Whole House Dehumidifier Installation Tips and Costs

Whole house dehumidifiers are amazing machines with lots of different benefits. One of their main disadvantages, however, is that installing them can sometimes be costly and time-consuming.

What makes the whole process “costly” isn’t so much the price of the dehumidifier, however. Whole house units are more expensive than the stand-alone basement or room models, but they’re not that much more expensive.

As of mid-2020, the average price of a basement or crawlspace model ranges between $800 and $1,200, and for whole house versions – between $1,000 and $2,000.

What can ramp up the whole house dehumidifier’s price, however, is the installation.

What does a whole house dehumidifier installation include?

The installation of a whole house dehumidifier includes several steps:

  • Attaching the unit – also called furnace or central unit – to the return ductwork of your HVAC system. This is a must as a whole house dehumidifier can’t work without a ductwork system to help such in and redistribute the air. The installation process will usually take ~6 hours and, depending on where you live and the standard prices of the technicians in your area, it’s going to cost ~$550 to $650.
  • Adding or creating new return ductwork. Even if you already have an HVAC ductwork system, often the technician will recommend the addition of a dedicated return ductwork to accommodate the dehumidifier. This – if your home’s layout allows for it – is often a good idea as it guarantees the proper function of the dehumidifier and ensures there won’t be any problems with the current AC system.
    If there isn’t any HVAC ductwork at all, one will have to be created from scratch. This is the most expensive scenario but it is a must. Depending on how extensive the ductwork installations needed to be, they can cost anywhere from an additional several hundred dollars up to $1,000 to $1,500 more.

Whole house dehumidifier installation costs

With the whole process of installing a dehumidifier and potentially having to install additional ductwork, the average overall costs of the unit and its installation are usually between $1,500 and $2,800.

DIY whole house dehumidifier installations

Installing a whole house dehumidifier by yourself is doable but ill-advisable. Unless you’re an HVAC professional yourself, it’s usually not worth the risk. Most technicians charge reasonable prices for the work and you yourself will likely need to spruce at least $100-200 for additional instruments. That, plus the time you’ll invest will likely overcompensate for the technician fees you’re going to save. And if you need to add a whole new ductwork system, it gets even more complicated.

But if you’re adamant about installing your unit yourself and if you don’t need to bother with additional ductwork, here’s a quick step-by-step guide:

  1. Familiarize yourself with how whole house dehumidifiers work and what their installation entails. Here’s a simple whole house unit graph, for example.
  2. Install the dehumidifier to the return ductwork and the supply plenum that’s connected to the main indoor HVAC unit.
  3. Test the static pressure when the dehumidifier and the air conditioner are running simultaneously. If there’s any noticeable static pressure you’ll either have to add new return ductwork specifically for the dehumidifier or you’ll have to set the two systems to work independently from one another.

Still, we would recommend installing separate return ductwork for the dehumidifier and, therefore, getting some professional assistance.

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