April showers mean the humidity level in your Northeast Ohio home is at its highest point of the year. How should you deal with it? Should you purchase a portable dehumidifier or invest in a whole-home unit? What are the pros and cons of each type?
These are all great questions! Keep reading to learn more about dehumidifiers from our pros at Hey Neighbor Heating & Cooling.
How does a whole-home dehumidifier work?
A whole-home dehumidifier works with your HVAC system and is typically installed in your basement or attic. This practical appliance extracts excess moisture from your home’s indoor air as it passes through the HVAC’s return ductwork.
Then, the dehumidifier condenses the extracted moisture into its liquid form and sends it down the drain. The drier air is then distributed throughout your home. Remember, a dehumidifier removes extra humidity from the air; a humidifier adds moisture.
Whole-home dehumidifier pros:
• Automatically controls the humidity in your home
• Can be up to four times more energy-efficient than portable models
• No need to empty full buckets or drip pans
• Better air filters than most portable models
• Quiet operation
Whole-home dehumidifier cons:
• Higher up-front cost
• Professional installation required
• Difficult to remove and take with you if you move
How does a portable dehumidifier work?
A portable dehumidifier must be in the room or area where you want drier air, but it’s easy to relocate.
Portable dehumidifiers pull in humid air via a fan. This air passes over refrigerant-cooled coils, much like your AC system. As the coils cool the damp air, its humidity content condenses and drops out, and dry air is dispersed back into your living space.
The condensed humidity collects in a removable container or drip pan, which must be emptied by hand.
Portable dehumidifier pros:
• Controls humidity in one room or area
• Less expensive up-front cost
• Easy to use where you need it
• Quick setup
• Many models feature digital controls
Portable dehumidifier cons:
• Louder operation
• Always visible and potentially in the way
• Only controls humidity in one area
• Manual emptying of condensation
• Uses more energy during operation
Let’s compare the pros and cons of both options.
Comfort and effectiveness
A whole-home dehumidifier reduces the humidity level in your house to a healthy level of 40-50% quietly and efficiently. As a result, you’ll likely be able to save energy by setting the target temperature higher for your air conditioner in the summer while your home still stays and feels cool and comfortable.
A portable unit only reduces the relative indoor humidity in a small area. It also won’t improve your hot-weather comfort as much and can drive up energy costs.
Location and aesthetics
Because a whole-home dehumidifier is discreetly tucked away as part of your HVAC system, you’ll forget that it’s there, especially since it doesn’t make any extra noise.
On the other hand, a portable model takes up floor space and is in plain sight, which many homeowners find unappealing. They can also be pretty noisy. Even so, a standalone unit might be the best option if you only want to dehumidify a small area or you don’t have central HVAC ductwork in your home.
A whole-home dehumidifier costs more up-front and must be installed by a professional as it is integrated into your home’s heating and cooling system. On the plus side, its integration means it’s cheaper to operate.
Portable units are less expensive initially and don’t need to be installed. You can set one up in minutes, but it can inflate your electricity bill.
Which type is better?
Deciding which option is better for your family depends on the size of your home, your existing HVAC system, and the humidity level in your home. A whole-home dehumidifier is ideal for medium to large houses that need humidity control throughout the entire home.
Portable dehumidifiers are much more affordable and are the most practical and cost-effective solution for ductless systems or smaller spaces, such as mobile homes.
Improve your comfort and health
If you have humidity problems in your Northeast Ohio home, rely on the friendly experts here at Hey Neighbor Heating & Cooling for a whole-home dehumidifier solution. We can also offer advice on ways to improve the overall air quality in your home.
Protect your family’s health and enhance your home’s overall comfort. Call Hey Neighbor Heating & Cooling for a free consultation today – 844-HEY-NEIGHBOR!