Skip to content

Is a Whole House Dehumidifier Worth It?

whole house dehumidifier

Humidity is one of the factors that can greatly affect comfort indoors. Too much or too little humidity can cause palpable discomfort, and it might also affect the health of your loved ones and even lead to property damage over time.

In this guide, we explain the consequences of excessive humidity, and how a whole house dehumidifier can greatly help.

Understanding Humidity

Humidity refers to the amount of moisture present in the air. It is typically measured as a percentage and can have a significant impact on indoor air quality and comfort levels. 

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, the ideal indoor humidity should fall between 40% to 60%. An indoor humidity that goes beyond 60% is already considered excessive and not good for health.

 The effects of excessive humidity include:

Health issues: High humidity can promote the growth of mold, mildew, and dust mites, which can exacerbate allergies and respiratory problems.

Structural damage: Excess moisture in the air can cause damage to wooden furniture, floors, and even the structure of your home over time.

Uncomfortable living conditions: High humidity can make indoor spaces feel sticky, uncomfortable, and hot, even at lower temperatures.

What is a Whole House Dehumidifier?

A whole house dehumidifier is a centralized system designed to remove excess moisture from the air throughout your entire home. 

Unlike portable dehumidifiers that only target specific areas, whole house dehumidifiers provide comprehensive humidity control for the entire house instead of individual rooms.

Whole House Dehumidifier Cost

The cost of a whole house dehumidifier can vary depending on factors such as capacity, features, and brand. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 for the unit itself, plus installation costs.

While a whole house dehumidifier can cost a lot more than its portable counterparts, it is more effective and convenient instead of rigging up portable dehumidifiers for each living space in the house. 

After all, each portable dehumidifier will need to be switched on every time, as well as cleaned and drained regularly.

Pros and Cons of Whole House Dehumidifiers


  • Comprehensive Coverage: Whole house dehumidifiers treat the entire home, ensuring consistent humidity levels throughout.
  • Low Maintenance: Once installed, whole house dehumidifiers require minimal maintenance compared to multiple portable units.
  • Energy Efficiency: Centralized systems are often more energy-efficient than running several portable units simultaneously.


  • Higher Initial Cost: Whole house dehumidifiers typically have a higher upfront cost compared to portable units.
  • Requires Professional Installation: Installation may require professional help, adding to the overall cost.
  • Limited Flexibility: Since it’s a fixed system, you cannot easily move it to different areas of the house if needed.

When Should You Get a Whole House Dehumidifier?

You live in a warm, humid climate

✔ Your house is located near the coast or along a body of water

✔ The air feels heavy and you have difficulty breathing during the summer months

✔ You notice the formation of condensation on windows and countertops

What to Look for in a Whole House Dehumidifier

  1. Capacity

Ensure the unit’s capacity matches the size of your home and the severity of your humidity issues.

  1. Energy Efficiency

Look for the EnergyStar certification to ensure energy-efficient operation.

  1. Ease of Maintenance

Consider models with features like washable filters or automatic drainage systems to make periodic maintenance easier and more convenient.

  1. Noise Level

Check reviews or inquire about the noise level of the dehumidifier unit, especially if it will be installed in living spaces.

  1. Warranty

Look for units with a solid warranty to protect your investment.

Whole House Dehumidifier Care and Maintenance

Proper maintenance of a whole house dehumidifier ensures optimal performance and longevity. Here are some general steps to help you maintain your dehumidifier effectively:

🗹 Filter cleaning

Clean the air filter regularly, ideally once a month or as recommended by the manufacturer. A clogged filter can reduce airflow and efficiency. Remove the filter according to the manufacturer’s instructions and either vacuum it or wash it with soap and water. Allow it to dry completely before reinstalling.

🗹 Coil Check

Inspect the coils for any dirt or debris buildup. If you notice any, carefully clean them using a soft brush or vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment. Be gentle to avoid damaging the coils. Depending on your model and experience, it may be best to reach out to a professional for help. 

🗹 Tank drainage and cleaning

If your dehumidifier has a water tank, empty it regularly to prevent overflow and mold growth. Depending on the humidity level in your home, you may need to empty the tank daily or every few days.

🗹 Drainage inspection 

If your dehumidifier has a continuous drainage option, ensure that the drainage hose is properly connected and free of clogs. Clean the drainage hose periodically to prevent blockages.

🗹 Check for leaks

Inspect the unit for any signs of water leakage or moisture accumulation. Address any leaks promptly to prevent water damage and mold growth.

🗹 Fan check

Give the fan blades a cursory inspection for any dirt or debris buildup that may affect airflow. Clean the blades carefully if necessary.

🗹 Annual maintenance

Consider performing more thorough maintenance annually, such as checking electrical connections, lubricating moving parts (if applicable), and inspecting the overall condition of the unit. If you’re not comfortable doing this yourself, you can hire a professional technician to service your whole home dehumidifier.

Also check out our guide to Dehumidifier Troubleshooting and Repair.

Best Dehumidifier for Whole House: Our 2024 Picks

Now that you understand the advantages and disadvantages of whole house dehumidifiers, which ones should you be eyeing on the market? 

Here are a couple of our favorite whole house dehumidifiers and why:

The Aprilaire E080 80 Pint E-Series Professional Grade-Whole House Dehumidifier is an essential addition to make your home a healthy living environment. This Energy Star-rated dehumidifier helps fight viruses, bacteria and mold as well as other airborne pollutants. It can be installed in your existing heating and cooling system, and the on-board air filter only requires cleaning once a year. 

Aprilaire E080
Aprilaire E080 80 Pint E-Series Professional Grade-Whole House Dehumidifier - Energy Star
Price: $1,549.00 Aprilaire E080 80 Pint E-Series Professional Grade-Whole House Dehumidifier - Energy Star

Good air is essential to a clean, comfortable, and healthy living environment. Aprilaire's E-Series delivers professional grade dehumidification for your entire...

View Product

The Aprilaire E100 Whole House Dehumidifier is another great choice for reducing particles in your home to breathe better air. Like its smaller cousin, it can be installed in the house’s existing HVAC and only requires yearly filter cleaning. It has built-in digital Controls with top and front mounting options for easy access, and it automatically starts dehumidification when humidity above the programmed level is reached.

Aprilaire E100 100 Pint E-Series Professional Grade-Whole House Dehumidifier
Aprilaire E100 100 Pint E-Series Professional Grade-Whole House Dehumidifier - Energy Star
Price: $1,929.00 Aprilaire E100 100 Pint E-Series Professional Grade-Whole House Dehumidifier - Energy Star

Good air is essential to a clean, comfortable, and healthy living environment. Aprilaire's E-Series delivers professional grade dehumidification for your entire...

View Product

Ready to start shopping around for your whole house dehumidifier? Total Home Supply carries many different types of dehumidifiers so that you can find the one that’s most suitable for your home or living space. Start protecting your home from moisture, making your air cleaner to breathe, and creating a living space that’s more comfortable to be in.

Related Articles

Aprilaire Humidity Control & Air Quality Control Products
Air Conditioning and Humidity Levels – Problems & Impact
Whole House Humidifiers Pros & Cons – Steam vs Evaporative

Mickey Luongo

Mickey is the resident heating and air conditioning expert with over 15 years of experience in the industry.

10 thoughts on “Is a Whole House Dehumidifier Worth It?”

  1. How to Improve Indoor Air Quality within your Home says:

    […] You should aim to keep humidity levels at about 50%, give or take. Depending on what type of climate you live in, that may require you to purchase either a humidifier or dehumidifier in order to reach the desired level. These items are available for individual rooms or your whole house. […]

  2. Air Conditioning and Humidity Levels - Problems & Impact says:

    […] adding a whole house dehumidifier can be a great bet in this situation, as it is set up to remove excess moisture from the air all […]

  3. Aprilaire's Whole House Dehumidifiers says:

    […] which can consequently release harmful spores into the air you breathe, and so investing in a good whole house dehumidifier is a smart move for overall health as well as […]

  4. How to Cool a Grow Room - Tips & Cooling Systems says:

    […] searching for a dehumidification system, make sure you purchase a large-space or whole-house dehumidifier. Smaller, personal dehumidifiers do not offer nearly as much power and may leave you feeling […]

  5. Whole House Humidifier Pros & Cons - Steam vs Evaporative says:

    […] On the flip side, if you have the opposite problem –– your home’s air is too humid –– a whole house dehumidifier might be the better move. […]

  6. Suzanne Faherty says:

    We live in Central New Jersey. Humidity can be an issue , even when the outside temperature is moderate 65 – 75 degrees. This can happen from April through September – not every day, but often enough to make us crank up the AC even when cooling is not really needed. In fact, in those cases, our home gets too cold. We’re trying to decide what to do and if installation of a whole house dehumidifier makes sense. By that I mean DOES IT WORK? and will it cause us to use our air conditioner less? Also, what is the ballpark cost in this area? We have a 2500+finished basement colonial style home.

  7. NC Family says:

    We began using a dehumidifier in our 2900 sg.ft. home four years ago here in NC, and are sold on the benefits. As we began researching, the first thing we did was to buy a humidistat to see what humidity was in our home. After several days of moving the sensor throughout the house, we ended up with indoor humidity ranging from 57-63 percent. So we initially bought a cheaper portable model from a close-out store for $89, which was able to drop the house down to 50% humidity, which was very noticeable. We decided to purchase a larger portable model from Lowe’s for $279. We maintain a 45% humidity in the house now and run our AC at 77 during the day, and 75 at night as we like colder sleeping temps. The first Lowe’s unit failed within the first year, so the mfg sent us a replacement, which did not function correctly, requiring a third unit to be sent. That third unit has operated for three years with no issues.

    1. Thank you for sharing such detail information in your post. Only as an adult did I begin my suffering with year-round allergies. I too live in NC however, I I have discovered when I travel outside of my home state, I actually feel better (less scratchy throat, clear eyes, etc.). Thereby I’m starting to research better in home air quality. I know there has to be something to it but I admit I am conflicted on what amount of humidity is best for ultimate lung health considering healthcare professionals tell us to use a humidifier (put humidity in the air) when we have a cold, etc. Would you mind sharing the exact benefits you have personally experienced from having a dehumidifier and do you use the dehumidifier year around to maintain 45% humidity or do you adjust the humidity depending on the season(s)? TIA

  8. Can a house that has zone heating, uses heat pump rather than forced air heating, be set up with whole house dehumidifier? Also, the house does not have central air.

    1. Mickey Luongo says:

      If you do not have existing ductwork, it would be difficult to install a whole house dehumidifier. You would have to run ducts to be able to push and pull air from different areas.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *