Energy-Efficient Management of Mechanical Ventilation and Relative Humidity in Hot-Humid Climates

Stacey Rothgeb, C. Withers, Stacey Rothgeb (NREL Technical Monitor)

Research output: NRELSubcontract Report


In hot and humid climates, it is challenging to energy-efficiently maintain indoor RH at acceptable levels while simultaneously providing required ventilation, particularly in high performance low cooling load homes. The fundamental problem with solely relying on fixed capacity central cooling systems to manage moisture during low sensible load periods is that they are oversized for cooler periods of the year despite being 'properly sized' for a very hot design cooling day. The primary goals of this project were to determine the impact of supplementing a central space conditioning system with 1) a supplemental dehumidifier and 2) a ductless mini-split on seasonal energy use and summer peak power use as well as the impact on thermal distribution and humidity control inside a completely furnished lab home that was continuously ventilated in accordance with ASHRAE 62.2-2013.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages87
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Work performed by Building America Partnership for Improved Residential Construction, Cocoa, Florida

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/SR-5500-65002

Other Report Number

  • DOE/GO-102016-4766


  • Building America
  • dehumidification
  • ductless mini-split
  • mechanical ventilation
  • relative humidity control
  • residential
  • residential buildings


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