NORRISTOWN, Pa. -- Genuardi's Family Markets here is stepping up its use of a dessicant cooling system to dehumidify stores and reduce air-conditioning costs.
The retailer plans to equip three new stores with the system later this summer. The cooling unit reduces condensation from store air, allowing air conditioners to run more efficiently and decreasing coolant tonnage up to 30%.
"We're hoping this is the wave of the future," said Reinhold (Shot) Schottle, director of facilities at Genuardi's. "We tried a small unit at one of our remodeled stores to see if we could eliminate some bad humidity problems directly over some frozen food aisles," Schottle said. "We felt the system had enough credibility for us to go ahead with more units in some of our new stores."
The dessicant system is most effective in store's frozen food and dairy aisles.
"It will eliminate the frost and clouding of door cases and reduce the running of the antisweats," Schottle said. "If you keep humidity out of that area, everything is going to operate much better."
Along with improving store conditions, dessicant systems should yield energy savings. "The concept is to reduce the amount of air conditioning you put in the store," he said. "If we keep the [humidity] down we accomplish something our air conditioning doesn't have to do."