A whole-home dehumidifier reduces and controls humidity levels in the entire home. Dehumidifiers that are not defined as “whole-home” only dehumidify one or two rooms. The goal of a whole-home dehumidifier is to maintain your home’s humidity level at or below 50% throughout all seasons.

Keeping your home’s humidity between 30-50% is ideal for preventing a variety of health and environmental problems. For example, consistently high humidity creates moist conditions that are attractive to bedbugs, cockroaches, and silverfish. A damp house also encourages mold and mildew growth, interior wall rot, and even foundational damage.

Alternately, home humidity levels that stay below 20% will promote dry, itchy skin, scratchy throats, and inflamed nasal passages. Static electricity increases as well, causing anyone to feel sharp shocks when they touch light switches, other people, and family pets.

How Do Whole-Home Dehumidifiers Work?

Southport Home Services technicians install whole-home dehumidifiers to operate in conjunction with HVAC systems. Dehumidifying units draw home air through return ductwork, where it is cooled over special coils. This cooled air condenses to form water droplets that fall directly down a drain or are caught and collected in a reservoir. Dehumidified air then passes over heating elements to maintain a certain room temperature.

Dehumidifiers have automatic shut-off sensors that prevent reservoirs from overflowing with condensation. Some are equipped with in-unit condensate pumps that automatically discharge water from the reservoir. This function is useful to have during extended periods of high humidity and dew points over 60% since a dehumidifier will run more frequently than usual.

Can’t Air Conditioners Reduce Humidity as Well as Whole-Home Dehumidifiers?

Although ACs do help reduce some humidity in the home by cooling warm air, they do not have sensors to detect humidity levels. Instead, air conditioners rely on temperature sensors to keep your home at the desired temperature. Once the air reaches a preset temperature, ACs automatically turn off. Without the ability to remove moisture from the air, ACs allow humidity levels to climb rapidly. When humidity is over 60% in your home, it will feel like it is warmer than the true temperature. Unfortunately, this creates a cycle of using excess energy during the summer and, unnecessarily high cooling bills.

5 Top Benefits of Whole-Home Dehumidifiers

People with espiratory conditions can breathe more easily. The National Asthma Council strongly recommends installing a whole-home humidifier to help family members with asthma, seasonal allergies, or COPD improve breathing and overall health. In addition to reducing humidity, dehumidifiers reduce certain triggers (dust, pollen, smoke, pollutants) that provoke episodes of breathing difficulties.

The reason why humid air causes shortness of breath in even healthy individuals is simple–the higher the moisture content of air, the fewer oxygen molecules there are in the air. Lack of sufficient oxygen in the bloodstream could also cause dizziness, increased blood pressure, and fainting in people with chronic respiratory illnesses.

Prevents Mold Growth in Damp Areas of the Home

Mold spores thrive everywhere there is dampness and organic matter. All it takes is one mold spore feeding on any moist, porous surface inside your home and, within hours, you’ve got mold growth. A mold spot less than 1/2 inch in size will rapidly shoot thousands of hungry mold spores into the air. Carried effortlessly by gravity and air currents, mold spores can literally “sniff out” dampness and edible matter in remote, undisturbed areas.

By keeping humidity at an optimal level, whole-home humidifiers serve as one of the most effective defenses against mold and mildew growth. Mold not only inflicts permanent damage to a home but can also cause serious health problems to household members, such as wheezing, skin rash, eye irritation, and severe allergic reactions in some people.

Helps Prevent Insect Infestations

Like mold spores, insects are attracted to damp, dark places where they hide from pesticides and insect-catching devices. Cockroaches can live up to several months without food but can’t live more than two weeks without moisture. By the time a female roach needs to leave her damp nest for food, she has given birth to over 200 roach eggs. If a home has just 10 female cockroaches, that equals 2000 eggs–and 2000 hardy cockroaches.

Termites, mold mites, biting centipedes, and silverfish are just a few of many bugs that thrive in high humidity. A whole-home dehumidifier installed by Southport Home Services is a great way to inform moisture-loving insects that your home does not provide a favorable environment in which to lay their eggs.

Significantly Reduces the Risk of Structural Problems

Sustained high humidity levels inside a home will eventually impact the structural soundness of the home. Over time, moisture will crack, warp, and/or split wood elements essential for supporting the framework of wooden and brick homes. In many cases, homeowners do not realize persistent dampness has substantially deteriorated foundational aspects of their home until the damage is severe and sometimes permanent.

Extra moisture in the home also attracts termites, beetles, and other wood-eating or wood-boring insects. Add a generous helping of mold to this disastrous scenario and you’ve likely got costly structural repairs looming in your future.

Everyone Feels More Comfortable and Healthier

Even though the actual temperature may be 68 degrees in your home, high humidity levels could make your body feel like it’s 90 degrees. Humidity stress on your body increases heart and respiratory rates, reduces oxygen in the bloodstream, and makes you perspire. In other words, high humidity can cause mild dehydration, respiratory ailments, recurring nosebleeds, worsen existing medical conditions, and generally make your home environment unhealthy.

Choosing the Right Whole-Home Dehumidifier

Whole-home dehumidifiers are also called ducted dehumidifiers because remain out of sight and don’t take up any space in the home. They operate in conjunction with an HVAC system and are controlled by a humidistat that can be preset to desired humidity levels. Also, ducted dehumidifiers may interact with whole-house air purifiers for optimizing a home’s indoor air quality.

Things to consider when selecting a whole-home dehumidifier or another type of dehumidifier include:
  • Your home’s square footage
  • Your home’s insulation
  • Size of the household
  • Energy Efficiency Rating

Contact Us Today to Learn More About Whole-Home Dehumidifiers

Our reputation for providing the best HVAC services in Wausau and surrounding areas is unmatched among other Wisconsin HVAC repair and installation companies. We back all our services with a 100% customer guarantee that includes removal and refund of an installation if you are not completely satisfied.

Start improving your health, the health of your family, and everyone’s comfort in the home by asking about our whole-home dehumidifier installation services. We’re here to help you enjoy your time at home to the fullest. Call us today!

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Thomas Suchla
Thomas Suchla


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