Ice rinks are at risk from humidity and moisture although not all the time. Since dehumidifiers are known to lower humidity levels, are dehumidifiers used in ice rinks?
The answer is a resounding YES. Dehumidifiers may be one of the best methods. Also, dehumidifying ice rinks can be an effective way of maintaining humidity levels below 100%.
If you would like to read more about this post and its findings, read through this article.
Dehumidification on Ice Rinks
Ice rink dehumidifier is not a new concept because it has been around for decades now. Dehumidifiers are still used today even to this day.
It's a common system that many ice rink managers use to keep moisture and humidity levels under control especially during break times or between sessions.
As years passed by and more indoor ice rinks were built, humidity control now becomes a problem for them due to the enclosed environment. The problem with high humidity is that it can affect the ice rink's performance.
Humidity can lead to many problems such as condensation wherein water droplets begin to condense and results in a dew point temperature. This can form on the glass which makes it hard to watch the game (especially in ice arenas with no overhead obstructions).
The best way to control humidity is by dehumidifying your ice rink. This method can reduce moisture levels from 75% to as low as 50%.
Ice Rink Dehumidification Systems
Although ice rink managers and owners are not required by law to use dehumidifiers, it is recommended to lower the humidity levels in an enclosed environment.
There are several ways on how to do this and one is with the use of a dehumidifier. One example is the dehumidification system that includes a humidistat to ensure that the humidity level in an ice rink stays within a comfortable range.
For many years, people ask if dehumidifiers are effective in controlling humidity levels and the answer is yes. It may not be foolproof but it can certainly help you with that.
General Ice Arena Design and Application Considerations
General Ice Arenas Design
In general, ice rinks should be kept below 70% relative humidity. One way of ensuring this is by using dehumidification systems. This method can help lower the humidity levels to between 50 and 75% and lessen the dew point.
In an ice rink, dehumidification is normally a closed system. A dehumidifier will remove moisture out of the air which is then passed through a separate cooling unit that cools down the dry air before it passes through an intake vent into the ice rink.
Ice Rink Application Considerations
The dimensions and area of the ice rink play an important role in the decision-making process as to which type of dehumidifying system is used in an ice rink.
The biggest aspect is to determine if a single unit will be able to cover the entire ice rink or not. For example, a single dehumidifier can only effectively remove moisture in an area of around 30' x 50'.
For some people, this is enough for their ice rink needs but if you have an ice rink that's larger than this then you'll need to purchase 2 units. But keep in mind that the larger the ice rink, the more costly it will be to purchase a dehumidifier.
Another important consideration is the humidity level that you want your ice rink to maintain. If you're aiming for around 50% relative humidity then purchasing 2 units may not even be enough especially if your ice rink area is larger than 30' x 50'.
Using Mechanical Dehumidification
The most affordable and reliable way to control humidity in ice rinks is with a mechanical dehumidifier. They are also easy to use and do not require much maintenance.
The dehumidifier uses the principle of refrigeration, which means that it cools down the air inside your rink and gives a smooth ice surface. You can adjust the dehumidifier to your desired temperatures by using a control dial or digital display.
For better results, you should install a humidistat that will shut down the mechanical dehumidifier when the humidity level reaches the desired level.
Using Desiccant Dehumidification
Dehumidifiers that are designed to use desiccant technology are an alternative way to control humidity levels in your ice rink. This type of dehumidifier has a higher initial cost and requires more maintenance.
This type of dehumidifier usually includes a container with silica gel or zeolite, which absorbs moisture from the air even when the temperature is below freezing.
The advantage is that this type of dehumidifier is ideal for areas with high humidity levels (90 percent or higher). If you have a multi-level building, the desiccant dehumidifier can help lower the humidity levels on the upper floors.
Desiccant dehumidifiers are also good for areas with low relative humidity that provides ice quality surface and prevents arid ice. This means that you need a dehumidifier with a desiccant wheel at all times, even when it's not very cold outside. A mechanical dehumidifier may not be enough if there is no air conditioning.
Related Article: Desiccant Dehumidifier: What Is It & How It Works? (Absorption)
What Are the Benefits of Using Dehumidifiers (For Ice RInk)?
One obvious benefit is that your ice rink will be a healthy environment for playing, training, or working. This in turn makes it a safer environment for everyone involved – players, equipment staff, etc.
It can also give your rink an added boost to attract new people as well as keep old ones interested. In addition, the ice rink will look and feel safer for players to enjoy training or playing as it won't be as hazardous when they are taking turns at speed.
It also helps with any ice surface contamination (dust) which makes it easier to clean up after your game or event has finished.
Furthermore, a lot of musty smells can be derived from humidity, and dehumidifying gets rid of this.
Ice Rink Dehumidification FAQ
How Big is a Dehumidifier for an Ice Rink?
A standard dehumidifier can cover 70-80 m² or 10-12 ice rinks. It is recommended to have one dehumidifying system for each ice rink, regardless of the size.
How Much Energy Does an Indoor Ice Rink Consume When It’s 30°C Outside (Using a Dehumidifier)?
An indoor ice rink using mechanical dehumidifying technology consumed about 36 W/sqm while an outdoor rink uses around 2,000-2,500 W/sqm.
How Much Does an Indoor Ice Rink Cost (Using a Dehumidifier)?
The indoor ice rink with dehumidifier technology costs less than one-fourth of the cost of an ordinary outdoor ice rink. This is due to energy savings and reduced labor and maintenance costs.
Rinks that use dehumidifiers often have a problem with humidity getting too high. This may be important particularly to dry air and equipment that needs protecting from the air.
Regardless of why a rink would need dehumidification, it is one of the most important factors in having happy ice. When humidity does not fluctuate, ice conditions are far easier to maintain.