Portable vs. Whole-Home Dehumidifiers, Pippin Brothers, Lawton, OK
May 21, 2014

The summers in Lawton, Oklahoma can be hot and humid. And the humidity can make you feel warmer than the thermostat tells you that you should feel.

To fight this, many homeowners turn to dehumidifiers to help them cool off without cranking down the AC too far.

But what’s better – a portable dehumidifier or whole-home version? There are pros and cons to both options. Read on to decide which one is best for you.

Portable dehumidifiers

Portable and room dehumidifiers are small appliances that dehumidify one room at a time. You can purchase them at any big box retailer. But are they the right option for your home? Here’s the good and bad about them.


  • Relatively cheap
  • Can go in any room
  • Don’t require professional installation


  • Only dehumidify one room at a time
  • Can be noisy
  • Have to empty reservoir several times a day
  • Give off heat and may raise room temperature
  • Have to be placed in eyesight (and they’re not particularly nice to look at)
  • Require regular maintenance to avoid mold and mildew problems
  • Many aren’t energy efficient compared to whole-home dehumidifiers

Whole-home dehumidifiers

Whole-home dehumidifiers, as the name implies, can remove the humidity from your entire home rather than just a single room. They are usually only sold by professional HVAC installers and are installed within your existing duct system. Here are the pros and cons of this option.


  • Makes your whole home more comfortable
  • More efficient than portable dehumidifiers
  • Easy to maintain
  • Works automatically (no need to remember to turn it on and off)
  • Hidden and out of sight


  • More expensive than portable dehumidifiers
  • Requires a professional installation by a heating and air conditioning company

Read more about how a whole-home dehumidifier works and its benefits.

And the winner is…

Portable dehumidifiers IF you’re looking for a quick, cheap dehumidifier and don’t mind the extra maintenance or the noises. It’s also what we recommend for renters.

Whole-home dehumidifiers IF you want an effective, long-term solution you can install and forget about (requires only yearly maintenance).

Need help with your home’s humidity problems or just have a question? Give Pippin Brothers a call at (580) 699-5660 or contact us online.