Heating • Cooling • Air Quality • Humidity Comfort • Air Duct Cleaning • Ductless

Humidity Comfort

Most people assume temperature control is the only key to comfort. Surprisingly, humidity has a significant effect on how we perceive the temperature. For example, Arizona has 100 degree weather, but it doesn’t seem as warm as Chicago because of the lower humidity level. Fortunately, HVAC contractors have realized that seasonally adjusting humidity control leads to more comfortable customers. Here in the Midwest, we need to add humidity during the winter, and remove humidity during the summer. Better controlled humidity leads to air conditioning systems and heating systems running less, which means a lower cooling and heating bill.

Bypass Humidifier: Typically the cheapest humidifier to install, bypass humidifiers use the airflow of the heating system to add humidity. Unfortunately, when the humidified air is directed back into the heat system, some moisture is removed from the air, making this system inefficient. The furnace raises the air temperature 40-70 degrees which is then redirected through to bypass humidifier and into the return air of the furnace. This process increases the overall temperature of the heat equipment, which in turn shortens the entire heating system’s life span. Furnaces that overheat have considerably more failures, causing frequent and costly repairs. Bypass model humidifiers will also cause your furnace to lose some of its efficiency. That being said, bypass humidifiers are best for small spaces where the larger power humidifiers may not fit.

Power Humidifier: Dutchman prefers power humidifiers, which add humidity into the outgoing airflow without redirecting the humidified air back through the HVAC heat system. Despite the higher upfront investment, this equipment has a higher output of humidity, can handle larger areas, humidifies air faster, and lasts longer.

Steam Humidifier: Dutchman carries a reliable and well-designed steam humidifier, which is the most efficient way to humidify warm air. Unfortunately, these are the most expensive because they require their own electric line and cannot share power with the furnace.

All humidifiers should be cleaned annually and the panel replaced at time of cleaning (some require the need to have it done twice a year), preferably when the furnace is cleaned and checked. Dutchman offers this service through our Customer Rewards Program, which includes annual heating & air conditioning maintenance.
Dehumidifiers: We carry whole-home dehumidifiers to remove extra humidity in the home. Aprilaire dehumidifiers have a five year warranty and are easy to maintain. Unlike a small dehumidifier, they do not have buckets of water to empty, they last much longer, they cost less to operate, and they remove that “musty” smell from the basement. By removing up to 6x the moisture from the air as a box store unit, the home does not need to be kept as cold in order to feel comfortable.

Using Your Air Conditioner: HVAC providers have three ways to remove summer humidity with the air conditioner: selecting the proper size system, providing advanced airflow options, and using two-stage cooling. Most AC contractors choose cooling systems that are too large for the home they are installed in. Oversized AC units cost more up front, cost more to run, and have a high cost of air conditioning. Two-story homes often have upstairs that are too warm, downstairs that are too cold, and minimal humidity removal because the air conditioner unit did not run long enough. During your free home comfort analysis, Dutchman often does a load calculation so you have correct air conditioner sizing for your home.

Dutchman also provides clients with a proprietary blend of products to vary airflow during air conditioner operation. Our factory-trained technicians use these features during air conditioner installation to maximize the equipment’s advertised potential. When performing air conditioner repairs on past clients’ equipment, we found they were sold the proper products but the original contractor didn’t set them up correctly. After fixing the air conditioning, clients had better humidity removal and found they could keep their thermostat at a higher temperature.

Ideally, variable speed cooling is the best for home air conditioning. Families can run the energy efficient cooling system slower for a longer time period, allowing the AC equipment to dehumidify the entire home and remove warm pockets of air which will keep you closer to your perfect temperature instead of uncomfortable larger temperature swings.