Why to dehumidify your whole house
To maintain optimal humidity levels in every space of your entire house. Cooking, showering, and laundry increase the amounts of moisture in our homes and create a favorable environment for mold, mildew, spores, dust mites and other harmful airborne particles which make us prone to allergic reactions and respiratory complications, including asthma. The best ducted whole house dehumidifiers improve our health by connecting to the HVAC system to maintain clean, breathable air in the entire house. They include air filters which keep microbes at bay.
Excess moisture can cause rotting and weaken the structural integrity of the house. It also damages furniture, clothes, carpets, instruments, and photographs. Whole house dehumidifiers have extensive coverage range and superior dehumidification performance which effectively protects our houses and treasured possessions by extracting excess moisture from the air to maintain optimal humidity levels.
The best-rated whole house dehumidifiers with a pump provide versatile installation options and convenient drainage to eliminate musty odor caused by the prevalent dampness in basements, crawl spaces and laundry rooms and other spaces that lack gravity drainage outlets.
Features to consider while choosing a whole house dehumidifier
These are the key factors to prioritize when choosing the best portable whole house dehumidifiers as well as models such as Aprilaire 1850 Dehumidifier and BaseAire AirWerx120X which have ducted supply air and return air to add to your existing HVAC system.
Each model is designed to draw excess moisture from the air in a specific size of space which is mostly indicated by manufacturers in square footage. Knowing the designated coverage enables you to choose the best dehumidifier for whole houses which can effectively maintain optimal humidity levels in your intended space. You could also opt for a model with broader coverage than your space to accommodate any extreme changes in humidity levels without overworking the unit.
Our recommended list of the top-rated products in the market features models that can dehumidify whole houses. The AlorAir 190PPD Commercial Dehumidifier has the smallest but substantial square foot coverage of 2,300 while the TOSOT 70 Pint Dehumidifier and the Ivation 70 Pint Dehumidifier lead the pack with extensive coverage of up to 4,500 square feet.
This refers to the amount of excess moisture that a specific dehumidifier can extract from the air in a period of 24 hours. Bathrooms, basements and crawl spaces require a unit with high dehumidification rate, like the BaseAire AirWerx120X which draws 120 pints of excess moisture from the atmosphere in a day, to achieve optimal humidity levels.
Products with high moisture removal capacity make the best residential whole house dehumidifiers because they adjust the humidity in your house to your desired levels at a faster rate and save you money on utility bills. This is because they usually incorporate a digital humidistat which triggers the unit to turn off once the set levels have been reached.
Repeatedly emptying a rapidly-filling tank is tedious enough to turn even the best portable whole house dehumidifier into a peeving burden. This is why majority of the models also come with an attachment for a drain hose which eliminates this task by diverting the water downwards to a sink or an external drainage system using gravity.
To use gravity-reliant drainage, you have to set up the unit on an elevated surface near the drainage outlet. The Aprilaire 1850 Dehumidifier comes with a 10-inch drain hose which is connected to the unit using an adapter and adjustable feet to level the height for gravity-based drainage.
On the other hand, an integrated pump expands your placement and drainage options because it can channel the collected water in any direction, including upwards, into a drainage outlet at any level, making models with pumps ideal for basements and crawl spaces. This is why a built-in pump such as the one found in the AlorAir 190PPD Commercial Dehumidifier and the TOSOT 70 Pint Dehumidifier is a convenient component to factor in before making your decision.
Dimensions and weight
More often than not, the overall size of dehumidifiers with reservoirs matches their scope of coverage and tank capacity. Broader areas require larger tanks which can hold vast volumes of drawn moisture. This subsequently translates to big-size units.
In contrast, the best dehumidifiers for whole houses mainly incorporate drain hoses and built-in pumps for continuous drainage option to conveniently meet the dehumidification needs of an entire household without any need for frequent emptying. Pumps and other components may increase their weight, but the absence of a large tank reduces the overall dimensions of these units into a more maneuverable size. Despite featuring a tank and extensive square-foot coverage of 4,500, the Ivation 70 Pint Dehumidifier has dimensions of 15.4 x 10.8 x 23.2 inches and is one of the best portable whole house dehumidifiers.
Ultimately, the ideal size and weight should be determined by the amount of space available for set up and whether you be moving the unit to different areas.
Handles and wheels
The best whole house dehumidifier systems may have a relatively small footprint, but compressed pumps and other electronic components can make them quite heavy. If you will be using your prospective dehumidifier to optimize humidity levels in different rooms or areas, then consider the wheeled Ivation 70 Pint Dehumidifier or the hOmeLabs 35 Pint Dehumidifier that features handy handles and wheels to improve mobility.
Dehumidifiers use fans which generate varied levels of noise depending on their size and speed. This noise is amplified in mechanical models due to the buzz and vibration of pumps, compressors, and other movable parts.
Look for noise level, measured in decibels that does not exceed 60 decibels and adjustable fan speeds that lets you switch to a lower setting to reduce the noise. A good example is the TOSOT 70 Pint Dehumidifier which produces 52, 50 and 48 decibels of noise when operating on high, medium and low fan speeds respectively. Considering 50 decibels is akin to a normal conversation, all its 3 speeds are fairly unobtrusive.
Researching customer experiences and authoritative online review sites will shed light on the length and terms of warranties offered by different brands for their units and components, any existing incentives, and the availability of replacement parts.
As the best ducted whole house dehumidifier, the Aprilaire 1850 Dehumidifier comes with a long warranty of five years. The AlorAir 190PPD Commercial Dehumidifier has a warranty that lasts five years on compressor, evaporator and condenser, three years on parts and labor on refrigeration circuit, and one year on parts and labor.
Certification: ETL, UL, and Energy Star are among the certifications you should look for when choosing the best value whole house to confirm adherence to authorized safety and energy efficiency standards. Energy Star models typically use 15% less energy than other dehumidifiers.
Control panel: Dehumidifiers with digital screens and touchscreen controls are convenient to operate. They also display useful feedback on the settings in operation, warnings and reminders, and readout of the current humidity and temperature in your house. The AlorAir 190PPD Commercial Dehumidifier and the Ivation 70 Pint Dehumidifier sport digital screens and touchscreen buttons.
Housing: The construction material should be resistant to the corrosion that is rampant in areas with high humidity. The AlorAir 190PPD Commercial Dehumidifier is the best rated whole house dehumidifier for which embodies ideal housing. It is designed with rugged and waterproof material which secures the circuit board tightly with a rubber trip so the unit can be safely submerged in water during flood damage restoration. It also features epoxy coated coils with stainless side plates which are tough enough to endure corrosion and impact as well as severe storm while maintaining their ability for heat transfer. The BaseAire AirWerx120X is also a sturdy model with dent-resistant housing.
Cords and hoses included: The featured products are electronic, so they all come with a power cord to plug into a power outlet. A hose is a valuable accessory that saves you time and effort that would be spent on emptying tanks regularly by offering an alternative continuous drainage option for the extracted moisture. The best residential whole house dehumidifiers that include hoses in their packages are the Aprilaire 1850, the BaseAire AirWerx120X and the TOSOT 70 Pint Dehumidifier. Look for extra-long power cords and drain hoses which can extend the range you can position your unit. Also, consider an adapter to protect your model from overheating.
Variable speeds: Variable speed gives you more control on the level of output and the noise generated. In addition to saving energy and allowing you to select the best mode for your current humidity levels, you can also reduce the level of noise produced by changing the fan speed to a lower setting. Multiple speed settings which can be adjusted to select the right mode for your current humidity levels can also reduce your utility bills and the noise level when you switch to a low setting. For example, although 52 decibels is relatively quiet, you can further reduce the noise produced by the TOSOT 70 Pint Dehumidifier to 48 decibels by changing the fan speed from high to low.
Auto shut-off: This is a safety feature which triggers the unit to automatically turn off when your desired humidity levels have been achieved to save energy. In models with water tanks, like the 1.8-gallon tank included with the hOmeLabs 35 Pint Dehumidifier, this function is activated when the tank is full to avoid accidental overflowing which could expose you to falls and electric shock.
Programmable humidistat: The best value whole house dehumidifiers are equipped with an integrated digital sensor which gauges your current humidity levels and automatically restarts to adjust those levels it if it detects any change from the setpoint you have programmed, and then automatically turns off the unit once this is achieved.
Washable air filter: High amounts of moisture cause mold, mildew, and other allergens to thrive. This is why you should consider a dehumidifier that comes with filters to rid the air in your home of airborne impurities and prevent clogging the unit with debris which can inhibit its performance by obstructing air circulation.
Auto-defrost: These sensors protect coils from ice buildup and corrosion when operating at low temperature. The AlorAir 190PPD Commercial Dehumidifier and the BaseAire AirWerx120X offer the best whole house dehumidifier systems because they can fully operate in low temperature, such as in basements and crawl spaces.
Timer: A convenient delay start feature which allows you to set a specified start time and duration in order to schedule the moisture extraction process.
Automatic restart after power outage: Also known as memory starting, this function enables your dehumidifier to automatically resume operation and restore the settings that were in use prior to the power outage.
Light indicators: A light flashes on to notify you when the tank is full or to remind you when you need to clean or replace your filter.
How to maintain a whole house dehumidifier
- Confirm the coverage area to choose the right model that will effectively dehumidify your whole house.
- Avoid installing your dehumidifier near taps and splashing, spilled or leaking water or in places where children can access it. This is why you should opt for extra-long cords and hoses for an extended mounting range.
- Leave 6 inches of room around your unit to avoid obstructing airflow.
- Limit the amount of moisture in your house by opening windows when cooking or showering to avoid overworking your unit.
- Clean your filter in the timeframe recommended by the manufacturer to prevent buildup of debris.
- Check the supply air and return air vents periodically for any obstruction.
- Consider switching the fan speed to a lower setting or using the timer and digital humidistat to save time and energy.
- Consult your manual for user instructions, terms of warranty and maintenance tips.