High humidity can trigger asthma and allergies, among other health issues, due to mold, dust mites and more. On the other hand, though, low humidity can also be highly uncomfortable. It is, therefore, essential to create a balance.
By installing a whole house dehumidifier, you can effectively create that perfect balance for a comfortable living space.
But how do you find the best whole house dehumidifier? It all comes down to the size of your house and where it can be installed.
Is There Such a Thing as a Whole House Dehumidifier?
Yes, there is such a thing as a whole house dehumidifier. It’s actually an important part of your home if humidity is a problem. However, not all dehumidifiers can be used for the whole house.
Area coverage plays a significant role in determining whether or not a dehumidifier can be used for the whole house. Generally, whole house dehumidifiers are hooked up to your HVAC system. This enables them to dehumidify your entire house in one go.
However, if you live in a one-story house or apartment, you can use a portable dehumidifier with a large area coverage.
How Do I Know If I Need a Whole House Dehumidifier?
Before deciding on a whole house dehumidifier, you must first do a thorough assessment of the humidity in your house. Generally, there’s a possibility of mold whenever the indoor relative humidity is above 60 percent (1). Here are a few signs that your house is in need of a dehumidifier:
- Musty odors: If you’re met with a distinct musty odor as you walk into your home, there’s definitely a moisture problem. Excess moisture can cause mold and mildew to grow. This, in turn, results in an unpleasant musty odor. A dehumidifier can help, but it’s important first to fix whatever is causing the moisture, such as a leak.
- Allergies or asthma issues: Excess moisture or dampness in a home can trigger allergies and even asthma. This is due to certain triggers, such as dust mites and mold, which thrive in these conditions. Several studies conducted in 2004, 2009 and 2011 showed that damp environments can cause respiratory issues, infections, eczema and bronchitis as well (2).
- Rotting wood: Many houses are built of wood, so it is crucial that moisture is kept at a minimum. If your house is exposed to excess moisture for an extended period, the structure will begin to degrade. You might find signs of this in different areas, such as drywall, hardwood floors, along the foundation and window casings.
- Noticeable condensation: Condensation within a home is a clear sign of a humidity-problem. This commonly happens when the outside temperature is significantly different from the indoor temperature. You might see condensation on windows or metal pipes.
Choosing the Best Whole House Dehumidifier
If you’ve decided that a whole house dehumidifier is for you, you need to find the right one. To help you on your quest, we’ve created a thorough guide towards finding the best whole house dehumidifier. Here are a few important things to consider:
How well a dehumidifier works is always important. However, it becomes even more crucial when it’s a whole house unit. It has to have the strength to draw moisture out of large areas as well as being able to run continuously.
In order to figure out a dehumidifier’s performance, you must look at its pints per day (ppd) rating. This can range between 30 to over 100; however, most dehumidifiers for whole houses are 70 pints or more. Pints per day refers to how many pints of moisture the unit can remove during a 24-hour period.
To figure out what you need, you must consider how humid your climate is. Homeowners who live in more humid climates will need a stronger dehumidifier to effectively reduce the humidity. On the other hand, if you live in a less humid environment, you can save the energy and choose a small dehumidifier.
Area coverage also plays a significant role in determining which dehumidifier is best for your home. If you choose a dehumidifier that’s ducted to your HVAC system, you must consider how many square feet your house is. These will generally cover quite large areas, but there are some exceptions.
In apartments or smaller townhouses where it isn’t a possibility to duct the dehumidifier, a large portable unit will do. If placed strategically, a large portable dehumidifier can reduce the humidity in a spacious apartment. Preferably, put it in an open area where it has access to most or all rooms.
You can easily find portable dehumidifiers with a vast area coverage, such as 6,000 square feet. This should be enough for a townhouse or large apartment.
Keep in Mind
So, you’ve found a suitable dehumidifier, but where should the water go? Now for a whole house dehumidifier, you don’t want to have to worry about emptying a tank. Therefore, we highly recommend that you choose a unit with a continuous drain option and preferably a built-in pump.
Whole house dehumidifiers that are ducted will have a pump and hose to remove the water as its extracted from the air. Therefore, it’s essential to consider where it’s installed as it needs to be close to a drain.
Check the Hose
The Best Whole House Dehumidifiers of 2020
As we created our list, we wanted to include something for every type of homeowner. Whether you live in a small apartment or lavish two-story house, we’ve got you covered.
Our experts spent hours upon hours looking at different performances as well as area coverage to find the best. In the end, we found the best whole house dehumidifiers that are not only preferred by experts, but also loved by customers.
1. Colzer 140 Pints Dehumidifier
If you want a stylish whole house dehumidifier, the Colzer 140-Pint is the way to go. It has a tall and slim design that easily suits any room. It’s also very effective, removing 140 pints of moisture per day and can cover an area of up to 6,000 square feet.
You get different modes to play around with to suit the dehumidifying task you’re facing, such as drying laundry. Choose between manual or automatic drainage to suit your needs.
Why We Love It
Large Area Coverage
For the whole house, you need a very powerful dehumidifier such as this Colzer model. It can cover an impressive 6,000 square feet and will extract up to 140 pints of moisture a day — that’s 17.5 gallons. It’s the perfect addition to any apartment or house to keep mold and moisture at bay.
Despite the power and effectiveness of this dehumidifier, it’s actually quite easy to locate. It has a tall and slim design, which makes it excellent for any type of room. We highly recommend putting it in an open area, so that it can draw moisture from all rooms.
Large Tank and Drain Option
It’s fitted with a 2.1-gallon tank, so it can hold a significant amount of water. This enables you to go longer without having to empty it. As a plus, it has the option of automatic drainage.
You can connect a hose to the water outlet, and the machine will automatically select continuous dehumidification. The unit will then run non-stop to keep the humidity at a comfortable level.
This dehumidifier is excellent for any occasion. It comes with multiple modes, such as dehumidifying mode, dry clothes mode and your set humidity levels.
Keep In Mind
At 50.7 pounds, this dehumidifier is far from lightweight. It can be rather tricky to move it around even though it has four wheels.
|Area Coverage||6,000 square feet|
|Pints Per Day||140 pints|
|Dimensions||13.3 by 13.3 by 28.7 inches|
2. TOSOT 70-Pint Dehumidifier With Pump
The Tosot 70-pint dehumidifier is an excellent addition to any home. It can cover an area of up to 4,500 square feet. It works quietly and efficiently, using minimal power for maximum results.
The dehumidifier is equipped with an internal pump to help you save time and effort of having to empty the tank. It’s also fitted with a washable air filter and power outage restart.
Why We Love It
The built-in pump enables you to drain water in any direction of up to 15 feet away. This gives you much more flexibility as to where the unit can stand. With the continuous drainage option, you can keep the dehumidifier running around the clock without worrying about a full tank.
When a power outage occurs, it can be frustrating to have to reset all of your settings on the dehumidifier. Luckily, the Tosot 70-pint dehumidifier will automatically restart and restore your preferred settings.
Having a loud and cumbersome dehumidifier standing in your living room isn’t ideal. However, this unit works quietly — measuring 48 decibels on the lowest setting and 52 on the highest. It isn’t completely silent, but it also won’t be disturbing you or your family.
As we become busier in our lives with work, children and school, we need our appliances to keep up. Fortunately, this dehumidifier won’t waste your time when it comes to maintenance.
The bucket is easily removed from the bottom of the unit — slide it out and carry it using the handles to the sink or drain. The air filter is also quick to locate and remove. You can wash it using warm water and a mild detergent. Tosot recommends you do this after 250 hours of usage — a light on the display will notify you.
Keep In Mind
Pump Is Difficult to Use
Although the built-in pump is a smart feature, it can be tricky to get it started. Multiple customers had trouble connecting the different parts.
|Area Coverage||4,500 square feet|
|Pints Per Day||70 pints|
|Dimensions||14.76 by 11.38 by 24 inches|
3. AlorAir LGR Dehumidifier With Built-in Pump
If you live in a flood-prone area, you need this dehumidifier at hand. The AlorAir LGR was designed to help you restore your home after a flood or very bad leakage. It works fast and efficiently and will remove a significant amount of moisture.
The dehumidifier comes with a few smart features, such as a built-in pump, bright LED display and even protected coils. The body of the unit is extremely durable as well as waterproof.
Why We Love It
If you live in a very humid climate or are recovering from a flood or leak, this dehumidifier is for you. It can cover an area of up to 2,300 square feet and remove up to 190 pints per day. Unlike many other dehumidifiers, this one can work in cooler temperatures ranging between 33 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
The waterproof design makes this dehumidifier as durable as it is effective. AlorAir claims that you can sink it in water and it won’t be damaged. It’s fitted with a rubber strip that seals and protects the circuit board.
Long Power Cord
The power cord reaches a whopping 19.6 feet. This gives you more freedom as to where the unit can stand even if the outlet is far away. When not in use, the power cord is easily rolled up and stored on the side of the unit.
AlorAir has coated the coils in epoxy powder to prevent any freon leaks that could damage the dehumidifier. This feature helps to extend the life of the coils and maintains their ability to transfer heat.
We love the built-in pump feature on this dehumidifier. It has a 20-foot lifting distance, so it can remove water from any location regardless of the drain. This gives you even more freedom to find the perfect spot to set it up.
Keep In Mind
This dehumidifier is quite loud and might be too noisy to keep in the living area. When setting it up, consider an area where it can do its job without disturbing you and your family.
|Area Coverage||2,300 square feet|
|Pints Per Day||190 pints|
|Dimensions||22.8 by 13.7 by 17.3 inches|
4. Aprilaire Pro Whole House Dehumidifier
If you’re on the hunt for a dehumidifier that’s easy to use and effective, this is your guy. The Aprilaire Pro can be hooked up to your HVAC ducts, effectively dehumidifying your entire house. Setup is relatively easy, but you might need professional help if you want to attach the ducts.
The unit is highly durable, made in the USA with corrosion-resistant aluminum coils. It comes with a very impressive five-year warranty.
Why We Love It
Professional Whole House Dehumidifier
This dehumidifier isn’t just set up in your living room; it’s connected to your HVAC system. There are two ducts on each side of the unit that you can attach to your system. The unit will then dehumidify your home as your HVAC is running.
Large Area Coverage
No matter the size of your home, this dehumidifier will be a perfect match — unless you live in a mansion. The Aprilaire dehumidifier can cover up to 7,200 square feet and remove up to 130 pints of moisture per day.
Easy to Operate
Despite being a professional dehumidifier, it’s actually quite simple to use. The control panel can be fitted to the top or side of the unit — wherever is more convenient. You can set it to your desired humidity levels and it will work non-stop until they’re reached.
Keep In Mind
This dehumidifier will set you back by quite a bit, but it is an investment. It also uses a significant amount of energy, so it will show on your monthly bills depending on usage.
|Area Coverage||7,200 square feet|
|Pints Per Day||130 pints|
|Dimensions||30 by 19.5 by 18.8 inches|
5. Dri-Eaz Revolution LGR Dehumidifier
The Dri-Eaz LGR dehumidifier is one you have to see to believe. It works very effectively in large areas of up to 7,000 square feet. Setup is quick and, thanks to the built-in humidistat, you can set your preferred levels.
The heavy-duty body was designed and built in the US with protected coils and an easy-to-use touch-pad display. Although it’s strong, it’s compact and easy to store and fit into compromised spaces.
Why We Love It
Large Area Coverage
For large homes, this dehumidifier is the perfect addition. It can cover an impressive 7,000 square feet and will remove up to 136 pints per day. It’s excellent at drying the house out after a flood or bad leak.
The built-in pump is an excellent feature since it allows the unit to drain to any location without the help of gravity. It gives you more flexibility when choosing the spot to set the unit up as well.
Despite the strength of this dehumidifier, it’s very compact and stackable if you have more units. It has a longer, slimmer size that enables it to fit in any tight space. The power cord can be rolled up and stored on the side of the unit, which makes it easier to store as well.
In addition, this dehumidifier has a built-in humidistat where you can set your preferred levels. There are touch-pad controls and an auto-pump out system. Overall, it’s very user-friendly and easy to set up.
Keep In Mind
Unfortunately, the strength of this dehumidifier also causes it to become quite loud. It makes a noisy humming when running, so it shouldn’t be placed next to your bedroom.
|Area Coverage||7,000 square feet|
|Pints Per Day||136 pints|
|Dimensions||12.5 by 21.5 by 12.5 inches|
|Warranty||Limited lifetime warranty|
Detailed Comparison Chart
|Product||Best||Area Coverage||Pints Per Day||Dimensions||Weight||Warranty|
|Colzer 140 Pints Dehumidifier||Apartments||6,000 sq ft||140||13.3 x 13.3 x 28.7″||50.7 lbs||Two-year|
|TOSOT 70-Pint Dehumidifier||Townhouses||4,500 sq ft||70||14.76 x 11.38 x 24″||48 lbs||One-year|
|AlorAir LGR Dehumidifier||Pump||2,300 sq ft||190||22.8 x 13.7 x 17.3″||75 lbs||Five-year|
|Aprilaire Pro House Dehumidifier||Commercial||7,200 sq ft||130||30 x 19.5 x 18.8″||113 lbs||Five-year|
|Dri-Eaz Revolution LGR Dehumidifier||Large Homes||7,000 sq ft||136||12.5 x 21.5 x 12.5″||65 lbs||Limited lifetime|
How to Install a Whole House Dehumidifier
A whole house dehumidifier is ducted to your HVAC system. That way, it can dehumidify the air before it enters your home.
The best way to install a whole house dehumidifier is by installing a dedicated return that’ll bring air into the unit. You’ll then need to connect the supply side of the unit to your HVAC supply plenum (3).
By installing the dehumidifier this way, it will discharge the dry air directly into your HVAC supply. Otherwise, it will first be forced through the air handler, which can increase static pressure in the dehumidifier. This way will also prevent many common issues such as evaporated moisture from the AC coils creeping back into the air.
Keep in Mind
How Much Does It Cost to Install a Whole House Dehumidifier?
The cost to install a whole house dehumidifier depends on the type. Portable units don’t require any professional installation — simply set it up and possibly connect a hose.
Ducted units, on the other hand, will likely require some help. These dehumidifiers are far from cheap, and in many cases, you’ll end up spending the same on installation. Average installation prices of whole house dehumidifiers are between $1,300 and $2,800 (4).
Something for the Entire House
By installing a whole house dehumidifier, you can effectively keep moisture, dampness and mold at bay. Whole house dehumidifiers are generally ducted to your HVAC system, but large portable units can also work.
You must consider factors such as performance and area coverage before settling on a unit. It has to be able to cover your entire home, whether small or large. If you choose a large portable unit, reconsider where you place it to ensure it has good access to all rooms and corners.