Humidity is one of the biggest challenges facing cold chain facilities. It doesn’t take much for moisture infiltration to negatively affect the cold space via condensation, slip hazards, or excessive coil freezing. This unfavorable build-up of moisture can cause an even bigger problem in cold storage than it would in dry storage due to the tightness of the building envelope.
How Can Humidity be Controlled in a Freezer?
One of the most common ways of lowering humidity is by allowing the coils to freeze and then sending them into defrost to remove the water. However, this method has tremendous drawbacks in the form of higher utility bills, wear and tear on the refrigeration system, temperature spikes, and sometimes it doesn’t remove enough water to be effective.
The best and most effective way to combat high humidity in freezers or cold chain units is to use a desiccant dehumidifier. Moisture infiltration from dock doors, propane fork trucks, leaks, human occupants, washdowns, or the products themselves can cause damage to the building, refrigeration system, or building contents. Using a dehumidifier will keep the moisture level in the air at a consistent level of your choosing, which means you won’t deal with high relative humidity.
Other Ways to Control Humidity in Freezers
While a dehumidifier is the best way to combat humidity in freezers and cold chain units, it must be used in conjunction with a few other best practices. For example, rapid doors, vapor barriers, vinyl curtains and/or air curtains are vital to ensure moisture infiltration is limited. Every second a door to the outside stays open, humidity is rushing into the conditioned space.
In addition to regular maintenance and service, a commercial freezer or cold chain unit needs to have high quality seals on all doors and panels. Without a reliable seal, moisture can infiltrate the unit and cause high humidity levels. A unit lacking a good seals is akin to leaving your front door open. Replacing old, cracked seals and maintaining a good quality seal can go a long way to keeping the system as efficient and cost-effective as possible.
How Does a Dehumidifier Work to Control Moisture?
In layman’s terms, desiccant dehumidifiers adsorbs water molecules out of the air into a desiccant wheel and then a second heated air stream removes the water from the desiccant wheel and sends it outside of the building in vapor form. In practice, this process can vastly improve the air quality within a freezer or cold chain unit and prevent the damaging effects of high relative humidity.
A dehumidifier can be added to an existing cold chain unit in conjunction with the unit’s refrigeration system. Desiccant dehumidifiers are an excellent investment if you want absolute climate control in your cold chain application.
Learn More with Therma-Stor
To find out more about how a dehumidifier might solve your freezer or cold chain humidity problems, contact the team at Therma-Stor today.