A temperamental environment, indoor pool humidity control is an essential component of every natatorium. Without the addition of a dehumidification system, facilities would be nearly unbearable to use and short-lived due to moisture issues. Most indoor pool owners have little insight into the function of these systems, however, making it difficult for them to ensure the dehumidification needs of their pool room are met, putting natatorium lifespan at risk.
A Plethora of Pool Room Factors
Complicating this process, a wide array of factors impact pool room comfort and dehumidification system performance. External temperature and humidity, water temperature, occupancy, and more can all impact relative humidity (RH) levels in the pool room. Best kept in the 50-60% RH , 84-degree F water temperature, and 82-degree room temperature range, humidity and evaporation must be carefully managed, with special attention paid to air circulation patterns integral to controlling humidity, evaporation rate, and condensation formation.
Which Dehumidification System Best Manages Humidity & Temperature in my Natatorium?
Balancing comfort, cost, and appearance involves compromise…
- Ventilation-Based Dehumidifiers
Ventilation-based dehumidifiers use outside air to remove moisture. Installation complexity and up-front costs are lower with these systems, however they come with limitations. In the summer, temperature and humidity control are limited, and can only be maintained within +/-30% from setpoint, making it difficult for these systems to cool below ambient temperature in the summer. Ventilation-based systems are also less efficient than mechanical dehumidification systems, particularly in the winter. In areas with cold winters and short, hot summers, your commercial HVAC service provider can improve efficiency with an air-to-air heat recovery addition. This can reduce space heating requirements in the winter by 50% – albeit at the expense of a 25-30% higher system installation.
- Mechanical Dehumidification Systems
Mechanical dehumidification systems, such as the Dectron dehumidifier, operate much like conventional HVAC units, but with an added function: A heat pump cycle capable of reclaiming heat energy created during dehumidification for re-use in both heating pool water and/or controlling natatorium climate. Though a higher initial investment than ventilation-based dehumidifiers, this added functionality equates to lower operational costs over the life of the equipment, as most pools require heating throughout the year, and these systems provide it without the need for an auxiliary heating system. In regions with long hot seasons and high humidity, commercial heating and air conditioning contractors often recommend mechanical systems as a more practical choice. They dehumidify on cooler days, maintaining setpoint humidity levels regardless of outside conditions without the limitations of ventilation-bases systems. They can also provide ventilation as needed, as well as offer the ability to recycle waste heat for efficient re-use in the winter with the addition of a pool water condenser, and the capacity to reject waste heat and cool natatorium space in the summer for superior year-round comfort.
Ensure a pool dehumidification and environmental control system specially designed to meet your natatorium’s unique needs. Contact H&H Commercial HVAC in Philadelphia to learn more about available systems and uncover which system offers the best fit for your pool room and budget today.