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How to Get Comfortable with Dehumidification
Residential consumers are educated to think about their comfort conditioning system as air conditioners and furnaces. Over the past several years the technology of products and controls has been changing. Homes have progressively gotten tighter, new construction and up grading. Equipment capabilities and performance have changed. The ability to control to more precise conditions and for more components of air treatment highlights the need to educate the consumer on the potential available today with adjunct components of the comfort conditioning system. Air conditioners are typically selected for one set of design conditions. In many situations the latent and sensible loads are not the consideration. only total load and first cost. The design conditions are exceeded only 2 1/2% of the time. Therefore, the equipment is typically oversized a majority of the time and not matched properly to the latent load. Air conditioners are, constrained by their physical performance of the components, such as the coils and compressor. As a result. the equipment can not track the wide variety of sensible and latent conditions. The increased use of "set-up" thermostat controls diminish the control of humidity. Air conditioner thermostats sense and respond only to the temperature condition, not to the humidity level. The use of a separate whole house dehumidification system can allow for separate control of the humidity and temperature. The humidity control level is independent of the cooling set point. As a result, the cooling set point can be raised (less air conditioner run time) and comfort enhanced or improved. Moisture removed is automatically expelled to the outdoors with a desiccant based system. The whole house can be treated rather than a spot area. Indoor air quality concerns. such as odors, mold and mildew, can be improved by the use of a desiccant based dehumidification unit.
Beever, R. (1996). How to Get Comfortable with Dehumidification. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu); Texas A&M University (http://www.tamu.edu). Available electronically from