Understanding Relative Humidity and How to Control it Indoors

Understanding relative humidity (RH) begins with understanding two key aspects: RH and dew point temperature. The dew point temperature is the specific temperature where moisture in the atmosphere condenses in dew form on surfaces with a lower temperature. For most people, the most comfortable level of environmental RH is somewhere between 40% and 60%, but it can be comfortable at a higher percentage in colder temperatures. Specific applications often require other ranges to meet a particular specification or facilitate certain processes. In industrial applications, operations tend to specify dew point instead of percent RH.


Learn more about relative humidity, the importance of monitoring it, and how to control humidity in a building or facility.

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When to Consider Adding a Commercial Dehumidification System to Your Present HVAC System

When a project calls for a constant, specific room dew point above 50°F in its operation, normally the addition of a commercial A/C system is the first step. Room air conditioning will remove a certain amount of moisture while adding cool air to the space for comfort.

If the desired dew point is not met with the addition of an A/C system the best solution is to add a commercial DCA mechanical dehumidification system to achieve the desired result. Unwanted moisture can come from many sources, such as moisture released through a specific process that has to be addressed. Moisture from outdoor air being introduced into a room along with a dedicated exhaust fan is also a major factor that has to be considered, especially in wet climates. For example, moisture can enter a room through building walls and ceilings without a vapor barrier, leaky windows and doors, or doors being intermintally opened to a space. These are some of the most obvious examples but other less obvious examples may also be a factor.

Commercial indoor swimming pools and hot tubs used in motels, hotels, YMCAs, Boys and Girls Clubs, high schools, nursing homes, therapy pools, and others are always best served by DCA dehumidification systems because of the large moist load present that must be controlled.

Rooms that require a dew point of less than 50°F rely on desiccant dehumidifiers to maintain the desired dewpoint. While DCA does not carry desiccant dehumidifiers, we can supply a mechanical dehumidifier that removes the largest amount of the moisture to reliably work with a desiccant dehumidifier. The mechanical dehumidifier removes the majority of the moisture load from the room so the desiccant dehumidifier can lower the dew point to a precise range below 50°F.

Vegetable plants in rows in an indoor grow room   

Does Your Commercial Space Need Dehumidification?

Dehumidification is a vital consideration for projects that require maintaining a constant specific dew point. It can help remove large moisture loads and lower dew points that ordinary A/C systems cannot. Some typical commercial settings that use DCA dehumidification, other than indoor pools mentioned above, are the printing industry to control registry, the indoor grow industry for clean vegetable and medical marijuana growth, rooms for assembly work, warehousing, the grinding industry using water-based coolant to cool tooling, fresh and waste water treatment plants, the packaging industry for packing material that will naturally take on moisture and negatively compromise the end product.

In general terms, any industry that is negatively compromised by uncontrolled moisture will enjoy the benefits of dehumidification. At DCA, our sales engineers help facility operators determine the ideal dehumidification solution for their projects.

Benefits of Adding a Dehumidifier to Your HVAC System:

Conventional central air conditioning is the first step to reducing the moisture in a room. If a central air conditioning unit does not deliver the dew point required, a commercial dehumidification solution will solve the problem.

Hot and humid air requires more energy to cool. A dehumidifier can reduce the cost of cooling a space by reducing stress on the air conditioner and energy consumption. Reduced humidity can also improve air quality, preventing the prevalence of mold, bacteria, viruses, and dust mites.

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When to Consider Adding a Commercial Dehumidification System to Your Present HVAC System

Selecting the Appropriate Dehumidifier Options That Best Suit Your Needs

When selecting a dehumidification option that is suitable for an application, the following considerations are to be considered:

  • A vertical or horizontal configuration
  • A standard end discharge or an optional bottom or top configuration
  • Rooftop, indoor, or outdoor installation
  • Single or three-phase power
  • Electric or gas heating
  • BMS control with BACnet
  • Custom controls for integration into existing BMS
  • Provisions for outdoor air introduction to the space through the dehumidifier
  • Water cooling or remote condenser
  • Class 1 Division 2 rating to meet explosion-proof requirements
  • Increased or decreased airflow deviation from our standard catalog of dehumidifiers
  • Various other custom options to suit any specifications

Why DCA?

At DCA, our sales engineers convey their extensive knowledge and experience in dehumidification by providing solutions to our clients. We specialize in dehumidification and offer solutions for custom dehumidification projects. In the few cases where a project exceeds our knowledge, we will refer you to the people that can fulfill your needs.

Contact Us Today for Custom Dehumidification Solutions

Various projects require maintaining a consistent dew point for performance and function. A dehumidifier is an ideal solution when a process or environmental factor is creating high humidity that a commercial air conditioner alone cannot eliminate. We can add a dehumidifier to an HVAC system to reduce stress on the air conditioner and help you maintain the desired dewpoint in a space that would be too humid without it.

When selecting an HVAC dehumidifier for your space, there are various considerations, including the position and configuration of the dehumidifier, BMS integration, airflow, and custom options to enhance performance. At DCA, we specialize in mechanical dehumidifiers for commercial HVAC applications. Our specialists have the knowledge and experience to help you find a solution that suits your needs.

Contact us to learn more about our custom dehumidification solutions, or request a quote today.

Industrial Moisture & Humidity Control – A Dehumidifier Guide

Out-of-control humidity and moisture can be quite destructive and reduce the effectiveness of manufacturing equipment. Many industries rely on industrial humidity control to keep inventory and other assets safe from airborne moisture.

A commercial dehumidifier can be categorized as either desiccant or mechanical in their construction. This article will focus on mechanical dehumidifiers, in which DCA specializes. Mechanical dehumidifiers work best in environments with air room temperatures below 95°F and dew points above 50°F. When a lower dew point is present, a desiccant system is needed which often works in tandem with a mechanical system.

Using Dehumidifiers for Humidity Control

Most work facilities already have functioning air conditioning as part of their central HVAC system. Air conditioning will naturally contribute to moisture reduction while also adding cool air into the space. However, air conditioning may not be enough to meet all dehumidification needs. This is especially true as the room gets colder.

A commercial dehumidification system will be more efficient in managing humidity levels than air conditioning alone. As the primary function of air conditioning is only temperature control, it would be quite expensive to use it as a dehumidifier. Not to mention that workers may be uncomfortably cold if an A/C is used as a dehumidifier. A commercial dehumidifier will be much more cost-efficient, while also keeping temperatures at a comfortable level. Additionally, a commercial dehumidifier can provide cold dry air or warm dry air which helps in reducing temperature control costs.

No two businesses are the same, and many require their own unique humidity control systems. A successful dehumidification system needs to be tailored to the specific operation. That’s why working with DCA is especially helpful. Our team has over 100 years of collective experience and can take a consultative approach with every client regardless of industry.

Vertical Dehumidifier

Vegetable plants in rows in an indoor grow room

Humidity and Moisture Control in Industrial Applications

The need for commercial dehumidifiers can be found in countless industries. Here are some of the major examples:

  • Hospitality and recreational swimming pools– Whether a spa or a hotel, indoor pools will almost certainly need some type of commercial humidity control. Not only does a dehumidifier prevent microbial growth, but it will also keep guests comfortable. A muggy pool room can be difficult to enjoy, negatively affecting the reputation of your business.
  • Greenhouses and vertical grow farms– No matter the crop, plants will behave differently at certain humidity levels. While high humidity levels can reduce the need for irrigation, it also increases the risk of plant disease. Most indoor grow operations require some level of dehumidification to keep crops productive.
  • Warehouse and Storage– Too much moisture can wreak havoc on a warehouse. This can include damaged kit materials, damaged inventory, accelerated corrosion on machinery, and even damage to the warehouse structure itself. Regardless of the items being stored, humidity can create problems for any warehouse. A properly installed industrial humidity control system can minimize these risks.
  • Manufacturing– Specific manufacturing facilities may have strict limits for humidity tolerances. This is especially true for the food industry, the pharmaceutical industry, and electronics. While humidity increases the risk of microbial infections and corrosion, it also presents a risk of static electricity damage. Most manufacturers try to keep humidity levels between 40% and 60%, but this can vary based on what is being produced.
  • Printing– As the printing business often relies on rapid drying ink, humidity can play a role in the quality of print jobs. Low humidity rates can increase static charge and defect rates. While each type of printing has its own unique needs, we can provide solutions for common types of industrial printing. This includes Gravure printing, screen printing, sheet-fed offset printing, and web offset rotary printing.
  • Fresh and Waste Water Treatment Plants– Well-maintained humidity is critical for the maintenance of fresh and wastewater treatment facilities. These plants have a large number of metal surfaces across their entire operation. As these machines are treating water, this tends to lower the room’s temperature below the dew point. As such, moisture and dew will accumulate on the machinery, creating risks for corrosion and rust. An industrial humidity control system can help regulate dew points and humidity to minimize the risk of dew accumulation.
  • Grinding Industry– It is common for the grinding industry to use water-based lubricants. In these scenarios, water is sprayed directly onto the tools to act as both a lubricant and cooling agent. This causes humidity levels to increase. Humidity problems tend to escalate in colder months when doors and windows are left closed. To help stop rust from forming on surface metals, an industrial dehumidifier is needed.
  • Medical Industry– The medical industry is as sensitive to humidity as the food industry. In some applications, even more so. Many pharmaceutical drugs are reactive to water. As such, improper levels of humidity can make these drugs unusable. Controlling humidity levels can also help maintain sterile conditions.
    Plastic Bottle Manufacturing– Plastic is particularly vulnerable to static during the production phase. Proper humidity control can help minimize the risks posed by static electricity.
  • Fitness Centers and Gyms– In any room that has many sweating participants, the moisture in the room will increase. This can create a muggy feeling that is uninviting to guests. Additionally, the increased humidity can cause gym equipment to deteriorate faster than in a dry environment.
    Packaging and Blending Rooms– Many packaging materials act as a desiccant, meaning they will absorb the moisture in the air. If they absorb too much, they can slow down and even clog automated packaging machines.

Choosing the Best Dehumidifier for Your Application From DCA

When it comes to dehumidification, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Even in similar industries, different dehumidification systems are often needed. Here are some things to consider when designing a dehumidification system:

  • Where is the moisture coming from? Is it being released at certain times?
  • Is outdoor air being introduced into the space? Are there any exhaust fans or gravity ducts in operation?
  • Are leaky doors or windows contributing to humidity or dew point levels? Are doors to the outside being opened periodically?
  • What humidity and dew point levels are required for your application?
  • What air room temperature is required for your project?
  • Is the area air-conditioned or heated?
  • What is the geographical location of the facility? Humid climates tend to be more challenging.
  • What type of material was used in the building construction?
  • How many people typically work in the space?

These questions, and several others, are considered by the engineers at DCA when designing your system. Our goal is to provide you with the best dehumidification system that is specifically tailored to your needs and operation. We rely on industry-leading equipment to provide our clients with the best dehumidification solutions.

We have worked with countless industries and clients to solve their humidity needs, including indoor pools, large industrial dehumidifier solutions, outdoor dehumidification systems, grow house dehumidification systems, and custom dehumidification systems. We are the trusted experts when it comes to humidity control.

Contact Our Experts for Custom Dehumidification Solutions

To learn more about our selection of industrial humidity control solutions, don’t hesitate to contact us today. If you already have a project in mind, feel free to request a quote.

Selecting the Best Commercial Dehumidifier for Your Needs

High humidity poses a serious problem for many facilities. Not only does excess moisture make occupants uncomfortable, but it can render a room less safe, encouraging mold growth and interfering with electrical devices. Similarly, in a warehouse or factory setting, uncontrolled humidity can damage products or even interrupt processing.

Maintaining a relatively dry atmosphere is essential to preventing these outcomes. However, residential dehumidifiers are not powerful enough for large spaces or high-volume requirements. Instead, facilities can turn to commercial dehumidifiers, which can remove anywhere from a few pounds to several hundred pounds of water each day. These systems make it simple to regulate air quality specifications, no matter the size of the space.

Commercial dehumidifiers can be split into two groups based on their mechanism of action. Desiccant units use materials like silica gel to extract moisture, while mechanical ones rely on refrigeration to condense water and remove it from the air. At DCA, we specialize in powerful mechanical dehumidifiers that perform well in diverse environments. These systems ensure consistent ventilation and optimal moisture management to keep interiors healthy and comfortable.

Where To Use a Commercial Dehumidifier?

Mechanical dehumidifiers are best suited for environments with dew points over 50° F and temperatures between 60° and 90° F. This range makes them effective for many types of buildings, ranging from fitness centers to factories. They work well for even high-volume needs and can help facilities comply with strict health and safety regulations.

Some of the many applications of commercial dehumidifiers include, but are not limited to:

  • Indoor swimming pool rooms of any size
  • Therapeutic pools, whirlpools, spas, and hydrotherapy centers
  • Hotels, motels, fitness centers, gyms, and retirement homes
  • Retirement homes, residential care homes, hospitals, schools and universities
  • Processing and blending facilities where hygroscopic material are being used
  • Wastewater and freshwater management facilities
  • Climate and humidity controlled warehousing
  • Grow rooms, aquaculture, and vertical farming
  • Machining and grinding operations where water-based coolant is used to cool tooling
  • Custom applications where a desired specific dew point is critical
  • High moisture load applications housed in small volume spaces
  • 100% outdoor air applications

Many other applications are possible, and custom units are available to accommodate unique demands.

DCA Commercial Dehumidifiers

DCA offers a full range of commercial dehumidifiers designed for permanent installation. Before choosing a unit, it is important to define environmental variables and operating parameters. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Desired room temperature served by the dehumidifier
  • Desired dew point and humidity set point for the application
  • Room size, building air infiltration, doors and windows, occupants
  • Area climate data for the project
  • Moisture load and source to be removed in lbs/hr
  • Outdoor make-up air requirements
  • Any unusual requirements such as a particularly dirty or dusty conditions

Typically, the system should provide six to eight air turns per hour. DCA can help you identify the ideal model to meet this requirement.

Whatever the specific model, all DCA dehumidifiers conform to high quality standards, offering high moisture removal rates with low energy consumption. Most are designed with attached ducting for permanent installation, all supported by durable construction. Outfitted with heavy-duty steel cabinets, these professional industrial dehumidifier units can endure harsh environments for prolonged periods of time. They also support continuous operation and a variety of return air filtration options.

DCA’s high-performance dehumidifiers offer the following capabilities:

  • Remove large volumes of moisture present
  • Operate on 208/230 volt (1- & 3-phase) or 460 or 575 volt (3-phase)
  • Interface with building management systems
  • Heat or cool the room in tandem with dehumidification
  • Work with add-ons for particle control, odor removal, water heating, and more

Together, these benefits make DCA’s offerings exceptionally versatile. Whatever your dehumidification needs, the DCA team will work to match your requirements with the ideal commercial unit.

Why Work With DCA?

Dehumidifier Corporation of America is approaching 30 years of building expertise in dehumidification. The result is a comprehensive catalog that features the best commercial dehumidifiers in the industry. DCA’s portfolio includes dehumidifiers for hot tubs and pools, industrial facilities, indoor grow rooms, and public buildings with 100% outdoor make-up air systems.

DCA is proud to offer systems featuring state-of-the-art technology at competitive price points. Standard options include:

  • Horizontal or vertical configurations
  • Single or three-phase power options
  • External gas or electric heat power sources
  • BMS control by BACnet
  • Indoor or outdoor/rooftop installation
  • Water source cooling
  • Dedicated control systems that interface with present building management systems

Custom solutions are also available for clients with specialized needs. A skilled engineering team is available to assist all clients with evaluating models against their facility’s individualized needs and constraints. We can help design a customized dehumidifier plan for you.

Commercial dehumidification is complicated, and DCA can help you find the best option to protect your products, staff, and facilities. To learn more about available models, review the latest dehumidifier catalog. For more personal guidance, contact the team or request your free project analysis today.

Greenhouse Dehumidifiers | A Grower’s Humidity Control Guide

Greenhouses are essential for the year-round cultivation of fruits, vegetables, and other plants, but they pose some unique humidity and climate control challenges. The space can get especially warm during the day, then as the outside temperature drops at night, condensation can form on cooler surfaces. 

Changing temperatures and humidity levels don’t allow for optimal plant growth, as many types of plants require very specific conditions to thrive. For greenhouse farmers, a greenhouse dehumidifier is key to ensuring a successful crop.

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Outdoor Air Dehumidifiers 101: Types and Applications

In humid climates, outdoor dehumidifiers are a practical solution for creating a more comfortable indoor environment. These versatile systems can be ducted into the air handling unit (AHU) or placed directly in the room, if necessary. As they remove the stale or odor-filled air from a home, office, or other space, they dehumidify the make-up air as it’s drawn in.

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What to Consider When Selecting a Dehumidifier For Your Industrial Application

The type of dehumidification system you select will dictate how well it performs within your industrial space. For example, selecting a system that is too small will not remove the proper amount of moisture from the facility. Having the proper commercial dehumidifier is necessary to protect a wide variety of facilities from corrosion to equipment, mold and mildew buildup, or damage to raw materials. 

Through the use of industrial dehumidifiers, facility managers and owners will be able to effectively control humidity levels, room temperatures, and dew points. As you search for a dehumidifier for your facility, it’s important to find one that’s the right size based on your application’s unique requirements.

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Choosing the Best Dehumidifier Type for Your Application

Dehumidifiers are needed when the control of relative humidity is critical. They are invaluable for alleviating high humidity, mold, mildew and corrosion that come from poor insulation, high dew point outdoor air, or insufficient control of room temperature. Depending on your specific needs, dehumidifiers are available in residential, commercial, and industrial varieties. While residential dehumidifiers (normally portable and operate on a 115 volt power) are smaller, quieter, and less expensive, they are not suitable for large spaces. In these cases, commercial or industrial models are the better choice.

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Swimming Pool Room Dehumidification Systems

Efficient dehumidification actively prevents structural damage, lowers energy costs and improves a room’s climate. DCA understands the importance of maintaining swimming pool room dehumidification and works with many swimming pool room applications to create ideal, precise solutions for small to large spaces.

Given our experience encompassing large-scale hotel pools to small, specialized therapy pool rooms, DCA is best at differentiating needs per application and working to develop the ideal dehumidifier solution. To satisfy any energy-saving goals you may have, we offer water-cooled versions of every dehumidification–plus, each one is factory-tested for guaranteed high performance.

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Refrigerant for Dehumidification Systems

DCA, like all other refrigerant-based equipment manufacturers, moved away from potentially ozone-depleting refrigerants years ago for various reasons. DCA now uses two refrigerants, R-407C and R-410A, each with technical and thermodynamic advantages to consider.

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Want to learn more troubleshooting tips ?

We’ve only looked at three common problems here, but there are a host of other issues that can cause dehumidifier malfunctioning.

To read more about what can go wrong with dehumidifiers and learn how to fix problems quickly and efficiently, download our free dehumidifier troubleshooting guide today.

Download our Free Troubleshooting Guide
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