How High Humidity Can Affect Air Conditioning System

Effect of humidity on air conditioning systemEveryone is aware of the effect of humidity on uncle John’s hair but do you know what it does for the AC system? If you are aware of the effect it has on the air conditioning system and how to control its levels in the house you will achieve better comfort during those hot days of summer. Higher indoor humidity can adversely affect the longevity and efficiency of your air conditioning system and can result in health issues for yourself and your family.

Ideal humidity levels

An ideal indoor humidity level for your home is between 30 to 60%. It is possible to decide if you have a higher humidity level within the house by testing the levels by using a hygrometer or by checking the windows for condensation. You can also check the ceilings and walls for mold and moisture. You can get hygrometers from any home improvement store. Generally, the indoor humidity gets high if the outdoor humidity is on the higher side and this outdoor air makes its way inside the house. This happens through open windows or low-quality seals around the doors and windows. These indoor levels of humidity are also affected due to activities such as showering, cooking, and leaving clothes to dry inside the home.

Effect of humidity on air conditioning system

In case your house is too humid your AC system will need to work overtime for making you feel comfortable. You may be tempted to turn down the thermostat further than you normally would for getting some relief from the oppressive humidity in the home. However, any overworked AC unit is less likely to run less efficiently and need more maintenance. The lifespan of your air conditioning system will reduce as your energy bills increase. If your humidity levels rise above 50% it encourages the growth of mold and mildew. It doesn’t matter if the mold grows on the wall, bathroom ceiling, or inside the AC. As a result, the AC will circulate mold spores within the house. Mold is responsible for causing health problems and it can also grow on clothes, food, or furniture.

Can air conditioning control humidity?

The AC system is controlled by using a thermostat. It can sense temperature and not humidity. If the temperature in the house rises above a certain level this thermostat instructs the AC to come in and start working. While the AC is working some of the moisture from the air is drawn out of the air. But the AC’s are not typically designed to control humidity therefore they cannot handle the quantities of water vapor present in the air all the time. Turning the temperature ratings down from the thermostat will not improve the AC’s capacity to remove humidity from the air.

Controlling the humidity level inside the house

1. Regular maintenance: It is by and large the best thing for the HVAC system. Regular maintenance allows the HVAC technician to catch the problems before they become catastrophic. The AC technician is also capable of monitoring the equipment’s health and maintain the system in clean condition. You can sign up for a maintenance program to proactively taking care of your systems.

2. Using dehumidifiers: In case there is a need for dehumidifying the space a perfect choice will be using dehumidifiers. There are stand-alone alternatives available together with total home dehumidifiers that can be installed within the existing HVAC system. These instruments use the process of condensation for removing moisture from the air. You can consult a professional if you are not sure about buying the right humidifier for your situation.

3. Buying a new AC system: If you are faced with too many issues with the current AC system it might be a good idea to replace the system with a new AC unit that has a greater SEER rating. Consult the AC technician about installing a dehumidification system for the entire household at the same time.

Keep in mind that the ideal humidity level in the home is between 30 to 50% of relative humidity. Humidity goes hard on the house. You need to take control by measuring the house humidity levels and implementing solutions when these humidity levels are on the higher side. You need to take care of the air conditioning system. If you live in Spring Hill, Brooksville FL area, consult with Prestige Air Conditioning & Heating and schedule a regular HVAC maintenance visit to make sure that the system is working well.

Picture Credit: Pixabay

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