Why Air Conditioning Isn’t Getting the Job Done When It Comes to Humidity Control and Marine Vessels


When managing a fleet of marine vessels, there are few things more worrisome and tiresome than dealing with mold, mildew, fogging, corrosion and moisture caused by humidity problems. Costly, time-consuming, and stressful, the annual chore of rehabilitating and repairing your fleet is a top priority that completely stops your progress. And the problem is that the most common solution for dealing with high humidity levels doesn’t actually work.

Why Air Conditioning Isn’t Helping Marine Vessel Humidity Control

The most common way of dealing with humidity control on marine vessels is to use an air conditioner. But because air conditioners don’t efficiently remove moisture from the air, they don’t solve many of the problems on a marine vessel that they might solve in a house.

In a house set in a warm climate, adding an air conditioner will lower the temperature of the house, and if sized properly, help dehumidify. But on a marine vessel during shoulder seasons and night hours, the air is already so cold and damp that an air conditioner does nothing to dehumidify the environment. You end up having a moisture rich, overly cold environment that continues corroding vital ship systems.

On the other hand, a dehumidifier actively works to remove the water vapor (latent heat) from the air without spending energy on sensible heat. Instead of simply lowering the temperature and hoping the relative humidity will be reduced as well, a dehumidifier works to circulate and replace the humid air with dehumidified air to lower the total humidity level.

Marine humidity Control
Air Conditioners

The Health Effects of High Humidity on Your Crew

While the main issue for many fleet managers and owners is the cost of annual mold remediation and rehabilitation, the fact is that high humidity can wreak havoc on your crew as well. And whether you’re covering the cost of healthcare and sick time for your crew or not, having a non-working or unhealthy team of seamen isn’t good for anybody.

High relative humidity—or a high amount of water vapor in the air relative to the air pressure—can cause some pretty uncomfortable and unhealthy conditions for your crew. For one thing, the human body uses perspiration to cool the body. If the humidity level is too high, they can’t perspire and won’t be able to naturally detox.

If your crew is hanging out in an area with high relative humidity—such as in a sleeping cabin or galley that is very damp and stagnant—they will feel like the temperature is several degrees lower than it actually is. Not only could this make them have a lower body temperature but it could cause debilitating allergies or severe respiratory diseases that could render them out of commission.

The Best Way to Deal with Marine Vessel Humidity

Instead of dealing with mold and mildew on your marine vessel fleet, consider dealing with the ailment and not just the symptoms. If high humidity in your cabin, engine room, and control room is an issue, consider using a dehumidifier to remove the moisture from the air, instead of just chilling the room further.

Learn more about adding a dehumidifying system to your marine vessels with the team at Quest Products today.