Your home air conditioning system is usually good at controlling indoor humidity on its own. But what do you do when the moisture content of your indoor air is higher than your central air can handle, or when air conditioning is out-of-season? A whole-house dehumidifier installed by a Sacramento air conditioning company like Ace Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning is designed for just this purpose.
Who Needs a Dehumidifier?
There’s a relatively wide range for recommended indoor humidity — between 40 and 60% for most homes. If your indoor moisture falls below that range, things start to dry out; houseplants will look sickly even with proper watering, furnishings, leather, and some plastics suffer damage, and your skin will be perpetually dry. People suffer, too, with dry skin, occasional nosebleeds, dry mouth, and an increased chance of respiratory illness.
Too much humidity, on the other hand, is no good for indoor air quality either. It can promote mold and mildew growth, and cause other kinds of damage to your belongings (to say nothing of your body. In cases like these, you may need a whole-home dehumidifier. It’s best to have an air quality audit, in either case, so you’re addressing the right issue.
How Whole House Dehumidifiers Work
Most dehumidifiers have what’s called a humidistat. In the same way, a thermostat measures ambient temperature and lets your HVAC system know when to cycle up or power down, the humidistat is designed to alert a dehumidifier that humidity is above the levels you’ve chosen. From there, the dehumidifier moves a large volume of air over cool coils which causes airborne moisture to condense, from which it drips into a reservoir that can either be manually drained (as is the case with portables) or can drain outside the unit.
Types of Dehumidifiers
Whole-home dehumidifiers typically take two forms. One uses the existing HVAC ductwork, while the other is ductless and works similarly to a ductless split system. There are also portable dehumidifiers; by themselves, they aren’t enough to address your whole home, but they’re perfect if your indoor moisture problem is confined to a smaller area like a laundry room or basement. If you’re unsure which type will work best for you, we can inspect your home and make suggestions.
How Long do Dehumidifiers Last?
Dehumidifiers last five to ten years. We’ve seen them last longer — or give up the ghost earlier — depending on how well they’re maintained, and we suggest scheduling maintenance alongside your next HVAC tune-up. If you’re getting a new air conditioner installation or a new furnace installation, it’s a good idea to use that time (and adjust your home equity loan or savings) to kill two birds with one stone.
Whole-Home Dehumidifier Pros and Cons
The only real drawback to a whole-home dehumidifier is its cost. The units aren’t cheap, and as we’ve already seen, they won’t last forever. But that downside also needs to be weighed against some very real benefits:
- More efficient cooling (there’s truth in the old cliche that it’s not the heat that gets you, but the humidity)
- Better respiratory and skin health
- Better indoor air quality
- Improved comfort
- Protection for books, collectibles, and other moisture-sensitive items in your home
- Protection for furniture and woodwork
- Your home will even smell better, since bacteria, mold, and mildew that thrive in high humidity are less likely to grow
Whole House Dehumidifier Installation
Many home dehumidifier systems are designed to integrate into your existing HVAC system. This saves space, labor, and costs since it’s utilizing ductwork that’s already in place. We may need to make additions to the existing sheet metal, but we work hard to minimize disruptions.
Whole-Home Dehumidifier Cost
Because of the number of variables involved, there’s no such thing as “a” cost for a home dehumidifier system. That’s why we begin each whole-house dehumidifier project by looking at the nature of the problem, then at the size of the home and its existing HVAC system. Once the problems are fully understood and we know the type and size of the system we’re installing, we will provide you with a written quote.
HVAC and Home Air Quality Solutions in the Sacramento Area
Why contact the professionals at Ace Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning? Because the company you trust for plumbing, home HVAC, air quality solutions — and a whole lot more — has the knowledge and experience that’s perfect for professional whole-house dehumidifier installations in the Greater Sacramento area. We take care of the essentials so you can breathe easily!