If you live in New York city you know the summers can be hot and muggy, with humidity levels shooting through the roof. As a New York green contractor we are faced with the challenge of creating healthy and happy indoor air environments while keeping energy consumption low.

So how do you remove humidity from a New York apartment in the summer?

The obvious is to make sure both the kitchen and bathroom is well vented to the outside, either with a small energy efficient fan or via a well designed home that provides window cross breeze. The last thing you want to do is add humidity to the already muggy air.

The best way to do this is with an ERV or HRV, or Energy Recovery Ventilator or Heat Recovery Ventilator. The ERV does a better job at removing humility. The two best ones on the market is the Zehnder and the Ultimate Air. We install both. It is not cheap but you can’t beat the fresh air 24/7 in the house.

But in the heat of the summer these units may not remove enough humidity. The common sense option is to add a dehumidifier. In that case the Santa Fe Dehumidifier is a good choice. We like it because it is very efficient. Also very important is that it creates very little heat!

Another great option is your Air Conditioner! Duh. Air conditioners are great dehumidifiers. In fact part of the effectiveness of an air conditioner to make the room cooler is dehumidification. Dry air feels cooler than humid at the same temperature.

But both the typical dehumidifier and the air conditioner are huge energy hogs no matter how efficient they are…..so what to do. The most efficient option is the Mini Split. Fujutsu makes a SEER 26 unit we like to install. SEER ratings indicate how efficient an AC is.

SEER 26 is efficiency on steroids! Your typical window unit is SEER 12…. need we say more.

But honestly, our favorite tactic is the ceiling fan. In terms of energy efficiency you can’t beat it. That and a different attitude to heat. It’s hot, get used to it! Enjoy it.

Americans are terrible when it comes to wasting energy to cool their homes. Americans also have the highest rate of obesity in the world. According to one source almost 30% of Americans are obese! And if you are wearing a permanent coat of insulation on your body then obviously you don’t tolerate heat well.

So….yes New York summers are unbearably humid…and there is a place for ERV’s, HRV’s, dehumidifiers, AC’s and fans. But just as importantly is the importance of tempering those energy consuming machines with good ventilation of baths and kitchens, and even more important is keeping our bodies healthy so we tolerate heat better, and changing our attitudes so we are more tolerant of heat culturally.

Because, hey, we all know things are just going to get hotter……