LAS VEGAS — Meeting customers’ humidification and dehumidification needs year-round can be challenging, which is why HVAC contractors are constantly seeking energy-efficient solutions. Both markets are growing. According to RnR Market Research, the global market for humidifiers is expected to surpass $1 billion by 2019. Another study, this on conducted by Grand View Research Inc., states the global dehumidifier market is expected to reach $3.54 billion by 2022. Many manufacturers displayed new products in both categories at the 2017 AHR Expo.
In the humidification market, there are growing opportunities for whole-home solutions, according to Randy Lenz, product specialist, humidifiers, Aprilaire.
“We’re seeing opportunities in homes heated with hydronic heating systems,” he said. “Dry air is an issue regardless of how a home is heated, and contractors are excited to offer solutions to consumers who have mini splits, radiators, or other systems without ducts.”
Aprilaire featured its new Steam Humidifier for Non-Ducted Applications in its booth during the AHR Expo. The humidifier generates steam by energizing two electrodes that extend into a disposable canister filled with water. Current flowing between the electrodes causes the water to boil, which creates steam. Water is introduced to the humidifier through a fill valve that connects to a fill cup located in the top of the cabinet. One unit can provide between 11.5 and 34.6 gallons per day. The product is also easy to maintain and features easy, flexible installation.
“The fan pack has an aesthetically pleasing design and blends into the living space while its slim dimensions allow a steam hose to run hidden in the wall to the steam humidifier, which can be located in a closet or basement, even on a home’s lower level,” said Lenz. “With its sleek design, high humidification capacity, and quiet operation, the steam humidifier finally provides dealers a way to offer a whole-home solution to all their customers. Dealers know that whole-home humidifiers provide a great opportunity to increase revenue and customer satisfaction. With the Model 865, those benefits and opportunities are now open to dealers whose customers do not have forced-air systems.”
Consumers are also looking for humidification options with direct evaporative cooling (DEC), according to Larry Klekar, director of national accounts sales, Munters Corp.
“With DEC, you can get both cooling and humidification,” he said. “You get cooling in the hot, dry summer months and humidification in the cold, dry winter months. And, cooling with DEC is more energy efficient, as you are using water to cool an airstream versus refrigeration.”
Munters featured its FA6™ Evaporative Humidifier/Cooler, which was specially designed for integration into air-handling systems within both residential and industrial buildings. The design is compact and sizes conform to all typical air-handling units (AHUs). The product features three nominal humidification efficiencies — 65 percent, 85 percent, and 95 percent — low pressure drop, and exceptional controllability. Additionally, its GX40 evaporative media is made from inorganic, noncombustible material and is GREENGUARD Gold-certified.
“The FA6 is a modular-designed DEC that can be used for both humidification and cooling,” Klekar said. “The modularity of the FA6 makes it economically feasible for medium to large scaled HVAC applications, as these modules can be fitted directly into any OEM’s [original equipment manufacturer’s] AHU.”
Ralph Kittler, vice president of sales, Seresco USA Inc., said facility owners are specifically looking for equipment with smaller footprints because of the cost of real estate.
“We’re also seeing more mechanical contractors requesting equipment that’s designed for simpler installations, which cuts job costs, reduces installation learning curves, and eliminates potential on-site installation and unit start-up challenges,” he said. “Simplifying installation reduces commissioning issues.”
Seresco featured its new NE-Series indoor pool dehumidifiers at the AHR Expo, which have been redesigned for smaller footprints. The R3 Expansion Module is a plug-and-play module with a configuration that matches the newly reduced cabinet footprint of the NE Series dehumidifiers, ranging from 3-7 hp. The R3 components offer additional cost-cutting efficiencies and efficacies for space heating, pool water heating, and heat rejection up and above the NE Series’ performance. The R3 can be factory-installed or shipped separately for cramped mechanical room access or space applications.
“The New NE-Series has been redesigned for smaller footprints,” said Kittler. “It also has optional companion packages or add-on modules, such as an indirect-fired duct furnace for space heating, an onboard pool water titanium heater, or an onboard outdoor air condenser, the latter of which eliminates running piping to outdoor condensers.”
According to Alan Feys, director of sales and business development, General Filters Inc., the current trend in the humidification and dehumidification markets is the ability to monitor and control IAQ products remotely.
“We have been seeing products that offer this ability for some time now,” he said. “Environmental and energy concerns continue to grow in importance. We also know that homeowners and contractors are becoming more educated about the impact of poor IAQ and how integrated IAQ product solutions can make a difference. Manufacturers of IAQ products continue to assist contractors by providing the right tools and products that identify a need, select the right equipment, and simplify the entire installation process. This, in turn, increases contractors’ long-term revenues. And, lastly, homeowners and contractors look for assurance that these expensive IAQ product investments work, will last, and are easily maintained.”
General Filters introduced its new DH75 dehumidifier with a digital control interface at the AHR Expo along with a steam success kit for contractors.
“The DH75 is smaller and lighter than the units we currently offer for easier handling and installation in many of the tight spaces contractors work,” Feys said. “The unit incorporates an intuitive digital interface that communicates humidity levels, temperatures, and the desired setting. It also features a low-temperature cutoff that protects the compressor, a fan-only operation to keep air flowing in a crawl space, and a longer five-year warranty than our current models.
“Our steam humidifiers incorporate electrode technology, which depends on water conductivity,” he continued. “Low conductivity requires a different model than regular conductivity, so testing the water first at the installation site is a must. The Steam Success Kit includes an AP-2 Water Tester and easy selection instructions that ensure contractors install the right unit the first time and the homeowner has a positive IAQ experience.”
Publication date: 2/27/2017