HVACP

WIN 2017/18

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Installation of in-wall dehumidifi er. N E W S Y O U N E E D , P R O D U C T S Y O U W A N T S upplemental dehumidification ensures appropriate humidity and proper indoor air quality along with building occupant comfort, while providing cost savings. And one apartment complex in Lexington, North Carolina was missing out on these benefits. Because the complex was having moisture issues, it was selected for installation of trial dehumidifica- tion systems and mold prevention assessments to measure the effectiveness of an in-wall dehumidifier. This multifamily housing development struggled with year-round high humidity, and several units experienced various moisture-related issues ranging from mild to severe. Excessive moisture is often an unintended consequence of increased energy codes, high-performance building design and tighter construction. In many cases, the air conditioner does not run long enough to remove excess moisture, which results in mold growth, poor indoor air quality and structural damage to properties. Controlling moisture is the only way to prevent mold from growing inside buildings. Innovative Dehumidifier Systems, LLC had the answer to the apartment complex's challenge — the IW25. This in-wall dehumidifier is tamper proof, quiet, drains to existing plumbing and can be easily and quickly installed by a maintenance technician. Once the installation location was confirmed in unit 416 — an occupied two-bedroom unit with a 1.5 ton split system air conditioner and the thermostat set to 76 degrees — a rough opening based on the dimensions of the IW25 unit was made into the mechanical closet. The IW25 unit was then placed into the rough opening and secured to the studs. Upon installation, the drain hose was connected to the existing air handler condensate drain using a PVC saddle-tap fitting. The IW25 was plugged in and the built-in auto-dehumidistat was set at 45 percent. The installation, as well as a thorough explanation of the installation steps to those in attendance, including questions and answers throughout the process, was completed in just under two hours. A typical installation takes approximately one hour to complete. An unoccupied two-bedroom unit, also with a 1.5 ton split system air conditioner, was used as a comparison. This unit did not have an IW25 installed, and the AC thermostat was set at 76 degrees and had an average relative humidity of 67- 71 percent. Temperature and humidity levels were monitored for a month with reports demonstrating that the unit with the IW25 decreased humidity levels by an average of 23 percent. The relative humidity was monitored and measured by an iMonnit data logger and sensor system. Within two hours of the installation, the IW25 had reduced relative humidity to below 60 percent and, by the next day, was consistently maintaining an average indoor relative humidity of 45-47 percent. The maximum recommended RH should always remain below 60 percent. The results of this study demonstrated the profound impact of supplemental dehumidification when used in new construction multifamily housing. The installation of the IW25 quickly lowered relative humidity to a consistent 45-47 percent without requiring a change in sensible temperature. The indoor environment was improved and occupant comfort was maintained. By contrast, without the benefit of the IW25, the AC system struggled to maintain a consistent temperature as a result of the latent (moisture) load inside the unoccupied apartment. The system, working in conjunction with the IW25, maintained a steady temperature range, which garnered a reduc- tion in moisture, as well as the energy load on the AC. In addition, tighter building envelopes and oversizing of ACs mean shorter run cycles, which leads to higher concentrations of moisture. This can result in visible mold growth. Most residents notice a reduction in AC usage as a by-product of the apparent temperature equivalent where people experience comfort at a higher sensible temperature when humidity is lower. The IW25 provided a more consistent and comfortable indoor environment, as well as a less conducive environment for mold to grow at a significantly reduced rate of power consumption. CHECK OR CIRCLE #154 In-wall dehumidifier rises to moisture, mold challenge at N.C. apartment complex dehumidifi ers/ case study Getting the Balance Right NEWS YOU NEED, PRODUCTS YOU WANT Learn more about featured products at HVACPproducts.com/ market HVACPproducts.com/subscribe

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