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Title: Improving Comfort in Hot-Humid Climates with a Whole-House Dehumidifier, Windermere, Florida (Fact Sheet)

Maintaining comfort in a home can be challenging in hot-humid climates. At the common summer temperature set point of 75 degrees F, the perceived air temperature can vary by 11 degrees F because higher indoor humidity reduces comfort. Often the air conditioner (AC) thermostat set point is lower than the desirable cooling level to try to increase moisture removal so that the interior air is not humid or "muggy." However, this method is not always effective in maintaining indoor relative humidity (RH) or comfort. In order to quantify the performance of a combined whole-house dehumidifier (WHD) AC system, researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's Building America team Consortium of Advanced Residential Buildings (CARB) monitored the operation of two Lennox AC systems coupled with a Honeywell DH150 TrueDRY whole-house dehumidifier for a six-month period. By using a WHD to control moisture levels (latent cooling) and optimizing a central AC to control temperature (sensible cooling), improvements in comfort can be achieved while reducing utility costs. Indoor comfort for this study was defined as maintaining indoor conditions at below 60% RH and a humidity ratio of 0.012 lbm/lbm while at common dry bulb set point temperatures of 74 degrees -80 degrees F.more » In addition to enhanced comfort, controlling moisture to these levels can reduce the risk of other potential issues such as mold growth, pests, and building component degradation. Because a standard AC must also reduce dry bulb air temperature in order to remove moisture, a WHD is typically needed to support these latent loads when sensible heat removal is not desired.« less
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1107438
Report Number(s):
DOE/GO-102013-4097
KNDJ-0-40342-00
DOE Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Related Information: Building America Case Study: Technology Solutions for New and Existing Homes, Building Technologies Office (BTO)
Research Org:
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO.
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Building Technologies Office
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION RESIDENTIAL; RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS; CARB; BUILDING AMERICA; HEAT PUMP WATER HEATER; DEHUMIDIFIER; AIR CONDITIONING; LATENT; SENSIBLE; COOLING; COMFORT; RELATIVE HUMIDITY; MOISTURE CONTENT; THERMOSTAT SET POINT