Inevitably I'll have to replace my heat pump, and when that time comes I'd like to have the calculations on the size of the replacement to account for dehumidifying in addition to heating and cooling. With high humidity being a problem I'd like to at least try to calculate how to optimize some balance on comfort and efficiency while maintaining safety, with "safety" being defined by building codes. What is considered "comfortable" is a matter of opinion, and my opinion will vary from what others believe, but building codes will define minimums and maximums on safety regardless of what I'm willing to put up with to save on costs. How should such calculations be done? Are there guides for this somewhere but I've missed them in my searches so far?
Edit to add: The source of any charts or computations should be some organization building inspectors would trust. The goal is to prove my calculations meet minimums required by building code so using a physics textbook is good but charts from a government agency responsible for safety of humans is ideal.
What is wrong with using the existing guides for specifying the size of an air conditioner to pick out a heat pump? The guides I've seen are for maintaining a comfortable temperature during the hottest days of the year, such guides can mean the heat pump is too large for humidity control as it runs cycles too short for humidity control as it blasts out cold air for the rest of the cooling season. I find this a bit odd since I'll see warnings on not over sizing the air conditioning as that can lead to high humidity. If that is a concern then should there not be a guide on what is too big? If there is such a guide then that may be what I'm looking for. A two-stage heat pump is likely to mitigate on getting too little cooling on hot days and too little dehumidifying on merely warm days but I'd still need calculations to prove to myself and any inspectors that everything is safe.
What is wrong with whole house or portable dehumidifiers? Dehumidifiers add heating load to the house which will be an inefficient use of power most of the time as it is unlikely to see high humidity as a problem without also needing some heating or cooling. Heating lowers indoor relative humidity, often to an extreme that humidifiers are needed for safe and comfortable humidity. Cooling lowers indoor relative humidity as well but there's a balance that must be maintained on cooling power through the year or the humidity can get beyond what is safe and comfortable. I'd like to at least try running some numbers to find that balance but I'd need to know how to equate heat pump cooling power (in tons, BUT/h, or watts) into something useful for indicating dehumidifying power (which is apparently measured in pints per day or gallons per hour).
Aren't there heat pumps with a "dehumidify mode" to use? I've seen these and perhaps these are three stage heat pumps but I doubt it, if I'm mistaken then I'd like to know. One way heat pumps get a "dehumidify mode" is to run heating and cooling simultaneously. This is quite inefficient but perhaps necessary for some to maintain comfort and safety with minimal excess capital cost, at least on smaller scales. For centralized HVAC a more efficient option is likely adding some capability to pull in outdoor air. One other tactic I've seen to dehumidify with a heat pump is to run cooling at high power but with low circulation fan speed. This means the indoor air has more time to cool down and "squeeze" more moisture out but with the lower air flow the cooling effect is minimal. I've not seen this done on any central HVAC system and doing so may be considered a "hack" and could violate any warranties on expensive HVAC equipment.
Wouldn't a heat pump optimized for dehumidifying be too small to provide heating to building code specifications? I expect so. I've yet to see a heat pump around here that does not have back up heat. I can run the numbers on what size of heat pump I'd want to make sure, and again I'd need to know how to do those calculations on dehumidifying power of heat pumps to do this, but I expect to find that I'd need a furnace regardless. I could likely find a large enough heat pump but that could mean running into electric supply limits, compromising on cooling and dehumidifying efficiency, or something. Like with the other examples a two stage heat pump would likely mitigate some of this but I'd need to run numbers to be sure.
Could the house be split into zones to help in efficient humidity and temperature control? That has been considered, or I would not pose the question as a rhetorical device. I could sacrifice comfortable temperatures in certain zones of the house for 1%, or even 10%, of the year (but still keep them safe) so that I have comfortable temperature and humidity in the rest of the house. This could be very efficient, but that still means calculating what I'd need in a heat pump to accuracy sufficient to satisfy myself and any inspectors that what I proposed is safe.
I'm still figuring out how to ask questions here to keep the answers best focused. I thought I'd try this FAQ format as this is roughly the thought process I went through on considering options. I'll see how this goes.