Are you Depending on your HVAC System to Remove Moisture?
With today’s upgrades and improvements to heating and cooling systems the secondary benefit, moisture removal, is now non-existent. Thankfully, HVAC systems are much more energy-efficient and blast colder air in short increments. There is nothing wrong with the improved upgrades. In fact, it is doing exactly what it is created to do, cool the air in less time. As a result of these new improvements, there is a rise with mold growth in indoor living spaces.
Money is a huge factor in the construction world, typically the most cost-effective option wins the bid. For the past few years, multifamily housing developments are displacing standard HVAC systems with alternate cooling & heating techniques including mini-splits, Packaged Thermal Air Conditioners (PTAC’s), and Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF’s) for their convenience, availability, and most importantly cost.
Since many assume that a bigger HVAC system means better heating and cooling capabilities, using price as a determining factor often leads to purchasing and installing an oversized unit. Unfortunately, an HVAC system that is “too large” will only waste energy and money, on a product that doesn’t remove moisture. HVAC units were created to remove heat from the air to cool the space, not to remove moisture from the air. “A cooling system that is too big cools down the temperature very quickly, but it does not run long enough to remove sufficient moisture or “humidity” from the air. The result is you feel cool but clammy.”1
“Oversized equipment operates less efficiently and costs more than properly sized equipment.”2 An oversized HVAC system releases quick bursts of cool air to bring room temperatures to thermostat set point, but do not dot condense moisture. In fact, any moisture collected on the coils, will evaporate back into the air once the system is no longer running.
Problem with oversizing an HVAC System
• Higher indoor humidity– these systems are only able to condense and dry the air while running. They cannot independently control both temperature & humidity.
• Decreased efficiency- the system builds up pressure to start, larger system require more pressure but only need to run briefly to bring temperature to set point, which reduces efficiency.
• Shorter lifespan – HVAC systems disperse hot and cold air, to bring room temperatures to the set point. Thermostats measure air temperature, air flow, and moisture content of air, to get an accurate indoor air temperature. If moisture is not removed, air temperature fluctuates, causing short-cycling, which shortens the unit’s lifespan.
• Inconsistent temperature – installing a unit designed for a larger floorplan can lead to inconsistent heating and cooling performance.
• More expensive– Initial costs of unit will cost more, for not only the product but installation, as well as long-term maintenance, and operation of an inefficient unit.
HVAC systems cannot independently control temperature and humidity indoors. Supplementing a dehumidification system into your property will not only remove excess moisture in the air but will help reduce energy costs by lowering the HVAC systems runtimes. Reducing runtimes not only helps save money on electric bills, but also protects simple wear and tear of costly HVAC parts and maintenance. Integrating an independent dehumidifier will compliment your system by providing a mold prevention plan while maintaining the longevity of your HVAC system.
Oversized HVAC System = More Money + Higher Energy Usage
When it comes to HVAC Systems for Multi-Family Communities…
Bigger isn’t always Better!
The Science of Condensation
Moisture accumulates indoors from basic everyday tasks including cooking, showering, cleaning, or even a cold drink condensing on the counter, they all increase indoor relative humidity.
Since water moves from areas of high concentration to areas of low concentration (evaporation) and moves from warm temperatures to cooler temperatures (condensation).3 This is the basic science behind how a dehumidifier works; dehumidification reduces the relative humidity (high to low) of an area while the cold coils (warm to cold) condense moisture. The dry air and cold coils work together to convert water vapor (gas) to water (liquid).
Multifamily housing developments are being built tighter and tighter to provide energy efficient housing, and drastically reduce sensible cooling loads. Supplemental dehumidification is not only beneficial but a necessity to prevent mold, especially in warm and humid climates. Conventional cooling systems are designed to be as efficient as possible, controlling temperature to set point and cooling systems.
Bigger isn’t always better especially when it comes to controlling humidity in your multifamily developments. The tankless and independent IW25-4 Dehumidifier is a necessity to control moisture and prevent mold in all multifamily housing.
The wall mounted IW25-4 Dehumidifier compliments the capabilities of your HVAC system to help maintain indoor relative humidity below 60% and prevent mold. The Innovative Dehumidifier Systems team takes pride in finding the best fit for the IW25-4 Dehumidifier. Our hands free and tankless dehumidifier includes hands on Customer Service.
- ASHRAE | Choosing the Right System for your Home; Buyers Beware: Correctly Sized Air Conditioners Save Money
- Building Performance | HVAC Systems: “Right Size” HVAC systems to ensure efficient operation: https://buildingperformancenc.org/performance/hvac/
- 5.2E: Osmosis | Mechanism of Osmosis https://bio.libretexts.org/Bookshelves/Introductory_and_General_Biology/Book%3A_General_Biology_(Boundless)/5%3A_Structure_and_Function_of_Plasma_Membranes/5.2%3A_Passive_Transport/5.2E%3A_Osmosis