A whole-home dehumidifier set up on the living room floor on a home

Whole-house dehumidifiers might not be as common as portable ones, but they offer plenty of other benefits. Those living in humid climates should opt for whole-house units to prevent mold, mildew, and overall discomfort. 

However, you might wonder if their cost justifies adding one to your HVAC system.

This article will explain how much whole-house dehumidifiers cost, whether or not they’re worth installing, and how you can save money with them.

How Much Does Whole-House Dehumidification Cost?

A whole-house dehumidifier costs an average of $2,000, and typically not more than $3,000. However, prices can vary dependent on home size. Installation ranges from $700 to the exact cost of the unit itself. However, a whole-house dehumidifier can save money by using your AC less often.

How Much Exactly Does a Dehumidifier Unit Cost?

Whole-house units typically don’t cost more than $3,000. However, you can find small models for less than $1,000. According to Angi, the average whole-house dehumidifier costs $1,300-$2,800. However, this price estimate doesn’t include the installation and regular maintenance costs.

Some variables affecting the cost of a whole-house dehumidification system include:

  • Make and model
  • Square footage
  • Pint capacity (water tank)

Now let’s take a look at various-sized units cost.

Pint CapacityAverage Dehumidifier Cost
70 pints$1,500
150 pints$2,500
200 pints$3,500

(Source: Home Guide)

Note: Prices can also vary based on the season, location, installation company, etc. Most people don’t need 200-pint whole-house dehumidifiers, but they could be quite helpful for large houses. For example, if you have over 3,000 square feet of home, you could consider getting an XL whole-house model.

A whole-house dehumidifier on a shelf in a garage above a sink
Courtesy of Gary & Sons, Inc.

While you can almost always add a whole-house unit to your HVAC system, you can also have them installed on a new house. This process is a bit cheaper for most homebuyers because you don’t have to deal with the labor costs of removing portions of the HVAC ductwork.

The price estimates above don’t include the cost of installation. Review the following section to find out how much extra you’ll have to spend if you want to hire an HVAC technician rather than DIY-ing the project.

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Whole-House Dehumidifier?

It costs up to $2,000 to install a whole-house dehumidifier to your home’s HVAC system. However, some installations can cost as low as $700. You can reduce installation costs by having newer HVAC ductwork and removing obstacles that could slow the technicians down. Many HVAC technicians charge by the hour.

According to Innovative Dehumidifiers, you should plan to spend the same amount of money on the installation and labor as the unit itself. This is because most companies have to install the device into the plumbing, which takes a lot of time and hands-on work.

Another instance where installation might cost a lot is if you want digital integration: hooking your dehumidifier to the thermostat, letting you connect your smart devices (laptops, smartphones, etc.) to the hygrometer. This setup is a bit more expensive to install, but you’ll have more control over your home’s humidity.

While these costs might seem a little high, you can save money by installing a whole-house dehumidifier. While they don’t cut energy usage like upgrading from a water heater tank to a tankless heat pump, you can save on utility bills in many areas. 

Now let’s analyze why your dehumidifier allows you to run your air conditioner less often below.

Does a Whole-House Dehumidifier Save Money?

Whole-house dehumidifiers save money by letting you use your air conditioner less often. Higher temperatures are more bearable when there’s not too much moisture in the air. Reducing the humidity throughout the house allows you to enjoy lower utility bills whenever it’s humid and hot outside.

So, why does getting a whole-house unit save you money down the road?

Reduced Air Conditioner Usage

If you don’t have to use the air conditioner as often, you won’t have to deal with non-stop energy bills. Most people use air conditioners to lower the temperature (though they often include air filters). 

The best way to make a room feel more comfortable is to regulate the humidity and temperature. Dehumidifiers work side-by-side with any air conditioner.

Cleaner HVAC Filters

Dehumidification devices remove moisture and other contaminants from the air. If you don’t have to change or clean the filter as often, you’ll save a lot of money. 

A homeowner replaces the Filtrete Air Filter MPR 1500 in her home's energy-efficient furnace

Almost all HVAC systems have one or more air filters. Installing a dehumidifier will make these filters last much longer and work more efficiently.

Fresher Air

There’s no doubt that whole-house dehumidification freshens the air throughout your home. 

They also reduce the severity of seasonal allergies and breathing problems. You’ll save money by not having to use products to treat those issues as often. For example, dehumidifying a building prevents you from sweating too much and having to use skin treatments.

You’ll also save money on repairing wood rot, repainting the home, and more. Excess humidity can cause several issues that end up quite pricey. Whether you’re getting it for a price reduction or comfort, a dehumidifier will provide more than enough savings for those in humid climates.

Can You Add a Dehumidifier to Existing HVAC?

You can add a dehumidifier to the existing HVAC system by installing it into the ventilation. Most dehumidifiers sit in the basement or near the house’s most humid points. You’ll notice them nearby basements because that’s where a lot of mold and mildew grows.

Technician installing a whole house ventilation system.

Before you add a whole-house dehumidifier to an existing HVAC system, consider these potential issues:

  • Some HVAC systems don’t have enough room for dehumidifiers. For example, if you have ductless heating and air conditioning, you might have trouble installing an in-line device. The good news is that you can use XL whole-house system. You can also use multiple portable units if you have ductless HVAC.
  • You might need to change the ductwork in your HVAC system. Some dehumidifiers require different duct sizes. Furthermore, you’ll have to upgrade or repair your ductwork if it’s damaged or outdated. You’ll save a lot of money in the long run by repairing the ductwork around the new device because it reduces localized HVAC damage.
  • Consider the size of your dehumidifier before adding it to your house. Never get a unit that’s oversized for your HVAC system. A large model will cost more to purchase, install, and operate. Additionally, you’ll require more extensive HVAC ductwork, increasing unnecessary expenses.
  • Using a handful of portable dehumidifiers is cheaper, but they don’t last as long. Those living in humid areas (above 45% ambient humidity) should opt for a whole-house units. You don’t have to use it throughout the year, but it’ll make a big difference during humid times.
  • You can almost always save money with a whole-house dehumidifier during non-humid seasons. HVAC companies are backed up and charge a lot of money when summer starts to get humid and hot. If you want a good deal, consider getting a whole-house unit during the off-season.

Adding a dehumidifier reduces the workload on your air conditioner. Having too much moisture in a building makes air conditioners work harder. By removing the humidity to a manageable level (preferably between 35-45%), you can use your air conditioner and heater much less often (which saves a lot of money in the long run).

Where Should Whole-House Dehumidifiers Be Placed for Savings?

To save the most money with your whole-house dehumidifier, it should be in the most prominent space in your home. Try to find a place with the least amount of airflow restrictions. 

The goal is to remove as much moisture from the places you’ll be in as possible. Central locations are often the best choice for most homeowners.

Some questions to consider when determining where to place your whole-house dehumidifier include:

  • Where is there the most airflow in your home? HVAC Training Shop recommends installing a whole-house dehumidifier where it can pull most of the moisture without being blocked. HVAC vents have trouble cooling, heating, and drying rooms that have obstacles blocking the vents. Consider adding it near a room with the most open space.
  • Which part of your house is the most humid? Many people find their bathrooms, basements, and garages to be the most humid parts of their homes. Use a hygrometer to test the humidity in each part of your home to identify the spaces that could benefit the most from a new dehumidifier.
closeup on a whole-home dehumidifier in a crawl space
Courtesy of Total Home Performance
  • What part of your house do you spend most of your time in? For example, if you’re always in the living room, your health would benefit the most from having the dehumidifier there. Ask an HVAC technician what building areas are eligible for a whole-house unit. Unfortunately, some places might be too challenging to access.
  • Where does most of the humidity come from? If you have single-pane windows, moisture can get through the windowsills. Poor sealant around the edges of doors and other access points can also increase the ambient humidity. Keep in mind that some people find crawlspaces and basements to be the worst for incoming moisture.
  • Do you have portable dehumidifiers? If you have portable units in your bathroom, bedroom, and other small rooms, you can keep the whole-house system in a bigger space. Consider closing the vents to any rooms that have portable dehumidifying devices to prevent them from getting too dry.

While these factors will help you find the proper whole-house device placement, it’s ultimately up to you to decide. Whole-house units osmose air from any vent connected to it. So as long as there are nearby vents, you’ll have no problem dehumidifying your home.

Are Dehumidifiers Worth the Investment?

Dehumidifiers are worth the investment because they prevent mold, discomfort, and various respiratory issues. Furthermore, they limit rust and corrosion that could otherwise damage your home and family. You’ll also notice less paint damage and discoloration if you use a whole-house device.

Let’s take a deeper look at each of these reasons below.

  • Mold and mildew reduction – these contaminants can cause respiratory issues, wood rot, and various illnesses. Removing mold and mildew alone is more than worth investing in a whole-house dehumidifier. Mildew, bacteria, and mold grow when there’s too much moisture in any space.
  • Maximum comfort – nobody wants to feel gross and saturated after a shower. Excessive humidity makes it impossible to dry completely after bathing, working out, etc. Whole-house dehumidifiers are worth it because they let you dry off without causing itchiness, irritation, and other skin conditions.
  • Fewer respiratory issues – humidity can undoubtedly cause breathing problems. Too much moisture can cause coughing, whereas not enough can dry your throat and mouth. A dehumidifier will regulate the humidity to comfortable, healthy levels that reduce unwanted symptoms.
  • Less rust and corrosion – much like mildew and mold, having too much moisture can cause the metal to rust and break apart. It can damage your home’s windowsills, structural supports, and other metal objects. You’ll save money by not having to replace or repair these times.
  • Paint protection – excess moisture can damage paint, drywall, etc. If you have a whole-house dehumidifier, you can rest assured that it will protect the paint and other decorative additions. However, removing too much humidity can adversely dry and crack the paint.

Dehumidifiers are mainly worth the investment because they provide cleaner air to your home. Not only will you remove moisture from the building, but many whole-house models have filters. These filters clean the air, removing unwanted contaminants. This feature is crucial if your home has VOCs, pollen, dust, and dirt.

Final Thoughts

Whole-house dehumidifiers might cost a lot upfront, but they save money in the long run. Anyone who lives in a humid climate should consider these HVAC devices. You can also use them seasonally to save money whenever it’s too humid inside.


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