Excess humidity can result in various problems, including mold spores, musty smells, structural problems, and an uncomfortable muggy feeling. That’s why it’s important to control humidity if you plan to increase indoor air quality and home comfort.
The ideal relative humidity level is between 30 to 50 percent. Summer is generally the toughest time of year to stay within this range. Thankfully, using the air conditioner can help.
After all, air conditioning doesn’t just cool your home—it also decreases humidity. Here’s details of how this works, coupled with suggestions to adjust indoor humidity levels.
Contrary to what you might think, your air conditioner doesn’t increase cool, dry air in your home—it removes heat and humidity. The process requires refrigerant, which soaks up heat and moisture effectively from the indoor air. Here’s how it works:
Using the air conditioner may be adequate to lower the relative humidity below 50 percent in dry climates. But if high humidity continues to be a problem in your home, try again with these tips.
Turn on the exhaust fan in the bathroom, kitchen and laundry room when you shower, cook and wash clothes. Detached ventilation lowers humidity at the source to keep these rooms more comfortable. You can also open a window when it’s more temperate outside to allow in fresh air.
Damp shower tiles, kitchen counters and laundry room floors increase indoor humidity and can stimulate mold spores. Wipe up standing water promptly to prevent these problems.
If you grapple with high humidity in the summer, think about installing a whole-house dehumidifier that operates in tandem with your air conditioner to make your entire home more comfortable. A whole-house model can even operate independently of the AC to eliminate humidity on more temperate days without using the air conditioner. This approach saves you money and doesn’t leave you with that “cool but clammy” feeling.
The condensation that collects on the evaporator coil needs time to accumulate and trickle away. If you use the air conditioning fan continuously, the moisture will blow right back in 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 adjust this setting easily on your thermostat.
An obstructed air filter traps dust and debris and can harbor mold growth if it becomes wet. This introduces moisture and mold spores into your home every time the AC turns on. Exchange the air filter every month or as suggested by the manufacturer to reduce indoor humidity and increase air quality.
Refining the fan speed can be tricky. Higher airflow helps the AC sustain cooling demand on the hottest days, but this can lead to shorter cycles that minimize the chance of effective dehumidification. Coordinate with an HVAC technician to help you select the ideal fan speed for your comfort preferences.
A grimy coil can’t cool and dehumidify effectively. If your AC is having trouble reaching the desired temperature, call our HVAC specialists to inspect your cooling system and clean the evaporator coil. Cooling and dehumidifying capabilities should improve as a result.
A depleted supply of refrigerant can impair your air conditioner’s ability to perform its job. Left alone, major issues such as a frozen evaporator coil or compressor failure may occur. Only a certified HVAC technician can fix refrigerant leaks and refresh the system as required, offering you another reason to arrange an AC tune-up.
If your home has consistent comfort problems and your air conditioner is getting older, it may be time for a replacement. Install a new AC system with innovative features, including a thermal expansion valve (TXV) and variable blower motor. A TXV offers the perfect amount of refrigerant determined by the air temperature, and a variable blower motor adapts the fan speed to suit demand. Both features reinforce cooling and dehumidifying efficiency.
If you believe it’s time to put in a whole-house dehumidifier or upgrade your air conditioning, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can help. Our HVAC services are structured to optimize home comfort and energy efficiency for your long-term satisfaction. To ask questions or request a visit from one of our qualified heating and cooling technicians, please contact us today.
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