Improving Comfort in Hot-Humid Climates with a Whole-House Dehumidifier, Windermere, Florida (Fact Sheet)

Research output: NRELFact Sheet


Maintaining comfort in a home can be challenging in hot-humid climates. At the common summer temperature set point of 75 degrees F, the perceived air temperature can vary by 11 degrees F because higher indoor humidity reduces comfort. Often the air conditioner (AC) thermostat set point is lower than the desirable cooling level to try to increase moisture removal so that the interior air is nothumid or 'muggy.' However, this method is not always effective in maintaining indoor relative humidity (RH) or comfort. In order to quantify the performance of a combined whole-house dehumidifier (WHD) AC system, researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's Building America team Consortium of Advanced Residential Buildings (CARB) monitored the operation of two Lennox AC systems coupled witha Honeywell DH150 TrueDRY whole-house dehumidifier for a six-month period. By using a WHD to control moisture levels (latent cooling) and optimizing a central AC to control temperature (sensible cooling), improvements in comfort can be achieved while reducing utility costs. Indoor comfort for this study was defined as maintaining indoor conditions at below 60% RH and a humidity ratio of 0.012lbm/lbm while at common dry bulb set point temperatures of 74 degrees -80 degrees F. In addition to enhanced comfort, controlling moisture to these levels can reduce the risk of other potential issues such as mold growth, pests, and building component degradation. Because a standard AC must also reduce dry bulb air temperature in order to remove moisture, a WHD is typically needed to supportthese latent loads when sensible heat removal is not desired.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages2
StatePublished - 2013

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/FS-5500-60188

Other Report Number

  • DOE/GO-102013-4097


  • air conditioning
  • Building America
  • comfort
  • cooling
  • dehumidifiers
  • heat pump water heater
  • latent
  • moisture content
  • relative humidity
  • residential
  • residential buildings
  • sensible
  • thermostat set point


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