Routine maintenance is a necessity for pool enjoyment. Aside from keeping your pool jump-in-ready, maintenance also extends its longevity and can help reduce maintenance costs. Indoor pools or natatoriums pose an extra challenge for maintenance, requiring special attention to the environment the humidity produces.
Indoor pools produce water vapor that is dense with chlorine, which is an aggressive substance. When chlorine is added to the water of an indoor pool, it not only targets bacteria and other minerals, but also attacks building materials through condensation, causing corrosion to metal and other structural damages within the building and pool. If you don’t monitor or manage the humidity of your indoor pool or spa, you can end up with an uncomfortable, dirty and unhealthy body of water.
So, let’s figure out what humidity control is and how you can manage it effectively.
Why Humidity Control Is Important for Indoor Pools
1. Humidity control ensures the stability of the pool and building
Too much humidity can create pools of water on the floor, or condensation on walls and ceilings that could cause expensive repairs such as wood rot, mold or mildew outbreaks, or rust structural elements. Water vapor can also seep into electrical equipment and cause malfunctions to occur.
2. Humidity control preserves the life of your natatorium
Because humidity creates so many risks to the physical elements of your natatorium, it can shorten the lifespan of your indoor pool or spa and lead to ongoing and expensive repairs. Managing humidity is a preventive maintenance exercise that can extend your natatorium’s lifespan and potentially reduce costs.
3. Humidity control creates a healthy environment
Optimizing your humidity levels also ensures the health and comfort of the air in your natatorium. If mold or mildew outbreaks occur, they can create unpleasant odors and even cause respiratory health issues for people, especially those with allergies or asthma.
4. Humidity control reduces the overall costs of your indoor pool
Natatoriums pull in outside air to help stabilize the environment, at the cost of ongoing energy usage and costs. A dehumidifier controls the room humidity and air temperature, stabilizing the environment around the indoor pool and retaining as much of the perfectly balanced air as possible. This results in the decreased use of outside air and the energy used to heat or cool the air.
How to Monitor and Manage Humidity
1. Check for Moisture
The first signs that the humidity level is too high are moisture pooling on the floors or windows and condensation on ceilings and walls. You can also look for signs of rust or wood damage. Any overflow in your drain pan indicates that you may have a blockage in your drain system, which can create higher levels of moisture in the air.
2. Install a Good Dehumidifier
To get the most from modern dehumidifiers, maintain a two-degree difference between air (higher) and water (lower) temperatures and maintain a 50- to 60 percent relative humidity (RH). For example, a common indoor pool setup is 84°F in air temperature, 82°F water temperature with 60 percent RH. If the air temperature is decreased by even two degrees, overall humidity increases by roughly 35 percent, which could exceed the dehumidifier capacity.
Most modern dehumidifiers run similarly to full HVAC machines, capable of heating and cooling the air and using compressor heat recovery to heat the water. Dehumidifier compressors run at least 10 minutes at a time, while the air blowers within dehumidifiers generally run 24/7 to offset pool evaporation. You’ll need to have monthly or bi-monthly air-filter replacements and regular maintenance from an HVAC pro to keep your dehumidifier up and running. If you notice any unusual sounds or issues coming from your dehumidifier, notify your service contractor immediately.
3. Create an Effective Ventilation System
Hopefully your natatorium was designed with proper windows, ducting, and vents to pull the moist air out of the room and keep the conditioned air in the area. Ventilation systems should push out 10% more air than they pull in to reduce the risk of creating a seal in the room which holds in the moisture and starts to create damage and discomfort. You can quickly check your air pressure by opening the door to the room. If you feel air coming in, you’re in good shape. If the air is sucked out the door, you need to make some adjustments.
Humidity Control Is Critical For Indoor Pools
Humidity control in swimming pool areas can save you time and money, and increase your enjoyment. Controlling moisture around indoor pools can help protect the pool environment from potential health hazards. Humidity can impact the pH levels of your indoor pool or hot tub so it’s important to check the pH levels consistently.
To keep an extra eye on your pool’s water quality, a smart water monitor like pHin makes it easy. Floating in the water, it constantly monitors your water and sends notifications to your smartphone letting you know what to do to keep the water in your pool or hot tub balanced.