According to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), your clients should aim to keep their home at a 60% humidity level if kept at the average of 78 degrees Fahrenheit. At this humidity level, the air is easy to breathe without allowing for too much moisture buildup, which can lead to mold growth, health issues, and water damage. In some climates, staying below a 60% humidity level is simple, but if your clients are located near the ocean, or any large body of water, it can be challenging to control the moisture level of the air.
Does All HVAC Equipment Provide Humidity Control?
You are probably aware that most of the air conditioners produced today offer dehumidification as a side effect of cooling the air. This is evident in the water that drains out of an HVAC system. While this incidental humidity control is convenient, it cannot be controlled independently. This means your client can only choose the temperature at which they keep the air—an HVAC system will not allow for independent humidity control.
In this situation, the air is only being dehumidified when the air conditioner is running. However, in many humid climates, this is simply not enough dehumidification. Not only that, but what about the times of the year where the temperatures are cooler, but the air is still humid? By incorporating an independent dehumidifier into the HVAC system, your clients will be able to have full control of the humidity level of their home no matter how often they use the air conditioner.
Types of Dehumidifiers
There are a variety of dehumidifiers on the market. Some can be built right into the HVAC equipment and use the same control panel as the heating and cooling, while others are made to stand alone and don’t require any ductwork to function. Dehumidifiers work in two distinct ways:
- Refrigeration – This type of dehumidifier uses a similar technology as a refrigerator by cooling the air in order to remove excess moisture.
- Absorption/Adsorption – With this method, the dehumidifier will absorb or adsorb the moisture out of the air and then dispose of it.
How to Test Humidity Levels
Checking the humidity level in your client’s home is as simple as using a hygrometer, such as this one offered by Yellow Jacket. Electronic hygrometers allow you to easily measure the humidity level without having to refer to a chart. It also computes the temperature, dew point, dry bulb, and wet bulb in an instant.
When you are setting up your customer’s HVAC system, always make sure to talk about humidity control. By keeping their home at the proper humidity level, your customer can prevent mold growth and reduce the risk of water damage. To learn more about our dehumidifiers, and to see if your client could benefit from one, contact us today.