Humidity Control Products Gain Momentum

August 11, 2008
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The days of emptying the dehumidifier and filling the humidifier are passing quickly. There are still quite a few stand-alone models on the market, but manufacturers have turned to designing integrated devices and controls allowing homeowners to choose and maintain a comfort level without having to remember that when the wheel inside the big brown box in the living room stops turning, it needs more water.

There are, however, a few steps between the manufacturer and the homeowner in the supply chain and choosing the proper humidification or dehumidification solution is the responsibility of the HVAC contractor. Homeowners often come to contractors with a single complaint - discomfort. Resolving this discomfort requires multiple considerations for the contractor that extend beyond heating and cooling to humidity control, IAQ, etc.

Carrier’s Infinity System uses a single control to integrate and manage all six-comfort functions: temperature, humidity, airflow, ventilation, IAQ, and zoning.

SIX-IN-ONE CONTROL

Craig Todd, president of Godby Heating and Air Conditioning, Indianapolis, is a residential contractor and Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer. To help solve his customers’ humidity issues, he has been installing the Infinity System since 2003 and the Infinity System Air Purifier since late 2006. His North American Technician Excellence (NATE)-certified technicians commonly find themselves retrofitting the Infinity System to fit any existing home that has a humidity issue.

“We are also specifying the Infinity System in newer custom-built homes,” said Todd. “I personally have the Infinity System and Air Purifier in my home, and it makes for an incredibly comfortable living environment.”

According to Todd, the Infinity System is the first HVAC system to use a single control to integrate and manage all six-comfort functions: temperature, humidity, airflow, ventilation, IAQ, and zoning. The system includes the Infinity Control, a single control that allows for management of the entire system including levels of humidity in the home. It also offers enhanced communication capabilities, such as advising when it’s time for regular maintenance and filter changes.

“There’s no other system on the market with the brain trust of the Infinity System that allows the homeowner to adjust humidity levels and to control IAQ,” pointed out Todd. “The total system provides optimal operation and comfort in the home.”

Todd has seen the results in his home.

“For years, I set my home thermostat on 72°F and now I set my thermostat on 75° with the humidity set at 52 percent,” he said. “This saves energy and money, all while establishing the optimal indoor environment. The system provides optimal humidity levels and unmatched indoor air quality.”

He also benefits from the Infinity System as a contractor.

“The No. 1 benefit is proof of truly satisfied customers,” he noted. “Additionally, the profit margins are optimal for a dealer, and installation is made easy by the advanced technology in the controller. You literally plug in four wires and the system is ready to go.”

Beyond residential installations, typical applications include dental and doctor’s offices.

Rob Merholz, owner of All Temp Chicagoland Heating & Air Conditioning in Chicago, has discovered that using Aprilaire’s Automatic Digital Humidifier Control transfers the comfort responsibility from the homeowner to the unit.

CONTROLLING PROFIT

Rob Merholz, owner of All Temp Chicagoland Heating & Air Conditioning in Chicago, is a residential and small light commercial contractor who understands the benefit of specifying humidity control for the home and business owner. All Temp has been in business since 1938 and has been using Aprilaire products since they first came out with the whole-house humidifier in the 1950s.

According to Merholz, All Temp sells humidifiers based on the home- owners’ needs: comfort, health, protection, and energy savings.

“We have found that most customers purchase a humidifier based on health and comfort,” he noted. “Homeowners want to solve their issues with dry, scratchy throats and static electricity, and a whole-house humidifier solves those problems.”

To help contractors like Merholz, Aprilaire has created the Automatic Digital Humidifier Control for its line of humidifiers. The automatic digital humidifier control features a “Humidifier On” light. This green LED indicates when the humidifier is on and operating properly, helping to eliminate nuisance calls. Other features include a digital display of the home’s relative humidity (rh) percentage, and LEDs indicating when maintenance and service are required.

All Temp has also discovered that using this automatic control transfers the comfort responsibility from the homeowner to the unit. Working in conjunction with an outdoor temperature sensor to raise and lower the indoor rh percentage automatically, the control gives the homeowner the comfort desired while protecting the home from excessive moisture.

“The ‘set it and forget it’ feature of the automatic digital humidifier control provides the homeowner peace of mind,” said Merholz. “The desired level of indoor relative humidity is a moving target, depending on the outdoor temperature. A drop in outdoor temperature when the homeowner is away can lead to a very unhappy customer.”

According to Merholz, the most important aspect for every HVAC dealer is the bottom line, and his company has grown theirs with Aprilaire humidifier installations.

“All Temp has found that homeowners are willing to pay more for the features and benefits the new Aprilaire automatic digital humidifier control has to offer,” he pointed out.

“Also, the decrease in installation time and the reduction of nuisance calls means more profit on every job.”

Publication date: 08/11/2008

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