What To Know Before Adding A Dehumidifier To Your Central Air Conditioner
Many homeowners assume that a single central air conditioning system is all the climate control they need to get through the summer. Yet if you're located in an area with high year round humidity or extreme humidity on the hottest days, your A/C alone may not be enough to keep your home comfortable, clean, and healthy. Installing a whole house dehumidifier to work in conjunction with your existing air conditioner is a great way to enjoy better indoor climate control regardless of the challenges of the outdoor climate.
Lowering A/C Use
First, installing the right kind of whole house dehumidifier may allow you to save money on your monthly air conditioning bills by helping you run the system less often. If you can use a dehumidifier on days where cooling itself isn't as necessary, you can avoid starting the A/C altogether and spend less on the electricity required to run the dehumidifier alone. For many parts of the country, there are dozens of days each spring and fall in which humidity control is more important for comfort than cooling. Running a dehumidifier in the middle of the summer also allows your A/C to cycle on less and spend less time on when humidity is high, resulting in lower electricity costs.
Adjusting the Optimal Humidity Level
Look for a whole house dehumidifier that gives you control over the precise level of humidity it's trying to reach. Some people are only comfortable with the whole house right at 40% relative humidity, while others prefer 55% or higher. You may find that your preferences change between the seasons and with the fluctuating outdoor conditions. Dehumidifiers that are easy to adjust give you more control over your comfort as a homeowner.
Controlling Mold Growth
High humidity levels trigger mold growth, but many types of mold and mildew that grow inside the home can start growing within mere days or weeks of extra moisture. You need year round humidity control whether you're running the air conditioner or have already switched over to using heating instead. Whole house dehumidifiers are wired to run on their own with the system's blowers and ducts, ensuring powerful humidity control even when you don't have the A/C switched on or ready for use. Dehumidifiers prevent mold growth that can trigger serious allergies and asthma attacks.
Reducing Duct Moisture
The ducts themselves can gather residual moisture while your air conditioner is running. If the system has drainage issues or isn't sized correctly, moisture that gathers on the coils may blow off and gather in the ducts to rust out the metal or trigger mold growth. For drier and cleaner ducts, a whole house dehumidifier is the best piece of equipment to add to your home HVAC system. It's also easier to add a dehumidifier than it is to completely overhaul your entire air conditioning system just to find a single source of occasional extra moisture.
Spending a Little More
Finally, be prepared for the cost of a whole house dehumidifier before deciding it's right for you. Many homeowners report spending between $1800 and $2200 for both equipment and installation of a new dehumidifier connected to the duct system. A stand alone dehumidifier will cost less, but it won't offer the same kind of humidity lowering power. Whole house systems are particularly useful because they move a large quantity of air through the ducts and blowers already installed for cooling and heating your home. The investment will take a little way to pay itself back in electricity savings, but you will definitely appreciate the increase in comfort and decrease in mold immediately after installation.
For more information, contact companies like Centrum Solutions.