Moisture is a great friend and companion to mold and mildew, giving them room to thrive as well as invite other companions they work in hand with. This whole picture is especially common in large homes, where moisture might not be exactly easy to control, leaving home badly in need of whole house dehumidification. The best remedy to this yet is in having the best ducted whole house dehumidifier running in equivalent proportion to moisture level to keep it low as a result.
One might wonder why the peculiar need for ducted dehumidifiers, rather than the regular portable unducted ones, well, it is a choice to be made depending on your home. We would be addressing this issue later in the article, making a comparison case on whole-house humidifiers, as well as the need for ducting.
For carrying out the best whole house dehumidification process in your home, choosing the best whole house dehumidifiers to use is very crucial, as one wrong choice could mean you are back to square one. Walking through the process of choosing, it is also important to consider qualities that whole-house dehumidifier possesses, to see how befitting it would be for your needs.
In this ducted whole house dehumidifier review, we have taken time out to review 4 of the best ducted dehumidifiers for your home, out of which the most recommended is the Aprilaire 1970XL pro. It stands out as a result of raw dehumidification power, as well as enough ruggedness to see it through years and seasons of constant work.
Since most of the top products are aprilaire, Let’s get down to the proper Aprilaire whole house dehumidifier review.
Can one dehumidifier work for a whole house?
A dehumidifier can cover any kind of space, as far as it is large enough incapacity. Therefore, yes, one dehumidifier can work for a whole house. Dehumidifier’s designs are tailored to a specific room, or building-sized, which always matches their moisture removal and airflow rate. The larger the size of the house it can size, the larger its capacity as per moisture extraction and airflow rate would be.
Even in the largest of houses, as far as there is a dehumidifier that meets its specification (which there is), moisture can be controlled by using a single dehumidifier. This class of products is mostly called whole house dehumidifiers.
What is a ducted whole-home dehumidifier?
As the name implies, ducted whole house dehumidifiers are the devices that make use of ducts of an HVAC system for the dehumidification process.
A ducted whole-home dehumidifier system is like attaching the dehumidifier to break airflow in the furnace system, or maybe not, depending on your professional hire. One thing that’s constant, however, is that the dehumidifier removes moisture through the HVAC ducts, instead of dehumidifying from the atmosphere directly.
5 Crucial Features to consider in choosing the Best ducted whole house dehumidifier
- Initial and maintenance cost:
Before you get into pricing and review, make peace with your pockets, knowing that getting a whole house dehumidifier would cost more than the regular ones you are used to.
That being said, consider the cost and equivalent performance before purchase. If it cost a lot, make sure it performs well enough, and if not, it should be able to do a decent job, to say the least. The truth is that op quality products would always cost more
It is also important you consider installation and maintenance costs. For example, Aprilaire products require professional to hire for installation, in order to not void warranty. There is also maintenance cost, which mostly involves purchasing new canisters or water tray per season or once in a year, depending on the dehumidifier. Put all these costs together and have a clear cost knowledge going in.
As earlier said, whole house dehumidifiers are pretty expensive to purchase due to their capacity. While we users can do nothing to change that, it is only expedient that you go for products with some form of insurance, which in this case is a warranty. Different products come with a different warranty depending on manufacturers, and we totally recommend you get one with solid insurance in case the unexpected happens.
- Moisture extraction capacity and house coverage:
Perhaps the most important feature when it comes to dehumidifiers, it’s capacity. This both includes its moisture extraction rate (in gallons or pints) per day, as well as the size of the home it can cover.
When it comes to dehumidifier capacity, higher is always better; however, there is a risk of purchasing way higher than what you need, spending more money in the process. This is why it is important to study your home and get what is befitting.
- Humidity regulator with Automatic dehumidification:
For easy use and more convenient running, go for a product with manual humidity regulator at least. The higher end of dehumidifiers, however, is automatic humidity regulation, with reference point set the user. With this combination, you can simply set and allow to work for a long period of time without the need for frequent monitoring.
- Installation options:
There are essentially two installation options when it comes to whole-house humidifiers, those that can be installed as standalone as well as mounted on an HVAC system with ducts, and others that is just strictly HVAC compatible.
Depending on the product you opt for, you might also need to install an HVAC system alongside it. What we are saying, in essence, is that purchasing a dehumidifier with two installation options is always better than the other with just an option.
If you were to pick just an option, however, we would go with the HVAC mounted product since we are considering the best ducted whole house dehumidifier.
Top 4 best ducted whole house dehumidifier
With the designing and manufacturing history of Aprilaire since 1954, you can rest assured that the quality offered by their products is top-notch, and would meet the users’ needs for the price. Their top-quality whole house dehumidifiers are very durable, and built to last, and is seen in products like the 1870 XL and 1870F XL.
Moisture extraction rate
At 130 pints or 16 gallons per day, this dehumidifier is able to pull a vast amount of moisture from home. This ability is greatly helped by its capacity to move a large amount of air per time, even better than air purifiers whose specialty is to move air.
It is able to move air at an incredible rate of 310 cubic feet per minute, drying off every last bit of moisture off the air in the process. At 16 gallons per day, it can conveniently cover up to 7,200sqft houses in size.
Easy to install with different options
The small and portable nature, along with other qualities of this product, means that it wouldn’t be much of a fuss to install.
It can be used as a stand along with humidifier, where it is placed above a drain or connected to a drainpipe, or simply installed on an HVAC system, with ducts connected to it. Whichever suits your needs, this dehumidifier can do, though, from use and observation, it is more effective when installed with an HVAC system and ducts.
Easy to clean and maintain
This dehumidifier does not make use of a water tray, therefore saving users the hours that would have been spent on weekly cleaning. All that’s required is to replace canisters once a year, and you should be good to go. Occasional body cleaning of the dehumidifier is also needed too (just like other electrical devices).
Auto dehumidification makes it easy to use
After mounting the dehumidifier, for ease of use, mount its thermostat and controls on the top side for easy reach. This thermostat, along with digital controls, makes is very much easy to vary humidity to your taste, at 1-degree increment.
After choosing the desired level, the dehumidifier automatically works to keep humidity at that point. With the digital controls and an LED display to match, it is pretty easy to do from the user’s end.
This product is made of steel and corrosion-resistant aluminum coils. That alone should do justice to its quality and level of durability. If this product stopped working in a short period of time, it wouldn’t be due to physical material defects.Warranty
- The product comes with a five-year limited warranty. However, to not void the warranty, it must be installed by an HVAC professional only.
Removes up to 130 pints of moisture in 24 hours
At 130 pints of moisture removed every 24 hours, the quality of this dehumidifier speaks for itself. It is very apt to carry out the primary task of reducing moisture, and at levels that high, it is arguably one of the best in the business.
The 1870F XL is also able to dehumidify homes as large as 3900sqft. Though this puts it far below the 1870 XL pro, it is still very impressive considering the fact that there are few regular houses with far greater sizes today.
Effective for both whole house and crawlspace use
Due to its moisture extraction capacity, as well as the area it covers, the 1870F XL is both effective when used for whole-house purposes, as well as in crawl spaces or basements. As far as such a basement or crawl space has installed in it a good drainage system, the 1870F XL would drop humidity level in no time, leaving it dry and harmless just as it should be.
A shock inclusion in the design of this product is the presence of castors. This is no different from your regular wheels used in numerous products today, except that it more durable and designed to handle the dehumidifier’s weight.
The wheels remove the regular stationary shackles associated with dehumidifiers, allowing for a more free movement to different areas. This also means that it is best used with a drain pipe attached, rather than installing over a drain tray.
Digital controls with automatic dehumidification
Taking a closer look at the top side, one would find a digital control panel installed for easy access. This control allows users to easily set desired conditions, especially expected humidity levels. After choosing a set humidity, the device can be allowed to run uninterruptedly until further use.Warranty:
- The product is backed by a five-year limited warranty and must be installed by an HVAC professional only.
A standout feature of this whole house product is the presence of corrosion-resistant coil. Though much cannot be said about other parts of the dehumidifier itself, especially since customer feedbacks are littered with failing product complaints within the first 2 to 3 years of usage, the condenser coils are definitely of a better grade. The coils are made up of corrosion-resistant material, which means it’s going to be around for a while.
95-pint moisture extraction per day
1850 still averages an impressive amount of moisture removal per day, though not as much as the earlier reviewed 1870 XL and 1870F XL. This rate allows the dehumidifier to draw about 12 gallons of water in 24 hours and in an area of about 5,200sqft. This capacity allows the product to effectively control humidity, preventing damp, mold, and mildew problems in the home.
Auto mode with programmable humidistat
This dehumidifier is essentially like the others reviewed so far, in the presence of an auto mode feature. It is operated by first inputting a desired humidity level, after which the dehumidifier is allowed to automatically toggle between the working and docile state depending on whether humidity is above or below the target set.
Installing this product is straight forward. All it entails is setting it up in a place just over a drain, then level it, or attaching a drain hose to the outlet of the dehumidifier instead. Whichever one works as far as you ensure it is leveled. After this, pick a set humidity level and allow it to run.its durability is more of a gamble since there are numerous complaints of how it only works for about 2 to 3 years. This life span makes the 1850pro an expensive dehumidifier to purchase. Note that installations need to be carried out by a professional for warranty not to be voided.
- It comes with a five-year limited warranty with professional installation required to not void warranty.
Due to the fact that this dehumidifier would be moving so much moisture per time, its coils were designed with a corrosion-resistant material to handle potential degradation over time. This gives the machine a very good lifespan even when mounted in harsh environmental conditions like crawlspaces.
Very suitable for whole house and crawl space dehumidification
With a moisture extraction rate of up to 70 pints per day, this product would be a good fit for most homes and sealed crawl spaces. The manufacturer states its area service capacity to be around 3800sqft; however, from tests and customer experience, this figure is roughly around 2000sqft. The dehumidifier isn’t as effective in spaces greater than that. In a suitable condition, however, it still remains a decent device that would provide a service of your money’s worth.
Just like essentially all the Aprilaire products reviewed in this article so far, this dehumidifier is a low maintenance device. It doesn’t require frequent cleaning, and the filters are so efficient that they should only be cleaned or replaced once a year. For the regular purpose of cleanliness, however, it is important you wipe off dirt on the exterior from time to time.
It contains a digital panel, which comes along with the dehumidifier on purchase. The design of this product allows users to choose specifically where the panel would be mounted. The top side is one of the best choices obviously due to the comfort of reach; however, depending on how it is mounted, you can choose to place it elsewhere.
Though the 70 pints per day extraction rate of the product seems impressive, it still remains low end for a whole house and crawlspace dehumidifier. Therefore this product is more suited to small “whole house category” size use. It is also a bit noisy while operating too.Warranty:
Dehumidifier comes with a five-year warranty, which would be voided if not installed by an HVAC professional.
How does a ducted whole house dehumidifier works?
Ducted dehumidifiers working principle is not really complex. They are installed on an already existing HVAC system, possessing a high capacity fan that pulls air from the ducts, forcing it through the dehumidifier where moisture is condensed as it passes through. This air is then released, and the condensed water drained through another outlet of the dehumidifier.
A ducted whole house dehumidifier basically works underground, and in hand with the HVAC system, i.e., for it to work, the HVAC system has to be working too, though there are more advanced designs which allow the dehumidifier work independently of the HVAC system.
How to duct a whole house dehumidifier
Before we go into this, remember that if you purchased an Aprilaire product, self-installation would most likely void its warranty. It is always advisable to involve a professional.
However, you can Follow these simple steps to install/duct a whole house dehumidifier;
- Mount the dehumidifier at a preferred location with easy access to the duct
- Install the condensation drain line to the dehumidifier and run it to a desired external drain. Observe the system well too, as you might need an anti-siphon connection to make it work
- Attach a duct hose to the dehumidifier’s exhaust line, through which it would draw air from the duct system. This hose should also be attached to the return air duct on the furnace.
- Finally, the dehumidifiers return air duct should be attached to the return air duct on the furnace, which is mostly located near the grill.
Also Read: Best Portable whole House Humidifier
Whole house dehumidifier pros and cons
There are many misconceptions about whole house dehumidifiers, but irrespective, we have compiled the pros and cons of using one.
What we Like about whole house dehumidifier
- Very convenient to run:
The convenience in using a whole house dehumidifier is completely unmatched by any other kind of dehumidifier. The product is installed with an HVAC system, working as part of a system to remove moisture in the most subtle manner, completely without monitoring or any constant user input. The only role you would play would be in choosing a set humidity level.
- Optimal moisture removal in large areas:
The capacity of whole house dehumidifiers is also very great, with even the smallest being able to remove at least gallons of moisture per day. It is for this reason that they are tagged whole house dehumidifiers, as they can draw out moisture from very large spaces
- Enhances the cooling qualities of an HVAC system:
Asides dehumidification, whole-house dehumidifiers also helps enhance the cooling qualities of an HVAC system, as it removes moisture from the air in the duct, leaving the system with only cold and moisture-less air. This reduces the cooling workload placed on the HVAC system.
What we Dislike
- Expensive to purchase and setup:
great performance always comes at a great cost, and it is the same in the case of a whole house dehumidifier. Due to their high capacity, they are averagely more expensive than the portable dehumidifier that you are used to.
- Cost maintenance:
whole house dehumidifiers also cost quite a lot to maintain over time. Most of them either make use of a water tray or canister that needs replacement once or twice per year. Over time, these little costs would accumulate to become quite a lot.
Final Verdict : Our take on the top best ducted whole house dehumidifier
Aprilaire 1870 XL Pro is the best product for whole house dehumidification based on quality and actual performance. Though it comes at quite a cost, the 130 pints per day rate, coupled with airflow of 310cubic feet per minute, is matched by only a few domestic products out there today and none on our review list.
It is also easy to set up and requires very little maintenance while being able to thrive in harsh environmental conditions like a basement or crawlspace. Automatic dehumidification just makes the product so much easier to use.
The excellence of 1870 XL is put only below the Aprilaire 1870F XL pro dehumidifier, which shares most of its basic qualities. It also comes with a 130-pint moisture removal per day, while sitting on casters for easy mobility around the home. Automatic dehumidification, as well as low maintenance requirements, are some of the extra qualities of the dehumidifier.
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