Excess humidity can result in many problems, including mold growth, musty smells, structural problems, and an uncomfortable muggy feeling. That’s why it’s essential to manage humidity if you want to increase indoor air quality and home comfort.
The ideal relative humidity level is between 30 to 50 percent. Summer is usually the toughest time of year to stick inside this range. Luckily, turning on the air conditioner can help.
After all, air conditioning doesn’t solely cool your home—it also lowers humidity. Here’s info about how this works, along with tips to manage indoor humidity levels.
Contrary to what you might think, your air conditioner doesn’t increase cool, dry air in your home—it eliminates heat and humidity. The process requires refrigerant, which soaks up heat and moisture effectively from the indoor air. Here’s the process:
Running the air conditioner may be sufficient to bring the relative humidity under 50 percent in dry climates. But if high humidity remains a problem in your home, try these tips.
Turn on the exhaust fan in the bathroom, kitchen and laundry room when you shower, cook and wash clothes. Spot ventilation removes humidity at the source to keep these rooms comfortable. You can also open a window when it’s more temperate outside to draw in fresh air.
Damp shower tiles, kitchen counters and laundry room floors increase indoor humidity and can promote mold growth. Wipe up standing water promptly to prevent these problems.
If you dislike extreme humidity in the summer, think about installing a whole-house dehumidifier that runs in tandem with your air conditioner to make every room more comfortable. A whole-house system can even run separately from the AC to eliminate humidity on more temperate days without using the air conditioner. This method saves you money and avoids that “cool but clammy” feeling.
The condensation that forms on the evaporator coil needs time to build up and drip away. If you run the air conditioning fan constantly, the moisture will blow back into your home. That’s why it’s more efficient to set the fan to “auto” so it only runs when the AC compressor switches on. You should be able to change this setting easily on your thermostat.
An obstructed air filter traps dust and debris and could harbor mold spores if it becomes wet. This sends moisture and mold spores into your home every time the AC starts. Change the air filter every month or as encouraged by the manufacturer to lower indoor humidity and increase air quality.
Refining the fan speed can be tricky. Strong airflow helps the AC keep up with cooling demand on the hottest days, but this can result in shorter cycles that minimize the chance of effective dehumidification. Speak with an HVAC technician to help you determine the best fan speed for your comfort preferences.
A dirty coil can’t cool and dehumidify efficiently. If your air conditioner is having trouble sustaining the desired temperature, call our HVAC specialists to tune up your cooling system and clean the evaporator coil. Cooling and dehumidifying efficiency should improve as a result.
Insufficient refrigerant can impede your air conditioner’s ability to do its job. Left ignored, major issues including a frozen evaporator coil or compressor failure may occur. Only a skilled HVAC technician can solve refrigerant leaks and refresh the system as necessary, giving you another reason to request an AC tune-up.
If your home has consistent comfort problems and your air conditioner is getting older, it may be time to look for a new one. Pick a new AC unit with innovative features, such as a thermal expansion valve (TXV) and variable blower motor. A TXV provides the exact amount of refrigerant determined by the air temperature, and a variable blower motor adjusts the fan speed to satisfy demand. Both features reinforce cooling and dehumidifying efficiency.
If you decide it’s time to get a whole-house dehumidifier or replace your air conditioner, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can help. Our HVAC services are tailored to maximize home comfort and energy efficiency for your long-term satisfaction. To share questions or request a visit from one of our experienced heating and cooling technicians, please give us a call today.
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