The relative humidity in a home should range from 45 to about 50%. Anything higher than these values should prompt you to consider installing a dehumidifier. When you are about to make a decision on buying a dehumidifier, it is important you consult a licensed HVAC contractor who regularly installs them because they have immense knowledge they can share with you. Installation of dehumidifiers is normally done in attics, basements and mechanical closets.
Humidity management in your home is very important because lack of it can cause discomfort as well as the growth of mold and other health implications. If you are not sure whether the humidity in your home warrants a decision to invest in a dehumidifier, you may consider buying an indoor monitor which costs around $20 so as to determine the exact relative humidity in your home.
Why Smaller Units May Not Play the Part
Smaller portable dehumidifier systems are quite popular for small areas such as a single room, but don’t work well with large spaces. In most cases, they fill up first especially during months where humidity is at its peak. This then causes them to shut off at the time when you really need them. This is where a whole house dehumidifier comes in. It works along your heating and air conditioning system to dehumidify areas as large as 3000 square feet.
Air handlers such as furnaces are known for pumping out hot or cold air. However, unknown to many homeowners, these systems can also suck in the room temperature air as well as the moisture through the air returns. This is why you need a dehumidifier that is connected by technicians to the HVAC system and tied into a main return. This removes moisture and permits the dry air to slowly cycle back to the air handler. Installations of whole house dehumidifiers can cost anything from $3,000 to $5,000. This cost is bound to go high if your home is spacious and requires more than a single unit.
Sizing the Dehumidifier
Just like the case with a heating and air conditioning system, the dehumidifier must be sized to fit your home and your specific situation. The unit sizes of dehumidifiers are based on how much they remove water from the air per day. Whole house dehumidifiers can remove about 90 to 150 pints on average depending on their size. The water is then drained through the main plumbing system in your home.
Some HVAC contractors treat sizing of dehumidifiers as an art and not a science. However, professionals know what to exactly factor in such as the humidity in the area you live, the presence of crawl space or a basement which holds moisture and the humidity dissipated by your installed AC. Ensure you get multiple estimates from reliable HVAC contractors who are insured, licensed, bonded and have positive customer reviews.