Measure Guideline: Supplemental Dehumidification in Warm-Humid Climates

Research output: NRELSubcontract Report


This document covers a description of the need and applied solutions for supplemental dehumidification in warm-humid climates, especially for energy efficient homes where the sensible cooling load has been dramatically reduced. In older homes in warm-humid climates, cooling loads are typically high and cooling equipment runs a lot to cool the air. The cooling process also removes indoor moisture,reducing indoor relative humidity. However, at current residential code levels, and especially for above-code programs, sensible cooling loads have been so dramatically reduced that the cooling system does not run a lot to cool the air, resulting in much less moisture being removed. In these new homes, cooling equipment is off for much longer periods of time especially during spring/fallseasons, summer shoulder months, rainy periods, some summer nights, and some winter days. In warm-humid climates, those long off periods allow indoor humidity to become elevated due to internally generated moisture and ventilation air change. Elevated indoor relative humidity impacts comfort, indoor air quality, and building material durability. Industry is responding with supplementaldehumidification options, but that effort is really in its infancy regarding year-round humidity control in low-energy homes. Available supplemental humidity control options are discussed. Some options are less expensive but may not control indoor humidity as well as more expensive and comprehensive options. The best performing option is one that avoids overcooling and avoids adding unnecessaryheat to the space by using waste heat from the cooling system to reheat the cooled and dehumidified air to room-neutral temperature.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages45
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Work performed by Building Science Consortium, Somerville, Massachusetts

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/SR-5500-62677

Other Report Number

  • DOE/GO-102014-4502


  • BSC
  • Building America
  • condenser reheat
  • cooling
  • dehumidification
  • dehumidifiers
  • elevated humidity
  • enhanced cooling
  • hot-humid
  • humidity
  • humidity control
  • humidity set point
  • moisture generation
  • relative humidity
  • residential
  • residential buildings
  • sub-cooling reheat
  • supplemental dehumidification
  • ventilation


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