By Chris Savage
Moisture control…..what does that mean?
Relative humidity, dew point, condensation, evaporation, dry bulb, wet bulb, enthalpy, specific volume, humidity ratio, vapor pressure, dehumidification, desiccant, reheat, grains of moisture…..these are all terms that you might come across when you start talking about moisture control.
If any of this terminology is unfamiliar or maybe even a little scary, don’t worry, you are not alone. Moisture control can definitely be a challenging endeavor. But don’t worry, Carlson & Stewart Refrigeration has years of experience in dealing with moisture. Afterall, refrigeration is a very large part of moisture control.
Most of the time in a refrigerated space there is a need to limit moisture. Too much moisture can lead to wet and dripping walls and ceilings or ice and frost accumulation in unwanted areas. Is something like this troubling you? Have you done everything you can think of but the problem persists? What do you do next? Give Carlson & Stewart Refrigeration a call, we will have some ideas.
There are a variety of ways to reduce moisture in a space. The most common is simple refrigeration. The process of cooling air “wrings out the moisture”. This is why your air conditioning coil is always dripping. So, in order to remove moisture with refrigeration, the refrigeration needs to be running. One of the most common causes of high moisture is that the refrigeration system is oversized and therefore it simply doesn’t run enough to remove the moisture. CSR can help you determine if this is the case for you.
The next level of removing moisture is the combination of refrigeration with reheat. In this type of system, the air is cooled to remove moisture and then it is warmed back up a few degrees. This “reheated” air has more capacity to hold moisture and therefore will dry things out. If you have a dehumidifier in your basement, this is the process that unit utilizes. Is a reheat system right for you? Maybe, maybe not….Carlson & Stewart can help you figure it out.
The ultimate in dehumidification is through the use of some kind of desiccant. Have you ever opened a package of jerky or maybe dehydrated fruit and found a small packet at the bottom that say’s “Silica Gel, Do Not Eat”? This is a type of desiccant. Desiccant is a hygroscopic material that absorbs moisture from the air. There are a variety of different types of systems that use desiccant in some way to remove moisture from the air. These systems have the ability to significantly dry the air, well beyond what is possible with standard refrigeration or even refrigeration with reheat. Desiccant dehumidification is a costly approach to dehumidification but when moisture is enemy #1, it is sometimes the best approach.
Give Carlson & Stewart Refrigeration a call if you have a current moisture problem or are planning to avoid one in the future.