How Does a Whole House Dehumidifier Work?

how does a whole house dehumidifier work

If you’re looking for a more long-term approach to help keep those pesky allergies at bay, reduce mold and mildew, and maintain overall better air quality, a dehumidifier may just be the thing for you.

If you want to improve the air quality in your home for your whole family, you might have been considering a whole house dehumidifier. A whole house humidifier is a great option for those who want to control the humidity levels inside their home. So, how does a whole house dehumidifier work? 

A whole house dehumidifier works by taking out the excess moisture in an entire home that could otherwise cause unwanted damage and even harm to one’s health. Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of a whole house dehumidifier.

What’s the Difference Between a Dehumidifier and a Humidifier?

The concept is quite simple — a humidifier basically adds extra moisture to the air whereas a dehumidifier removes extra moisture from the air. Both humidifiers and dehumidifiers are used for specific purposes and have many benefits.

What Are the Benefits of a Dehumidifier?

It Can Help With Seasonal Allergies

If you are a seasonal allergy sufferer, a dehumidifier may be in your best interest. Dehumidifiers help allergies by preventing the growth of mold and dust mites, which are some of the most common home allergens.

It Can Reduce Odors From Mold and Mildew

Keeping the humidity in your home under control prevents any unwanted mold or mildew from forming, as they commonly grow in humid and damp climates.

It Reduces Odor

If you notice an unpleasant odor in your home, this may be due to the moisture in the air trapping and holding odors from mold and mildew. To prevent this, a dehumidifier works by removing excess moisture in the air and taking away the moldy scent.

What Are the Benefits of a Humidifier?

portable dehumidifier device against red background

Improved Air Quality

The first benefit and possibly most important benefit we’ll be talking about is improved air quality. A humidifier improves air quality by adding moisture to the air and increasing the humidity to a healthier level. This also helps to create a cleaner and healthier environment, which is especially important during flu season.

Avoiding the Cold and Flu

One of the biggest benefits of a humidifier is that it prevents sickness during flu season. When the air is not as dry as usual, airborne diseases are less infectious.

Alleviating Symptoms When You DO Have the Cold or Flu

If you do get a cold or the flu, a humidifier may help speed up recovery by loosening congestion and making it easier for you to breathe. This may help alleviate symptoms such as sleep deprivation, a sore throat, and sinus headaches.

What is the Difference Between a Regular Dehumidifier and a Whole House Dehumidifier?

Portable/Regular Dehumidifier

A portable humidifier may be a more convenient option for those looking to see how a dehumidifier works for them. A portable dehumidifier is less costly than a whole house dehumidifier and also has a simpler installation process that doesn’t require a professional. Because it’s portable, it is also easier to move around anywhere you’d like.

Whole House Dehumidifier

Just like the name states, a whole house dehumidifier works the same as a regular dehumidifier except by removing excess moisture in the air for the whole house. Unlike a portable dehumidifier, a whole house dehumidifier is not portable and usually attaches to your HVAC system.

What Are the Benefits of a Whole House Dehumidifier?

Portable dehumidifier

It May Cut Other Utility Costs

Investing in a whole house humidifier may actually help cut down on utility costs. When there is too much moisture in the air, your air conditioner has to work harder. A good dehumidifier lowers the humidity in the air so your AC doesn’t have to use as much electricity and therefore doesn’t run up your electric bill.

It Improves Indoor Air Quality

Too much moisture in the air makes your home more susceptible to mold, mildew, and even damaging fungal growth, all of which can cause an unpleasant odor. A dehumidifier works to combat this by eliminating the excess moisture.

It Isn’t an Eyesore

Since a dehumidifier is usually attached to your ac unit, it is out of sight and out of mind. Another benefit of a whole house dehumidifier is that it runs quietly, so it never becomes annoying.

It Makes Your Home More Comfortable

Comfortability is something everyone could use during those hot, sweaty summer months. If you’re someone who doesn’t like the heat and wants to feel comfortable at all times, a dehumidifier is a great solution to this problem.

What Are the Cons of a Whole House Dehumidifier?


One of the biggest cons is the cost. Although it may help cut utility costs, a whole house dehumidifier is still an investment. Most dehumidifiers cost somewhere between $1,200 to $2,800 for bigger houses and $1,000 to $2,000 for smaller or average-sized homes.

Repair Prices May Be Costly Too

The repair costs of a whole house dehumidifier are also something to consider if you’re thinking of purchasing one. You have to take into account the costs of a base fee, the parts that need to be replaced, and the technician’s hourly rate, which can run anywhere from $50-$70 an hour.

How Can You Tell if A Dehumidifier Is Working?

One of the best ways to check if your dehumidifier is working the way it should is by using a hygrometer. A hygrometer works by reading the room temperature and humidity levels. Hygrometers are also fairly inexpensive.

How to Decide if a Whole House Dehumidifier or a Portable Dehumidifier Is Best for You

Whole House Dehumidifier 

If you experience humidity issues year-round and want an option that will lower the humidity in your entire home, a whole house dehumidifier may be the best option for you. This option is also good for those with allergies, asthma, or issues with mold, mildew, and dust mites.

Portable Dehumidifier

If you are looking to solve humidity issues in just a single room, a portable dehumidifier may be your best option. If you also see yourself moving it frequently, its portability is an excellent feature. Another added benefit is that it is much more affordable than a whole house dehumidifier.


So, how does a whole house dehumidifier work? This type of dehumidifier simply lowers the humidity of the air in your home on a larger scale. 

Whether or not you decide to purchase a whole house dehumidifier comes down to weighing the pros and cons of having one. Someone who regularly suffers from allergies or has a problem in their home such as mold, mildew, or dust mites is probably the best candidate for a whole house dehumidifier. However, if these issues are minor or somewhat manageable, you may not feel the need to invest in one and it may not be for you. 

If you are on the fence about whether or not you want to own a dehumidifier, it may be helpful to have a consultation with a professional to understand more of what to expect and see if it’s the right fit for you. Plus, consider reading some of the other articles on Home and Hamper for more advice and recommendations concerning dehumidifiers.

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