When your indoor air is too humid, you’ve got a problem that’s hard to ignore. In summer, excessive moisture in the atmosphere makes you feel extra-hot and uncomfortable, while in winter, humidity can show up as wet, cold condensation on your walls and window panes.

To deal with an issue of high indoor humidity, you might be looking at portable dehumidifiers…  but these units have a couple of definite drawbacks. Their capacity is usually small and they tend to be noisy. In addition, some models are equipped with an interior water “bucket” which must be emptied manually.

By contrast, because a whole-home dehumidifier is a more powerful and convenient option for reducing indoor humidity it could be a great solution to your problem. Read this guide to whole-home dehumidifiers for details.

How Do Dehumidifiers Work?

Dehumidifiers work using one of the following three technologies:

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  1. Desiccant dehumidifiers dry out (“desiccate”) moist air by absorbing water molecules via a chemical drying agent. Also known as chemical absorbent dehumidifiers, these systems are effective at dehumidifying, but not very energy-efficient. They are common in industrial applications.
  2. Dehumidifying ventilators set an exhaust fan in motion when the indoor humidity reaches a preset level, as detected by their sensor controller. These dehumidifiers have two drawbacks: 1) used in your basement to depressurize the room, which is dangerous if you own a gas furnace, and 2) because they draw outdoor air inside, they are not an ideal solution for humid climates.
  3. Heat pump dehumidifiers are highly effective and the most popular kind among homeowners today. They utilize an extremely cold coil to condense humidity from the air. The liquid thus produced is either channelled to a floor drain — by means of a hose — or collected in a reservoir inside the appliance. A heated coil rewarms the dehumidified air before sending it back into the room.

How To Check Humidity Levels

Buy a simple, inexpensive gadget called a hygrometer, or “humidity monitor.” You can find one at your local hardware store, home centre, or pharmacy. (It’s also available as an app for your iPhone.) This device will make it easy for you to check your home’s indoor humidity level.

Relative humidity, measured as a percentage, may vary from room to room within your house, so you might want to place several hygrometers in different spots.

In summer, the ideal relative humidity level is between 40% and 50%. In winter, it may be somewhat lower to prevent condensation, but never below 30%. (Read about how low humidity is bad for your household.) If your indoor relative humidity regularly measures higher than 55%, that is a clear sign you need a dehumidifier.

Benefits Of A Dehumidifier

You’ll benefit from installing a dehumidifier in several important ways:

  1. Feel more comfortable in hot weather. When you’re already hot under the collar due to soaring temperatures, high humidity makes you feel even worse. A dehumidifier will take away that sticky, sweaty, heavy feeling, so you’ll be a lot more comfortable.
  2. Avoid health hazards. Mould and dust mites, which can trigger allergic reactions and respiratory illnesses, thrive in highly humid environments. A dehumidifier will eliminate the moist conditions that help these hazards grow.
  3. Prevent condensation. In winter, when Toronto homes tend to be tightly closed up, excessive indoor humidity often makes its presence known in the form of condensation on the inside surface of your windows. A dehumidifier will get rid of this annoying problem.
  4. Protect your home. Condensation, mould, and moisture are not just unpleasant and unhealthy. They can damage your home’s materials and structure, causing paint to peel, wood and drywall to rot, and insulation to become ruined. These problems will continue to get worse (and more expensive to fix), unless you install a dehumidifier.

How To Size Your Dehumidifier

Choose the right size dehumidifier based on both the size of your home and its level of indoor humidity. For example, a 3,000-square-foot house is likely to need a more powerful dehumidifier than a home measuring 1,200 square feet. Similarly, relative humidity of 80% will require a higher-capacity dehumidifier than 65% RH.

Types Of Whole-Home Dehumidifiers

As a Lennox Premier Dealer, we at Husky carry two top-of-the-line Lennox whole-house dehumidifier systems. Here are some of their great features.

1. Humiditrol® Whole-Home Dehumidifier System

  • Remove as much as 150 litres of moisture per 24 hours with this Lennox whole-home dehumidifier.
  • Use it together with any Lennox heat pump or air conditioner.
  • Rest assured that this system is ozone-free.
  • Enjoy a 5-Year Limited Warranty on covered components.

2. Healthy Climate® Whole-Home Dehumidifiers

  • Choose from 3 sizes.
  • Use it with a zoned HVAC system, if you wish.
  • Rest assured that this system is ozone-free, uses environmentally friendly R-410A refrigerant, and carries Energy Star certification for energy efficiency.
  • Enjoy a 5-Year Limited Warranty on covered components.

Get Healthy Indoor Humidity Solutions

With over 40 years experience providing home HVAC solutions, we at Husky understand that every home and every humidity problem is different.

So have a talk with our pros. We’ll listen carefully to your needs and your concerns.

You won’t be pressured or pushed, just given the facts you need to decide exactly what type of dehumidifier system is best for you.