How Much Does a Whole-House Dehumidifier Cost?
A humid home can cause numerous issues, including mold, mildew, and health problems. A whole-house dehumidifier costs about $1,300 to $2,800 to install, with a national average cost of $1,500.
- The typical cost range to install a whole-house dehumidifier is from $1,300 to $2,800, with a national average cost of $1,500.
- Some of the factors that affect the final cost of this project include the dehumidifier type, capacity, efficiency, and brand; the installation location; and the cost of labor.
- Installing a whole-house dehumidifier can help improve indoor air quality, increase cooling efficiency, extend the life of the HVAC system, and decrease the risk of mold and mildew.
- Since a whole-house dehumidifier is installed directly into the HVAC system, it’s not a project that most homeowners can safely complete themselves.
Installing a whole-house dehumidifier is an excellent way to improve indoor air quality, decrease the risk of mold, and reduce allergy symptoms within a home. Additionally, a whole-house dehumidifier can alleviate some of the strain put on the HVAC system, extending the life of the air conditioner and furnace by sharing some of the burden. A home dehumidifier system works by pulling air into the unit, where it is filtered and cooled, converting humidity into condensation. The collected water is then stored in a tank or drained through a connected drain line.
While the benefits are noteworthy, if a homeowner chooses to install a whole-house dehumidifier, they need to be prepared for the cost. According to Angi and HomeAdvisor, the cost of a dehumidifier installation ranges from $1,300 to $2,800, though the average cost falls slightly lower than the median at $1,500. There are a variety of factors that influence the expected price of the HVAC dehumidifier installation, so before researching local installers to get the job done, it’s best for homeowners to have a clear understanding of the whole-house dehumidifier cost.
Factors in Calculating Whole-House Dehumidifier Cost
In order to come up with a reasonable budget for the whole-house dehumidifier installation, homeowners will benefit from considering the various factors that can affect the cost. While some factors are strictly limited to the geographical location and labor involved, other factors depend on the product the homeowner has selected for the installation. Homeowners will want to keep in mind the following key factors to get a better understanding of the variables at play when they put together a budget for dehumidifier installations.
When looking for a central dehumidifier for the home, homeowners are advised to look at the product specifications provided by the retailer or manufacturer. Among the considerations is unit capacity, which is essentially the amount of moisture the best dehumidifiers can remove from the air over the course of a full day. This measurement is typically provided in pints, with low-capacity dehumidifiers starting at about 60 pints per day and high-capacity units capable of removing more than 150 pints.
However, it’s important for homeowners to note that the higher the capacity, the more expensive the unit will cost, so before a central air dehumidifier is selected for the home, it’s recommended that they speak with an installation professional to find out the right capacity for their house.
There are three main types of dehumidifiers to choose from, based on a homeowner’s budget, a home’s layout, and the needs of the home, including basement units, whole-house units, and two-stage air-conditioning units. The best basement dehumidifiers, as indicated by the name, are intended for installation in the basement, where they work to decrease the risk of mold and mildew growth. These units range from about $800 to $2,000, depending on the model, brand, and capacity.
Whole-house dehumidifiers treat high humidity problems throughout the home, instead of focusing just on the basement. However, some homes may actually require more than one unit to handle the whole home. The typical whole-house dehumidifier cost ranges from about $1,300 to $2,800.
Two-stage air-conditioning units are high-end products that can handle the dehumidification of the home due to a built-in dehumidifier in the AC unit. This type of HVAC with a dehumidifier can dehumidify a room, the basement, or the entire home by automatically slowing the blower when humidity levels in the home reach a set threshold. Homeowners will want to keep in mind that the cost for a two-stage air-conditioning unit is higher than the typical whole-house dehumidifier cost, so they can expect to pay about $5,000 to $7,000 for the installation.
Another factor to consider when homeowners are choosing a dehumidifier is the efficiency rating of the unit. The more efficient the dehumidifier, the lower the energy costs to operate the unit. However, high-efficiency whole-house dehumidifiers typically cost more than low-efficiency units, so homeowners will want to be prepared to spend more up front for the purchase of a high-quality product.
If a homeowner’s installation budget isn’t flexible enough for a high-end unit, they can invest in a dehumidifier with a lower efficiency rating. Homeowners will want to keep in mind that they may end up paying just as much for a low-efficiency unit as they would for a high-efficiency unit after factoring in the ongoing costs of higher energy bills.
While other factors like capacity, efficiency, and dehumidifier type are more important to the functionality of the unit, the cost of the dehumidifier can still be affected by the brand. Top brands may charge as much as $2,500 for a whole-house dehumidifier, while manufacturers that do not specialize in HVAC products may have units available for more affordable prices.
LG is relatively limited in product selection, though the company offers appliance-grade models at just $300. However, these units may not be substantial for whole-house dehumidifying. Aprilaire and Honeywell have whole-house dehumidifiers available for moderate prices, ranging from $1,000 to $2,000. If a homeowner has a large budget, they could also consider products from Santa Fe or SaniDry. These brands offer whole-house dehumidifiers from $1,200 to $2,500. The following table lists these brands and their average costs.
|$1,000 to $1,700
|$1,000 to $2,000
|$1,200 to $2,500
|$1,200 to $2,500
The cost of dehumidifier installation varies depending on where the unit will be installed inside the home. For instance, if a homeowner has planned for the installation to take place in a clean, unfinished basement with easy access to the HVAC system and the outdoors for ventilation, then the cost will likely be lower than the cost of a more complex installation in a crowded attic space.
Before opting for the easiest location for installation, it’s necessary for a homeowner to consider whether the location will be central enough for the dehumidifier to be effective throughout the home. Homeowners will want to speak to an installation expert or contact the unit manufacturer to get a better idea of the best place to put a dehumidifier in a 2-story house or a single-story home. Some installation companies may even have the option of sending an installation expert out to inspect the home before suggesting the ideal placement for the dehumidifier.
After coming to a decision about which whole-house dehumidifier is best for the home, a homeowner will need to consider the cost of the installation, including the labor rates of the installation company or independent HVAC professional. Typically, the cost of the labor ranges from about $500 to $700 after the purchase of a dehumidifier. This accounts for the time it takes for the installer to assemble the unit, secure the dehumidifier in the selected location, connect the inlet and outlet supply to the central air supply, and add any necessary wiring.
The installation and configuration of the dehumidifier controllers may be included in the installation costs, or they may be an extra cost added to the total. Homeowners will want to check with the installer before the project begins to get a written breakdown of the costs.
It isn’t just the location of the installation that a homeowner needs to think about when budgeting for a whole-house dehumidifier. They also need to consider the geographic location, because the cost of the installation can vary depending on where a homeowner lives. Generally, homeowners can expect to pay more for labor rates and installation costs if they live in a large urban area, while those who live in smaller, rural locations will typically get the same service for a lower rate.
This difference in cost can generally be attributed to supply and demand. HVAC professionals are in higher demand in densely populated areas due to the high number of people there. However, it’s important for homeowners to note that if their home is in a location that falls outside of the service area of the installation company, then they may end up paying an additional fee for the installers to travel to their home.
Once the whole-house dehumidifier has been installed, the homeowner will need to consider the running costs of the unit. While a dehumidifier can help to increase the efficiency of the HVAC system, dehumidifiers still use a fair amount of energy, so homeowners can expect to pay an additional $15 to $25 per month on their energy bill, or an average increase of about $180 to $300 per year. The following table shows how much homeowners can expect their energy bill to increase after a whole-house dehumidifier installation.
|Average Energy Bill Cost Increase
|$15 to $25
|$45 to $75
|$90 to $150
|$135 to $225
|$180 to $300
To help cut down on these costs, it’s a good idea for a homeowner to invest in a high-efficiency whole-house dehumidifier. They can look for products that are labeled Energy Star certified to ensure that they are getting a dehumidifier that will operate at a high efficiency level resulting in a lower utility bill.
Additional Costs and Considerations
Factoring in the main cost considerations for the installation of a whole-house dehumidifier is only the first step in putting together a budget for this project. There are also a variety of additional costs that a homeowner will need to consider, including the cost of permits, ductwork, electrical work, and drainage.
Internal Pump Installation
A whole-house dehumidifier works by pulling humidity out of the air and collecting the moisture in a collection tank or allowing the accumulated water to empty into a drain line. However, dehumidifiers that are installed in the basement or crawl space may require an internal pump in order to sufficiently pump moisture up and out of the home. This is because the location of the dehumidifier is below grade, so a homeowner cannot take advantage of gravity to handle dehumidifier drainage. If a whole-house dehumidifier requires an internal pump due to a below-grade installation location, then this can add about $150 to $500 to the total cost of the project.
Old Unit Removal
If an old dehumidifier isn’t working or if the operating efficiency is costing the homeowner too much on their energy bills, then they may want to replace the existing unit with a new whole-house dehumidifier. However, before a new unit can be installed, the existing unit will need to be removed. Depending on the installation company, the removal of the old unit may be bundled with the cost of the new unit, though this isn’t the case with every HVAC company.
Most dehumidifier installation companies will typically charge about $35 to $40 to remove a disconnected system from the home during installation, but if the old unit is still installed, the process to disconnect the dehumidifier and remove it from the home may cost from $90 to $115 for the labor involved.
Permits are often required for more involved home improvement projects, so it’s a good idea for a homeowner to look into whether a permit is necessary for this type of work. Homeowners can speak to their local permit office or discuss the matter with the dehumidifier installation professionals to determine whether they need to pay for permits before starting the installation. Typically, permit fees range from about $50 to $200, though the actual cost can vary by municipality. Some HVAC installation companies may handle the acquisition of the permits for the project, so it’s important for a homeowner to ask whether the permit fees are included in the cost of the installation or if they will be required to pay an additional amount to cover the cost of the permits.
In most cases, the installation of a whole-house dehumidifier involves attaching the unit to the return duct for the HVAC system. However, depending on the existing configuration of the home’s ductwork, the installation technician may need to install additional ductwork to accommodate the location of the dehumidifier. This generally includes the installation of a dedicated return air duct for the dehumidifier, as well as any extra pieces that are required to connect the ductwork to the existing system. If this step is required for the installation at a home, the homeowner could end up paying about $1,160 or $10 to $20 per linear foot for new air ducts. The average cost for new ductwork by length is shown in the table below.
|$10 to $20
|$100 to $200
|$500 to $1,000
|$750 to $1,500
|$1,000 to $2,000
HVAC installers can typically handle any minor electrical connections that are required to install the whole-house dehumidifier, but for a complex installation a homeowner may need to hire a professional electrician to complete the electrical work. This can include installing new wiring or new outlets or converting existing outlets in order to accommodate the whole-house dehumidifier. If a home requires this additional electrical work, the homeowner will need to be prepared to spend about $50 to $100 per hour for the electrician to complete this portion of the project.
Depending on the location of the dehumidifier, as well as the functionality of the specific unit, a homeowner may end up paying more for the installation of the whole-house dehumidifier due to the need for a dedicated external drainage pump. This piece of equipment typically costs about $125 and is used to pump water to a nearby drain or directly out of the home.
Additionally, if the dehumidifier is located a long distance from the nearest drain or it is in a central spot of the home, the installation cost may increase to account for the extra materials necessary to complete the job. So, if a homeowner is looking to save on the cost of the installation, it’s recommended that they select an area close to a drain that is located slightly above the drain line, allowing the installer to simply direct a hose from the dehumidifier down into the drain.
Any additions or customizations to the whole-house dehumidifier will typically increase the total cost of the project. Common customizations include Wi-Fi compatibility, touch-screen controls, an integrated internal pump, and the addition of an external pump to a more basic unit. The cost of these customizations tends to vary depending on the brand and manufacturer, so while a homeowner is putting together a budget for this project, it’s recommended that they research whole-house dehumidifiers that meet their needs to get a better idea of the estimated cost.
Types of Whole-House Dehumidifiers
There are three main types of dehumidifier systems a homeowner can invest in to help reduce the ambient humidity within the home, including basement dehumidifiers, whole-house dehumidifiers, and two-stage air conditioners.
|Average Cost Range (Unit Only)
|$800 to $2,000
|$1,300 to $2,800
|Two-Stage Air Conditioner
|$5,000 to $7,000
The basement is often prone to moisture buildup, which can lead to mold growth, water damage, and difficult breathing conditions. If the rest of the home remains at a relatively comfortable humidity level, then it may be better to install a basement dehumidifier. This type of dehumidifier typically costs about $800 to $2,000, depending on the model, brand, and capacity.
Homeowners will want to consider the size of the basement and select a basement dehumidifier that will be able to keep up with demand. If a homeowner has a relatively small space, they may only need a 60- or 75-pint dehumidifier, but if the basement stretches to over 2,500 square feet, then a homeowner will want to invest in a model that can manage over 100 pints of water per day.
When humidity is a problem throughout the home, it can cause wallpaper to bubble and peel, increase the risk of mold growth, and decrease the air quality, making it hard to breathe for asthmatic individuals or those with allergies. A whole-house dehumidifier is an excellent option to handle this issue. This type of dehumidifier is designed to reduce the humidity for the whole home and can range in cost from about $1,300 to $2,800.
Whole-house dehumidifiers are generally available in a range of sizes, power ratings, efficiency ratings, and capacities, so homeowners can find a model that is suitable for their situation. However, it’s important to mention that large homes may require more than one whole-house dehumidifier to adequately handle the humidity issues.
Two-Stage Air Conditioner
Two-stage air conditioners are not actually dehumidifiers, but they do have a built-in dehumidification system that can keep the ambient humidity in the home at a reasonable level. This type of dehumidification system is also known as a variable-speed air conditioner. It operates with a combination thermostat/humidistat that constantly monitors the temperature and humidity levels within the home.
When the humidity levels get too high, the two-stage air conditioner slows down the blower, allowing the dehumidifier to pull moisture out of the air in order to reduce the relative humidity. However, this type of dehumidification system comes with a high price tag, so homeowners will want to be prepared to invest about $5,000 to $7,000 in the installation.
Benefits of Installing a Whole-House Dehumidifier
Some homes can benefit from installing one of the best whole-house humidifiers—in this case, it’s a good idea for a homeowner to research whole-house humidifier costs. However, while low humidity in a home can cause issues, too much humidity is also bad. There are a wide range of benefits that a homeowner can hope to gain by investing in the installation of a whole-house dehumidifier, including improved air quality, efficient cooling, increased HVAC lifespan, decreased risk of mold growth, and a reduced risk of illness and allergies.
Improved Indoor Air Quality
One of the most noticeable benefits of installing a whole-house dehumidifier system is the improvement to the air quality inside the home. If the air within the home has too much moisture, it can increase the risk of mold and mildew growth, exacerbate allergies and asthma symptoms, and make it more difficult to breathe.
High levels of moisture in the home can also lead to wood rot, water damage, and pungent musty odors. By installing a whole-house dehumidifier, a homeowner can pull moisture out of the air to reduce the ambient humidity indoors and avoid the potential problems that can crop up if this issue is left unresolved.
More Efficient Cooling
Adding another home system seems like it would just cost a homeowner more in energy bills, but while a whole-house dehumidifier can add about $180 to $300 to a home’s yearly energy bills, it can also help increase the efficiency of the HVAC system. When relative humidity levels are too high, the air conditioner or air pump may struggle to decrease the air temperature throughout the home, leading to long operating periods and consistent strain on the system. By adding a whole-house dehumidifier, homeowners can pull the moisture out of the air, making it easier for the HVAC system to cool the air inside the home and ultimately increasing the overall efficiency of the air conditioner or heat pump.
Extended HVAC System Lifespan
When a homeowner decides to install a whole-house dehumidifier to reduce the amount of relative humidity inside the home, they can increase the efficiency of the air conditioner or heat pump by reducing the strain on the HVAC system. The dehumidifier pulls moisture out of the air, allowing the air conditioner or heat pump to rapidly cool that air at a more efficient rate. This addition to the home system has the added benefit of extending the lifespan of the HVAC system because it is no longer operating for extended periods of time as it struggles to decrease the temperature within the home.
Decreased Risk of Mold and Mildew
If the home has a high relative humidity level, small spores of mold and mildew can quickly grow and spread throughout the home. Mold and mildew prefer warm, dark, wet locations for optimal growth, so even if a homeowner doesn’t spot any mold or mildew in the main part of the home, there is a chance that it could be taking root in the basement or crawl space.
Installing a whole-house dehumidifier can help to reduce the relative humidity levels throughout the home, making the environment less hospitable to mold and mildew. For example, the best crawl space dehumidifiers can prevent mold growth and other issues that may remain unseen most of the time. However, it’s still important for homeowners to remain on the lookout for mold and mildew spores in areas of the home that are prone to high moisture levels, such as the bathroom, kitchen, and basement.
Decreased Risk of Illness and Allergies
Installing a whole-house dehumidifier doesn’t just improve the efficiency and increase the lifespan of the HVAC system; it also decreases the risk of illness and allergic reactions. This is because common allergens, like dust mites, tend to thrive in locations with high relative humidity levels. By maintaining a low level of humidity throughout the home, homeowners can eliminate a large portion of the allergens that could otherwise cause allergic reactions or trigger asthmatic symptoms. Additionally, a whole-house dehumidifier is capable of reducing the feeling of dampness in the home. This can help prevent health problems, including nasal congestion, rhinitis, sneezing, coughing, and wheezing.
Whole-House Dehumidifier Installation: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
Experienced DIYers may be tempted to take on the installation of the whole-house dehumidifier as a DIY project, which could help save about $500 to $700 on the total cost of the installation. A homeowner will still need to pay for the whole-house dehumidifier unit, as well as any materials that are required for the installation, so the cost of the project would still range from about $600 to $2,300.
However, handling this job as a DIY project isn’t recommended because of the potential complexity of the job. An HVAC professional will have the skill, experience, and knowledge to ensure the installation complies with local building codes and to complete the job in a much more expedient fashion. Additionally a trained installer should be licensed, bonded, and insured, so that if anything goes wrong during the installation, the homeowner won’t be liable for any injuries or damages that are incurred. Just as with the installation of an ultrasonic or evaporative humidifier, whole-house dehumidifier installation is best left to the professionals.
How to Save Money on Whole-House Dehumidifier Cost
With an average whole-house dehumidifier installation cost of $1,500, it’s important for homeowners to take advantage of any possible ways to save money. On most home improvement projects you can typically find some wiggle room to help keep more money in your wallet. The following are a few ways you may be able to lower the cost of the whole-house dehumidifier installation.
- Get multiple quotes. It’s best to research a pool of potential installation companies in order to find the best quality and price for the job. Get at least three quotes from different HVAC professionals to ensure you are getting a fair price.
- Select a suitable product for the home. Not every home will benefit from a whole-house dehumidifier with a capacity of over 100 pints, so to keep costs low, assess your needs accurately so that you choose the right dehumidifier for the home.
- Schedule the installation for the off-season. HVAC work is typically completed during the spring and summer, so you may be able to get a reduced price if you plan the installation for the fall or winter.
- Prepare the area prior to installation. If an installer has to clear out the space before they can start the installation process, then you will likely be paying more in labor costs for the installation. Keep costs low by cleaning the area and removing any obstructions before the installer arrives.
Questions to Ask About Whole-House Dehumidifier Installation
Homeowners can typically find a lot of information about whole-house dehumidifier installation on the HVAC company’s website or directly through the company to get clarification on any details that don’t immediately make sense. Asking the installer or the customer service staff questions can be an excellent way to find out pressing information, such as if the workers are licensed, bonded, and insured or if the company has any reliable references that a homeowner can check. Homeowners will want to consider asking the following key questions before agreeing to the whole-house dehumidifier installation.
- Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?
- Are you NATE (North American Technician Excellence) certified?
- Do you have references available?
- What experience do you have installing dehumidifiers?
- What brands do you carry?
- What type of dehumidifier do you recommend for my home, and why?
- Are tax credits and rebates available for this upgrade?
- Will you conduct an evaluation of the home before installing the dehumidifier?
- How long will the installation take?
- Is there a warranty, and if so, what does it include?
- What is included in the estimate?
- What additional costs should I expect?
- Do you offer service contracts?
- What permits do I need, and will you obtain them?
- What do you charge for an annual maintenance check?
- How often do you recommend changing the filter?
- How do the dehumidifier controls work?
Putting in a whole-house dehumidifier is an excellent way to reduce the ambient humidity in the home. Not only does this make the home more comfortable, but it also makes it easier to breathe and decreases the risk of mold growth. The average cost for a whole-house dehumidifier installation ranges from $1,300 to $2,800, so before hiring an HVAC professional, it’s important for homeowners to have all the information about the possible costs involved with the installation. They can take a look at the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about whole-house dehumidifiers.
Q. How do I dehumidify a house?
There are many ways to reduce the amount of humidity in the home, including taking shorter or cooler showers; repairing water damage as soon as possible; properly maintaining the HVAC system; opening the windows while running the dishwasher, cooking, or showering; and using chemical solutions, like rock salt, calcium chloride, and activated charcoal. However, one of the best methods is to install a whole-house dehumidifier that a homeowner can simply set and forget.
Q. What are some of the additional costs of installing a whole-house dehumidifier?
Some of the additional costs a homeowner will need to consider when they are putting together a budget for the installation of a whole-house dehumidifier include ductwork, electrical work, drainage, removal of old HVAC units, and the monthly energy needed to operate the dehumidifier.
Q. Is 65 degrees of humidity in my house bad?
If a homeowner finds that their home has a relative humidity level of 65, then investing in a whole-house dehumidifier is a good idea. Ideally, a home will have a relative humidity level ranging from about 30 percent to 60 percent. Humidity that is higher than 60 percent can cause a range of issues, including increased mold growth, bubbling or peeling wallpaper, wood rot, musty odors, and aggravated allergies or asthma symptoms.
Q. How do I install a whole-house dehumidifier?
Tackling the installation of a whole-house dehumidifier isn’t recommended as a DIY project . It’s best to hire a professional HVAC technician, who can complete the installation quickly and effectively. The installer will assemble the dehumidifier, secure the unit in the selected location, connect the inlet and outlet supply to the central air supply, and add any necessary wiring, ductwork, or drainage lines.
Q. How long does a whole-house dehumidifier last on average?
The length of time that a whole-house dehumidifier can last depends on the quality of the unit, the condition of the environment where it is installed, and the frequency of use. On average, a whole-house dehumidifier will last for about 5 to 10 years.
Q. How do I clean my whole-house dehumidifier?
A homeowner can clean a whole-house dehumidifier relatively easily by following these simple steps:
- Turn off and unplug the dehumidifier; then use the instruction manual to carefully take the dehumidifier apart to access as much of the unit as possible.
- Clean the collection tank with a mixture of one part vinegar and one part water to get rid of any lingering mold growth.
- Scrub the filter and coils with a soft bristle brush and the same cleaning solution used on the collection tank.
- Using a damp cloth and the cleaning solution, wipe off the fan blades.
- Use a vacuum cleaner to remove any dust and debris from the interior of the dehumidifier.
- After the dehumidifier is clean and dry, reassemble it, plug it back in, and turn it on to complete the process.