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Whole-Home vs. Portable Dehumidifier: Which Is Better For Southwest Florida Homes

June 24, 2013

“It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity!” We hear that phrase often in the humid Southwest Florida area.

And it’s true, humidity is a big comfort killer here--even when your air conditioner is running!

The answer seems obvious: Get a dehumidifier.

But what kind? Portable or whole-home? To help you decide, here are some pros and cons of each.

Whole-home dehumidifiers


  • Dehumidifies every room in your home. It’s installed alongside your current HVAC system and removes moisture from the air that’s pulled in through your return ducts. Then it sends the dry air throughout your home.
  • Out of sight and out of mind
  • Low sound level
  • Long life expectancy (15+ years)
  • More energy efficient than portable units
  • Low maintenance-only requires checking the air filter every 6 months and the drain system annually


  • More upfront cost
  • Needs a professional to install it
  • Can’t take it with you if you decide to move

Portable Room Dehumidifiers


  • Less expensive than whole-home
  • Easy to move from room to room
  • Easy to use/Does not require professional installation


  • Shorter useful life span
  • Noisy
  • Can only dehumidify one room
  • Requires frequent cleaning and maintenance
  • Less energy efficient than whole-home

Which one should you get?

There are 3 factors to think about:

  • Location
  • Size of area to dehumidify
  • Budget

Let’s tackle these one at a time.


Considering that West Florida’s high humidity isn’t seasonal, you’ll need your unit to dehumidify frequently throughout the year. In that case, investing in a whole-home humidifier makes economical sense.

Size of area to dehumidify:

If you have a smaller home, or just want to dehumidify a single room (like a bedroom or living room) then portable makes the best choice.


Portables are usually in the $100s, whereas a whole-home (after installation) costs over $1,000.

Want to learn more about dehumidifiers? Ask one of our experts for help.

Posted in: Buyer's Guide

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