Ventilation & Dehumidification, a Solution for Today's Extreme Weather

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Air conditioners alone are no longer a sufficient means of dehumidifying our homes.  This is due to more efficient buildings and more extreme weather.  When left unattended, excess humidity in our homes and workplaces can destroy our buildings.  Priority Energy has been a leader in designing whole home HVAC systems, and dehumidfication has become a standard part of the design strategy over the past two decades.

What's Changed?  Do I Really Need a Whole Home Dehumidifier in the Midwest?

The homes and offices we are building today, are not the same as the buildings we constructed even 10 years ago.  Our homes are becoming tighter, and better insulated which is great for reducing the amount of energy we consume to heat and cool our homes, not to mention they are typically more comfortable to live in.  

There are two types of heat an air conditioner must deal with.  Sensible (think temperature), and latent (think humidity or moisture related heat).  Unfortunately, central air conditioners are much better at removing sensible heat; approximately 70-80% of their capacity only deals with sensible.  Additionally, for the 20-30% humidity removal, the AC has to run at least 8 minutes before it's able to actually remove any moisture.  We call this the sensible to latent ratio or sensible heat ratio (SHR).

These high performing energy efficient homes (through better insulation and windows) are reducing the amount of sensible cooling we need, but unfortunately the amount of moisture we are putting into our homes (breathing, cooking, bathing, etc...) has not changed.  The SHR of our standard central ACs are no longer alligned with the way our homes are working.  Let's also not forget there are two seasons (spring/fall) where it's a bit too chilly to open the windows, but we're still dealing with humidity levels above our ideal range of 45-60% (dependent upon the outside temperatures).

There are also times during the winter, because of the efficiency of our homes, we will also need to dehumidify our homes, or we run the risk of creating condesation on our windows, walls and ceilings.  This is not to say our homes can not deal with some bits of condensation, but left uncheck this is a recipe for disaster.  It is critical to control humidity levels as outside temperatures flucuate.  The good news is, we can accomplish dehumidification through the introduction of outside air (ventilation), which is something we need anyway for a healthy home.

So What do we Do?

To combat the problem identified above we have two options:

  1. Install a HVAC system which includes:
    1. A properly sized variable speed furnace with a Multi-stage/variable speed AC combined with a
    2. Whole home ventilation system and a
    3. Thermostat and or standalone control which automates the control of humidification, ventilation, HVAC system fan speed, and AC staging based on outside temperature.
  2. Install an HVAC system which includes:
    1. A properly sized single stage furnace and AC or better combined with a
    2. Whole home ventilating dehumidifier and a
    3. Thermostat and or standalone control which automates the control of humidification, ventilation, heating, and cooling based on outside temperature.

Priority Energy is can help you design either system described above for your new or existing home/business.  Additionally, Priority Energy is also proud to provide Ultra-Aire ventilating dehumidifiers for sale and/or installation.

We offer Ultra-Aire's full line of ventilating dehumidifiers:

Call today to see how Priority Energy can help design your humidity control solution!  800.737.2299

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    A.S. Architect
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    BPI Student, L.E.
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