Most of the year, the Coastal Bend experiences relative humidity levels in excess of 75 percent, which makes it hard to stay comfortable. This also provides fertile conditions for mold growth and dust mite proliferation, and can cause damage to furniture, fixtures, carpeting and structure. Many homeowners choose to combat high relative humidity with whole-house dehumidifiers or portable dehumidifiers, but which option is better?
The system you choose greatly depends upon the scope of your dehumidification need. For instance, if you only require an isolated area dehumidified a portable dehumidifier may be adequate. On the other hand, if you prefer complete home comfort and protection of household items, a whole-house dehumidifier is likely the best solution. Here’s a comparison:
- Whole-house dehumidifiers are installed to drain automatically. This reduces maintenance since you don’t need to empty the water container as you do with portable dehumidifiers.
- A whole-house system uses your home’s ductwork to provide optimal relative humidity conditions throughout your home. Portable models are limited to small areas and single rooms. In addition, their ability to provide a comfortable atmosphere depends on ventilation factors that may hinder HVAC function, such as keeping doors closed to isolate the area needing dehumidification.
- Whole-house dehumidifiers use less energy for equal water removal. Portable models don’t have near the dehumidifying capacity of whole-house systems, and must often run continuously to achieve desirable dehumidification conditions.
- Portable models sit in the living space and are usually much noisier than whole-house models.
Overall, where portable dehumidifiers fall short in function and maintenance, whole-house dehumidifiers get the job done by providing complete home comfort, reducing mold growth, and preventing physical damages due to overly moist air. A whole-house system can also save energy, since with drier air throughout your home, the air will feel cooler, and in most cases you can turn up your A/C a few degrees.
If you’re concerned about high relative humidity in your home, contact Mathews CCAC Inc. in Corpus Christi, and we’ll be happy to help.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about dehumidifiers and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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