Controlling Humidity in an Energy Efficient Home
Okay guys, what we’re looking at here, this is the Ultra Aire. What this thing is is just a pure dehumidifier. That’s all it does, that’s its only goal in life, it’s the only thing it does. It goes by the thermostat, the Honeywell 9500, but we went with the Ultra Aire product ’cause in our opinion, it’s the top of the line.
All right, this is how the Ultra Aire works. We’re gonna keep it simple. We’re bringing in fresh air from outside, it’s conditioning, it’s got a supply and return duct. It’s all tied into supply and return so all this thing does is when it needs to dehumidify, it’s tied into your duct system which is tied into your house, so it pulls air out of your returns, it dumps it back into the supply, so it’s just running on a cycle. So anytime your Honeywell 9500, which is the best thermostat you can get, when it says that we have a high humidity in our house, the Ultra Aire works independent, by itself, and dehumidifies when the system’s not even running. So you’ve got this added feature that’s giving you this added comfort.
You know, people say, “Well, ain’t this another piece of equipment running?” Yes it is, this has got a real low amp draw. Now if I can keep that three ton unit from running and I can let this little Ultra Aire run, it’s less amperage so if I can keep the thermostat at 78 degrees instead of 72 degrees, common sense tells you that air conditioner’s not gonna run half as much. So this little fellow right here is doing 80% of the load and the big boy gets to take a break and rest.
I would put big money on it that this homeowner right here would probably have their thermostat set on 78 degrees. The humidity level in this house, we considered it 40, 45%, they can walk in here at 78 degrees and feel cold, I mean comfortable cold. Most people don’t understand heat and air conditioning. All an air conditioner is, guys, is dehumidification. I remember giving prices year ago and they’d have a three ton unit in the house and people go “Oh, give me a four ton.” That’s the wrong thing to do. What you want to do is, temperature is not the key, it’s the getting the moisture out of your house. Where you go home to your house and you don’t have dehumidification, you’re gonna walk in, it’s gonna feel sticky, muggy, and you’re not gonna feel good. You’re gonna get in the bed and you’re gonna be sweating, you’re like, “Turn the thermostat down, honey.” With the dehumidification, with the Honeywell 9500 thermostat, its got its own setting.
Now think about this, I can program that unit to stay on and dehumidify this house while my GEO unit’s not even running. This is where you save the big money. This is where you get your comfort level. This is where you get the safe home with no mold and mildew. Mold, mildew needs moisture. Without it, it can’t survive, so the horror stories that I’ve seen before is people spending all this money on these great units and the house is not dehumidified. You’ve got to control moisture ’cause you got an unhappy homeowner, you got an unhappy builder, and you got an unhappy heat and air owner ’cause he’s getting complaints instead of good calls. Do the right thing.
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If you are building your home and looking to manage the humidity levels, a whole house dehumidifier can greatly improve your comfort at home and save you money on your energy bills. Controlling humidity with the Ultra Aire [now Santa Fe] Dehumidifier is one of the most efficient methods in managing humidity.
Controlling humidity is no easy task in Raleigh, NC. While many of us enjoy spending time outdoors, the reality of our modern lifestyles leads us to spending most of our time in an air conditioned (heated or cooled) setting. On average, Americans spend nearly 90% of their time indoors. In climates like Raleigh – where heat and humidity can be severe for a large portion of the year – it makes sense that those building their own energy efficient home will search for solutions that provide comfortable temperatures in their homes year round. It’s important to realize that temperature is not the only thing that influences comfort – humidity plays a big role. In this blog, we’re going to talk about an effective way to keep your home comfortable, not just cool.
What Does a Dehumidifier Do?
A dehumidifier is used to reduce the humidity level in the air by removing excess moisture. It works by drawing in humid air, passing it over cooling coils, and collecting the condensation that forms as the air cools. The resulting water is then collected in a reservoir or drained out of the unit.
Humidity is the term for the amount of moisture that’s in the air. Relative humidity – the metric most often used for indoor humidity levels – is more about the air’s capacity to hold moisture.
What is a Comfortable Humidity Level?
For most people, comfortable humidity is around 30-50%. When humidity is low, we tend to feel much cooler than the actual temperature. For example:
- An air temperature of 75°F and relative humidity of 0%, feels like 69°F degrees
Compare this to:
- An air temperature of 75°F and relative humidity of 100%, feels like 80°F
The difference in “feels like” temperature – an 11° swing in this case – translates directly to comfort. This is especially important in an area like Raleigh that experiences an average annual humidity of 70%, with August being the most humid, averaging 78%.
Here’s a closer look at levels of ideal humidity for the home should vary according to the weather outside.
Keeping your home at 30-50% humidity is not just ideal, it’s essential. When your indoor air is too humid, the water vapor condenses on surfaces like your windows, walls, and furniture. If this happens regularly, it can lead to water damage and mold and mildew growth.
Whole House Dehumidifier
An excellent whole house dehumidifier is the Santa Fe Ultra 155 Dehumidifier, which delivers comfort and a healthier home in an economical way. The Sante Fe was formerly known as the Ultra Aire dehumidifier (the unit pictured in the video) and is manufactured by the same company. The company consolidated the brands under the Sante Fe name in 2021. Advantages of the Sante Fe Ultra 155 include:
The ability to continually remove humidity from your home allows you to stay comfortable at 78 instead of 70. That’s a big difference and it means your HVAC unit is not having to work as hard.
Helps Reduce Mold and Mildew Growth
Removing moisture which prevents the formation of mold and mildew. It’s not uncommon to find buildup on windows and doors. This can have negative effects on your health and home.
Improves Energy Efficiency
Dehumidifying enables you to keep your home at a higher temperature while feeling cool and comfortable – requiring less use of your AC unit. Running the Santa Fe home dehumidifier requires much less electricity than your large AC unit, saving both electricity costs and wear and tear on your AC unit.
We often think of temperature as the most important factor when it comes to comfort in our homes, when in fact, humidity is the key to a comfortable home. A whole home dehumidifier – like the Santa Fe Ultra 155 – provides a healthier, more comfortable home in a way that is more economical in the long-run.
Should I Get a Whole House Dehumidifier or Something Else?
This is a question you may be asking yourself, and the answer is simple. It depends on your needs! Portable dehumidifiers can be effective in a small, contained area like a basement, but they lack the capacity and effectiveness for larger areas or an entire house. Not everyone realizes that a whole house dehumidifier is an option that provides a more comprehensive solution. In comparison to a smaller, portable dehumidifier, a whole house dehumidifier delivers:
- Much larger capacity, meaning it can remove more moisture from the entire house, not just a specific room.
- Drastically improved airflow by using the existing ductwork that is already in your home.
- Ease of operation, whole house dehumidifiers empty water to a drain, while portable units collect the water, which requires you to empty it frequently.
If you are planning your new home build, now is the time to consider a dehumidification system. Whole house dehumidifier costs for installation are cheaper and the install is easier as you are building, rather than installing it after your home is completed.
For more information about whole house dehumidifiers, fill out the form below or check out our service page, and we can help you determine the right choice for your home.
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If you are building your home and looking to manage the humidity levels, a whole house dehumidifier can greatly improve your comfort at home and save you money on your energy bills.
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