Buying Dehumidifier Add-on for HVAC System: Worth Or Waste Of Money?

Buying Dehumidifier Add-on for HVAC System

Your AC might be giving you a cool breeze daily, but sometimes, it is only natural for you to stop and question if what you are getting out of your HVAC heating or cooling system is enough.

In today’s age, HVAC systems are now more important than ever, with expertly integrated technology and features that serve to make the best out of the climate. It’s safe to say that they are absolute essentials.

However, what if there was another way to keep your surroundings fresh and comfortable without having to upgrade your system. This can be especially useful in today’s unpredictable weather.

One of the best ways to supplement your HVAC system and make everyday living more pleasing is to get a dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers act as accessories or add-ons to HVAC systems.

Rather than working independently, they combine with the already present heating or cooling system and make the overall process stronger by lending them extra features.

Dehumidifiers, specifically, are designed to remove moisture from the air. In fact, they can extract as much as 12 gallons of water from your home daily. Once gathered, all the moisture is expelled, and your surroundings are made less damp and clammy.

This guide aims at keeping you informed about whole-house dehumidifiers. As we proceed, we will do a breakdown of what Whole house Dehumidifiers are, followed by some comparisons as well as cost reviews.

What Is A Whole House Dehumidifier?

Before we get into the nitty-gritty details, let us briefly talk about what whole-house dehumidifiers are and what they do.

As you know, the basic function of a dehumidifier is to eliminate moisture from the air and make the environment less sticky. That probably earned a suspicious eyebrow raise from you- after all, don’t ACs do the same?

To put it plainly, yes. Air conditioners also utilize dehumidifying technology, but this is understandably not their first priority, as they work to simply maintain cool temperatures.

So, the dehumidifying feature in an AC is…not all that effective, and it’s almost unnoticeable in harsh and moist temperatures.

Also, ACs and dehumidifiers follow a similar operation. That is, both units employ a process where heat is extracted from the air, following which a coil is cooled.

The moisture, thus, taken in from the humid air melts on the coils, and the water is then sent out. This way, moisture is successfully removed. However, ACs and dehumidifiers differ on the basis of function. Where an AC visibly cools the air, a humidifier doesn’t explicitly cool anything.

Whole House Dehumidifier, or a Single Unit?

Now, if you haven’t guessed already, a whole-house dehumidifier stands for, well, dehumidifying the whole house. These systems are built to support all the rooms in your house at once.

With whole-house units, there is also the added advantage of them being hidden from view, as they usually conduct their operation through the ducts in your walls.

This way, they are also quite noiseless and non –disruptive, making them perfect for home environments where you work and sleep.

On the other hand, stand-alone units aren’t quite as strong as whole house units. When you buy a stand-alone unit, you might end up disappointed as their capacity doesn’t allow them to cover a lot of space.

In fact, they’re not very likely to be able to dehumidify more than one room at a time. Of course, you can set them up with a hose in any room you like, which makes them portable and adjustable in a way.

These dehumidifiers, though, are practically meant to live with you under your roof and take up your space. As they’re present in the room while turned on, they tend to cause quite a ruckus, so are not entirely ideal if you prioritize your quiet time. 

However, stand-alone units can be more beneficial depending on the size of your house. Obviously, while whole house units are great for big houses with multiple rooms to support, stand-along pieces are affordable and convenient, especially for apartments with 2 or 3 rooms.

Why Do You Need a Whole House Dehumidifier?

You can have some big concerns before you decide a dehumidifier is actually worth it because most times it isn’t evident to most people just how useful this accessory is.

This question is asked more frequently when homeowners are typically housing a whole Central AC system. No one wants to drop money on a system that seemingly won’t make a difference- but this is not entirely true.

Whole House Dehumidifiers turn out to be really resourceful purchases in places where the climate is warm, damp, and humid. 

In such weather, even an air conditioner doesn’t prove to be all that useful in actually getting the stickiness out of the surroundings. This is where dehumidifiers, with their stronger capacities, with the sole goal of getting rid of all moisture, step in. 

A dehumidifier might also be a good fix if you’ve accidentally invested in an AC which is sized too big for your house.

Such units can have unfavorable consequences like cooling your house too quickly without removing any moisture at all. In such cases, you can offset these negative effects with a dehumidifier.

To summarize, one of the simplest ways to deduce if your house requires a dehumidifier is to take note of the level of humidity surrounding you.

If you happen to notice things like condensation on glass windows, clamminess in the air, or even the presence of mold in your home, you need a Whole House Dehumidifier.

Whole House Dehumidifier Costs

Dehumidifier costs usually depend on aspects like the brand you choose, the size/capacity of your dehumidifier, the type of dehumidifier you purchase, and so on.

For installation, everything from your present cost of living, the seasonal rates for professional installation, the type of dehumidifier, and the size of the dehumidifier matter.

Whole house Dehumidifiers can cost around $1,000 to $2,000 per unit. Of course, price varies across brands, sizes, and types. You can find a range of manufacturers from Honeywell to Carrier in this market.

In addition to the original price, you also have installation costs to deal with, which can be priced around $450-$800. Final costs, thus, can cost as much as $3,000.

Additionally, you also have to think about how much this unit contributes to the electricity bills. It is advised that you actively seek out a dehumidifier with properties of energy efficiency, so as to reduce monthly expenditure.

Whole House Dehumidifiers: Pros and Cons

It is entirely understandable if you’re still in a grey area as to whether a Whole House Dehumidifier is really worth it. This section emphasizes some common pros and cons that may follow a dehumidifier purchase.

Pros
  • Dry Air: It is scientifically proven that dry air is more comfortable and easy to breathe in compared to damp air, even in high temperatures. Humans are said to feel cooler when there is no clingy moisture causing them discomfort. The Dehumidifier, thus, enables the body to experience natural cooling and removes any unsettling moisture from the environment.
  • Prevents damage: Excessive moisture can actually have adverse impacts on your home, as it encourages the growth of mold, water leaks in walls, and interacts with any chemicals lying around. With a dehumidifier, you can avoid these mishaps.
  • Reduce Smell: With mold and other fungal build-up come bad odors and smells. A dehumidifier helps get rid of unwanted smells and keeps the air clean.
  • Lesser cooling costs: When a dehumidifier eliminates moisture from the air, it also lessens the amount of energy taken by your AC system to cool the room. It not only makes the ACs job easier but also increases its energy efficiency, thereby saving you electricity costs
Cons
  • Big purchase: The Whole House dehumidifier can make homeowners hasty because, well, it is a big purchase to make- especially when they’ve already invested in whole house HVAC systems. The future costs entailing a dehumidifier also have to be considered, as well as the labor costs and other miscellaneous prices that might make up the installation process.

Is the Whole House Dehumidifier really worth it?

The final question, then, is whether the Whole House Dehumidifier is really worth investing in. Frankly, the answer depends more on your needs and preferences than external factors.

However, we trust that this system will come in handy if you are subject to damp and humid weather, and if you have to deal with subsequently inefficient cooling in multiple rooms of your house.

With good maintenance and decent use, a whole-house dehumidifier can have a life of 5-10 years without any issues. While they are big investments, these systems have proven to be highly useful and agreeable to homeowners over the years.

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