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BA-0219: Residential Dehumidification Systems Research for Hot-Humid Climates

By Armin Rudd, Joseph Lstiburek and Kohta Ueno    Created: 2002/10/31

Twenty homes were tested and monitored in the hot-humid climate of Houston, Texas, U.S.A., to evaluate the humidity control performance and operating cost of six different integrated dehumidification and ventilation systems that could be applied by production homebuilders. Fourteen houses, that also met measured energy efficiency criteria, had one of the six directly- or indirectly-integrated dehumidification and ventilation systems. Three reference houses had the same energy efficiency measures and controlled mechanical ventilation, while three other reference houses met code minimums for energy efficiency and did not have mechanical ventilation. Temperature and relative humidity were monitored at four living-space locations and in the conditioned attic where the space-conditioning equipment and air-distribution ducts were located. Equipment operational time was monitored for heating, cooling, dehumidification, and ventilation. Results showed that energy efficiency measures, combined with controlled mechanical ventilation, change the sensible and latent cooling load fractions such that supplemental dehumidification, in addition to that provided by the central cooling system, is required to maintain indoor relative humidity below 60% throughout the year. The system providing the best overall value, including humidity control, first cost, and operating cost, involved a standard dehumidifier located in a hall closet with a louvered door and central-fan-integrated supply ventilation with fan cycling.

 

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