Home Air Quality: Dehumidifying Heat Pumps

In some areas and during some seasons, humidity is the biggest threat to home air quality. The level of moisture in the air not only affects comfort, it can also be a cause of health problems and lead to structural damage over time. High humidity levels create an environment where mold, mildew and bacteria thrive. The heat from conventional heating systems usually works to dry the air, which is often drier in the winter anyway. This natural dehumidification makes a dehumidifier unnecessary. Sometimes to be comfortable in warmer weather only requires drier air. In these situations, a dehumidifier might be all that’s necessary to improve your home air quality. Running a dehumidifier rather than an air conditioner can significantly reduce energy costs. Heat pumps can also be used to reduce the humidity in your home. When a heat pump is reversed in warmer weather to pump heat out of your home, it works the same way as a conventional air conditioner. Because of the design of the coils, ground-air heat pumps do a better job of reducing humidity to improve home air quality than conventional air conditioners. Ground-air heat pumps draw heat from the ground in winter and deliver it to the ground in summer. Air-air heat pumps, which draw heat from outside air in winter and deliver heat to outside air in summer, have about the same dehumidifying capability as conventional air conditioners. The advantage of the dehumidifying capability of the heat pump over conventional air conditioning is the heat pump generally requires less energy to run. The disadvantage is the heat pump can only run efficiently when the temperatures are rather mild throughout the year. Heat pumps do not work well when temperatures regularly drop below freezing or soar above the century mark. When considering the dehumidifying effects of a heat pump to improve your home air quality, it is important to consider the type of heat pump as well as the typical climate in your area. We are ready to help fill in the details to find the best solution for your individual situation. Call Spencer Heating & Air today for your HVAC needs.