Dehumidification and Your Heat Pump

Dehumidification and Your Heat Pump

A heat pump is an incredibly versatile HVAC solution for your Raleigh or Durham home. Not only do they cool, but they also dehumidify.

During the cooling process, moisture in the air condenses on the refrigerant coil like water beads on a glass of iced tea. This is then drained outside to help maintain lower humidity levels in your home.

Reduce Moisture in Your Home

Using an air dehumidifier can help you keep your home’s humidity in the healthy range. The best choice is an energy efficient model. Look for one that’s ENERGY STAR certified.

In the summer, high humidity can leave you with that clammy feeling and cause other problems like warped wood, peeling paint and mold. Dehumidification can help reduce this unwanted moisture and the damage it causes in your home.

Many homeowners have asked if heat pumps also dehumidify. The answer is yes, and they do it more effectively than an air conditioner or furnace. Heat pumps use the same refrigeration concept as air conditioners to remove moisture from the air. They do this by alternating between heating and cooling modes. While they’re heating, the refrigerant moves through an evaporator coil. This causes the refrigerant to change from cold to hot, which dehumidifies the air in your house.

In addition to heat pumps, other ways you can reduce your dehumidification heat pump home’s humidity include showering in cool water and flinging open doors and windows on drier days for ventilation. But these tips are not as effective as an energy-efficient dehumidification solution like a heat pump with an integrated dehumidifier.

Reduce Irritation

Summer stickiness can wreak havoc with your home environment, causing musty smells and sagging wallpaper. With a dehumidifier installed in your ductless mini-split, you can get control of the humidity in your home all year round.

A heat pump dehumidifier works by circulating the air through the refrigerant coil. The cooling process reduces the temperature of the air, allowing water vapour to condense into liquid form that can be drained away. The heat pump dehumidifier can also help to save energy by reusing the sensible and latent heat of the condensation to warm the air during heating cycles.

Field testing of traditional homes in hot and humid climates has shown that an indirect approach to humidity control (i.e., a conventional air conditioning system operating in normal cooling mode) may not be sufficient to meet recommended humidity control targets. This becomes more of an issue as newer and more energy-efficient homes are constructed with higher humidity levels.

As a result, supplemental dehumidification is necessary to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures and to protect building fabric and stored goods. This study evaluated the performance of VSPD, SSPD-ED, and a normal cooling mode in a residential building under real load conditions during the summer and fall shoulder seasons. The daily dehumidification performance of the modes is compared in terms of daily water condensate removal per unit of energy consumed to determine which mode is most efficient in the summer and shoulder season.

Reduce Allergens

Using a dehumidifier helps reduce the level of allergens in your home. Allergens like dust mites and mold spores thrive in damp environments, but when a dehumidifier eliminates excess moisture, these allergens are no longer able to grow or circulate throughout your home. This is an important part of a comprehensive HVAC spring allergy prevention strategy, along with cleaning heating and cooling system registers and return vents to prevent recirculation of these allergens.

Reducing allergens also requires limiting exposure to them, and keeping your home as clean and uncluttered as possible. Make sure to keep tabletops, shelves and other surfaces free of clutter; vacuum and sweep often; wash stuffed animals weekly; and use plastic storage bins instead of cardboard ones that can promote mold growth. Cleaning out the basement, attic and closets to get rid of potential allergen-promoting materials is also important.

If allergies are causing itchy skin, use a dehumidifier to stabilize air humidity levels between 30% and 50%. A dehumidifier with a controllable hygrometer is ideal for this because it allows you to monitor the humidity level in your home and ensures the dehumidifier never drops below a safe level for allergies. Too low a relative humidity can cause the capillaries in your nose to become strained, and if this happens, you may notice symptoms similar to a rash.

Reduce Dust

A dehumidifier can help reduce common allergens, like dust mites, mold and dehumidification heat pump mildew. These allergens thrive in humid environments and can trigger allergies or asthma symptoms. By keeping humidity levels low, a heat pump dehumidifier can prevent them from flourishing.

Moisture is also a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses like fungus, mildew, and mold. When these organisms are left unchecked they can damage your property, ruin your health and cause breathing issues for those with respiratory conditions.

Fungus and mildew love to grow in dark, damp places where they can hide until the weather gets warmer. This creates a perfect environment for them to spread throughout a home or building and cause more problems. Dehumidification helps reduce the growth of these organisms and keeps them from forming, which means that you can keep your home or office free of nasty odors, damaging fungus and spores and harmful organisms.

A heat pump functions as both an air conditioner and a dehumidifier. When in cooling mode, it naturally removes moisture from the air as part of its cooling process. The evaporator coil absorbs the moisture and carries it away through the drain line to be deposited in a dehumidifier pan, which may be a water reservoir or a drainage tube. Dehumidifiers use a type of humidity-absorbing material called a desiccant to pull the excess moisture out of the air.