaire Whole House Dehumidifiers

These are high-capacity whole-house dehumidifiers that are energy-efficient. In addition, it comes with intuitive digital controls that will enable you to control the moisture in your home effortlessly.

This is one of the most reliable dehumidifier brands on the market, as it is reported to excel at decreasing harmful airborne bacteria.

Moreover, Aprilaire dehumidifiers are designed with corrosion-resistant coils to avoid leakage, and every unit comes with a 5-year warranty.

Aprilaire Dehumidifier Series
Honeywell Whole House Dehumidifiers

Honeywell dehumidifiers are excellent at preventing moisture from building up in your home and maintaining optimal humidity levels using less energy.

All of their models also come with accurate temperature controls as they improve ventilation throughout the house.

Furthermore, they come with energy-saving features and require low maintenance. Similarly, since these are installed outside your living space, the noise they create won’t be an issue.

DIY vs Using a HVAC Contractor

When something goes wrong with your HVAC unit, your first approach is to fix it yourself, saving time and money. However, while minor repairs are easy to handle, you need professional services for more significant issues.

An essential benefit of DIY is that it saves you from paying a contractor. This includes:

  • A flat rate for a diagnosis appointment
  • Higher cost if called in on a holiday
  • The repair bill for labor and parts

It also saves time since you don’t have to book an appointment. Additionally, watching a video tutorial can teach you how to fix the blades, clean the coil, and remove debris from the base pan, all by yourself.

On the other hand, an HVAC contractor is a master at their job, making it efficient and fast using all the necessary tools for repair that you may not have.

They have insider knowledge of your system and can use the proper techniques to do the job. Also, they can acquire parts for lower prices due to their wholesale connections of buying items in bulk.

People Also Ask (FAQ)

What is the best setting for a whole-house humidifier?

For an ideal indoor humidity level, you should set your whole-house dehumidifier to between 35 to 55% relative humidity. Viruses and bacteria don’t live for too long at this range, and the static shock is also minimized.

Do whole-house dehumidifiers use a lot of electricity?

Whole house dehumidifiers’ energy usage depends on the type you use and how much you use it. The electricity consumption can be from a minimum of 300W to over 700W.

Where should a whole-house dehumidifier be installed?

It is best to place a whole-house dehumidifier on the part of the floor with the lowest temperature, whether it is upstairs or downstairs. The area should also have maximum exposure to moisture.

Do whole-house dehumidifiers remove mold completely?

Dehumidifiers do not entirely remove the mold because it is present and dormant even in those areas without excess moisture. However, the moisture helps it grow, so dehumidifiers prevent that by reducing humidity.

Conclusion

Everyone strives towards a comfortable setting to live in; no one should live in a harmful environment. Excess moisture makes it uncomfortable to breathe, increases the room’s temperature, and leads to mold and bacteria growth.

With whole-house dehumidifier installation, you can reduce the humidity and suffocation in your home to promote a healthier, comfortable, and efficient living space.

Ian Haynes

Ian Haynes is an HVAC writer, and researcher. He has worked on hundreds of articles relating to home cooling, heating and air quality with a vast knowledge of the technical aspects of these types of appliances. Outside of his work, Ian likes exploring Brooklyn with his Labrador. Learn more about the AC Lab team here.

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