This document covers a description of the need and applied solutions for supplemental dehumidification in warm-humid climates, especially for energy efficient homes where the sensible cooling load has been dramatically reduced.
The overall goal of the DOE residential research program is to reduce average whole house energy use in new residential buildings by 30-90 percent by 2020, including homes that achieve zero net energy use on an annual basis. High performance space conditioning and control systems that match the high performance of Building America enclosures are necessary to meet performance targets. Conditioning systems with integrated mechanical ventilation and year-around temperature and humidity control are necessary. The most significant climate-specific need is for system-integrated dehumidification for humidity control without overcooling the space. Cost-effective dehumidification without overcooling will enable continued and further reduction of sensible loads (including high-performance glazing) that would otherwise exacerbate humidity control problems in humid climates.