RiteAire Marine™ Dehumidification System Awarded Second Patent

RiteAire Marine™ Dehumidification System
Awarded Second Patent

We are very proud to announce that the RiteAire Marine™ Centralized Dehumidifier indoor air-quality solution for boats was awarded its second United States Patent, U.S. Patent No. 11,091,244, by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on August 17, 2021. RiteAire Marine earned its first patent for the system, U.S. Pat. No. 10,538,302, on January 21, 2020. 

“Our first patent focused on the RiteAire Marine Dehumidification System’s innovative centralized system to control humidity within the interior of a marine vessel. The second patent extends our patent coverage to the method we developed for controlling the humidity,” said RiteAire Marine Co-owner Ted Reese. “We are extremely proud that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has recognized the proprietary technology behind the RiteAire Marine system with a second patent.”


RiteAire Marine’s Dehumidifier System Minimizes
Exposure to Viruses and VOCs in Yacht Interiors
by Reducing Relative Humidity to 40- to 50-Percent Range

The RiteAire Marine™ (RAM) Dehumidifier System not only prevents mold, mildew, and musty odors in yacht interiors, but it also creates a healthier environment on board by holding relative humidity (RH) levels to 40-50 percent. Numerous studies have shown that viruses, including Corona viruses like those that cause COVID-19, spread best in indoor environments where relative humidity (RH) levels either are below 40 percent or exceed 60 percent. In fact, these studies have found that the 40-50 percent RH range is ideal for combatting the spread of viruses indoors, as well as fighting mold and formaldehyde emissions.  

A 1985 landmark study entitled “Criteria for Human Exposure to Humidity in Occupied Buildings” by E.M. Sterling, A. Arundel and T.D. Sterling, Ph.D., published by ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers), concluded that 40-60 percent relative humidity at normal room temperatures is the healthiest RH range for minimizing risks to human health by biological contaminants and chemical reactions.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) publication A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture and Your Home states: “Keep indoor humidity low. If possible, keep indoor humidity below 60 percent (ideally between 30 and 50 percent) relative humidity.”

An August 20, 2020, study by the Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS) concluded that: “A relative humidity of 40 to 60 percent could reduce the spread of the viruses and their absorption through the nasal mucous membrane.”

Elsewhere, a Yale University study, conducted by professor Akiko Iwasaki, an immunobiologist at Yale and senior author of the paper appearing in the Annual Review of Virology, concluded that while 40-60 percent RH may be the ideal range for inhibiting aerosol virus transmission, it noted that tests on mice have found that 50 percent RH, “contributed to good viral clearance and efficient immune response.”

The RiteAire Marine™ Dehumidifier System has been proven to maintain RH levels at 40-50 percent, the ideal range for mitigating the spread of viruses, such as COVID-19 and SARS, as well as mold.

The RAM system draws moist air in through an optimum point in a boat, lowering humidity levels by 30 percent or more. It distributes that healthier, drier air through the boat’s ductwork until the healthy 40-50 percent RH zone is reached. Air conditioners alone can’t accomplish this as that’s not what they were designed to do…. Air conditioners are designed to move large quantities of air across the cooling coils without sufficient time to remove high moisture content – their job is to lower temperature rather than humidity. The RAM system works independently of a boat’s a/c system, and together they create a healthier, more comfortable onboard environment.

Formaldehyde

Numerous studies have shown that relative humidity levels above 60 percent also can increase harmful formaldehyde emissions.

For example, a 2015 study by Shaodan Huang, Jianyin Xiong, Yinping Zhang, entitled “The Impact of Relative Humidity on the Emission Behaviour of Formaldehyde in Building Materialsfound that “relative humidity is one of the main environmental factors affecting the emission behaviors of formaldehyde from building materials.” The study also found that emissions increase nearly 10 times when RH levels rise from 20 to 85 percent.

An additional 2010 study, entitled “Effect of Temperature and Humidity on Formaldehyde Emissions in Temporary Housing Units”, written by Srinandini Parthasarathy, Randy L. Maddalena, Marion L. Russell, and Michael G. Apte for the Environmental Energy Technologies Division Indoor Environment Department Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Berkeley, found that a, “10° C variation in temperature increased the formaldehyde emissions 1.9 – 3.5 times, and a 35 % increase in relative humidity can increase the emissions by a factor of 1.8 – 2.6.”

Once again, the RAM Dehumidifier System makes boat interiors healthier by reducing emissions of formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Scientific studies have shown that the “healthy zone” for relative humidity in indoor spaces is lower – 40 to 50 percent relative humidity (rh) – minimizing the presence of mold, mildew, viruses, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like formaldehyde in interior air.



RAM and AC – Why You Need Both Onboard

The RiteAire Marine™ Dehumidifier System
and Your Boat’s Air Conditioning –
Why You Need Both on Board

“My boat already has air conditioning – why does it need a RiteAire Marine™ Dehumidifier System too?”

If we’ve heard it once, we’ve heard it a thousand times. Many boat owners realize that high humidity inside their vessel can lead to problems like mold and mildew, discolored cabinetry and paneling, and even respiratory issues such as red eyes and scratchy throats. But they believe that their boat’s air conditioning system is capable of lowering the humidity level on board on its own.

“It’s a very popular misconception. The truth is that your boat’s air conditioner was not designed to control humidity. It was only designed to control temperature,” said RiteAire Marine™ Co-Founder Hector Escardo. “The outside air in Florida and on the Gulf Coast easily hits 80 percent relative humidity in the summer. Conventional marine air conditioning can only lower the relative humidity inside your boat to about 65 percent – maybe 60 percent, but only if it’s a newer, highly efficient unit. Some larger yachts have a marine chiller system (also known as a chilled-water air conditioning system), but it’s rare to find one that can lower the relative humidity on board below 65 percent.”

Scientific studies have shown that the “healthy zone” for relative humidity in indoor spaces is lower – 40 to 50 percent relative humidity (rh) – minimizing the presence of mold, mildew, viruses, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like formaldehyde in interior air.

Some owners building a new boat will specify that the builder install extra a/c units or a larger a/c system in their vessel. “There is such a thing as too much air conditioning,” Escardo said. “If you get the inside of the boat too cold, then the grills, ductwork, and other metal surfaces are going to condensate even quicker. Normally you start to see condensation form when you cool the boat down below about 68 degrees Fahrenheit.”

Some marine air conditioning systems have a “Dehumidification” button on their control panel or remote control, but it is a misnomer.

“The only thing the ‘Dehum’ feature does is to run your air conditioner for 20 minutes out of every hour at a ‘slow fan’ rate. This allows the air going through the system to have a little longer contact with the evaporator coil,” Escardo said. “It would be better named the ‘Energy Saving’ setting rather than ‘Dehumidification’. The “Dehum” setting also lets the temperature in the boat’s interior rise, so owners typically don’t use it while they are onboard.

By contrast, the air-cooled RiteAire Marine (RAM) Dehumidifier System, which operates independently of the air conditioner, works 24/7 to pump dry air through your boat’s interior, dramatically reducing the humidity on board. The RAM unit’s condenser coils are larger than the ones you would find in a conventional marine air conditioner, and the air flows through the RAM system much more slowly across those coils, giving the system more time to work efficiently. The RAM system actively removes moisture from the air inside the boat and discharges it overboard, further reducing the humidity.

Using a professional Graywolf humidity sensor, RiteAire Marine™ has demonstrated that the RAM system can take in air with a relative humidity level of 65 percent and lower its rh level to 30 percent in just one pass. Used continuously, RAM automatically maintains the relative humidity in the boat’s interior a a pre-set relative level in the “Healthy Zone” between 40 and 50 percent. All you have to do is “set it and forget it.”

“Your boat is like a fresh head of lettuce. If you don’t have temperature and humidity under control on board, your cabinetry, upholstery, headliners, and more visibly wilts,” Escardo said. “Marine air conditioning and the RiteAire Marine™ Dehumidifier system complement each other, working hand in hand to give you a more comfortable and healthier boat interior.”