How Humidity Affects the Performance of Your Air Conditioning System
Those hot humid summer days drive us indoors to the cool comfort of our air conditioners. That humidity zaps your energy and makes you feel wilted. When the humidity levels are high, the heat index goes up, making you feel hotter than the temperature actually is.
Did you know the high heat and humidity can also do a number on your air conditioning system? Your air conditioner cools your home by removing the moisture and heat from the air. The more moisture is in the air, the harder your system has to work to achieve a comfortable environment. Sometimes, the humidity levels are so high, your system cannot get on top of it.
Humidity impedes the air conditioner’s cooling effect. When your air conditioner cannot remove the humidity, your home will feel warmer than it actually is. That means your air conditioner will keep running but you will not get all of the cooling benefits from using it. Yet you will pay more to cool your house without effectively cooling it.
Here are three signs that your air conditioner is not eliminating the humidity in the air inside your home:
1. Your windows get fogged up. Foggy windows are a clear sign that your air conditioner is not removing the moisture in the air.
2. You notice musty odors. Moisture in the air can lead to mold and mildew growing in your home. It can cause unpleasant odors and can even become a safety hazard especially for those with allergies and respiratory disorders.
3. The air feels clammy. Have you ever entered a home or business where the air was freezing cold but still felt damp? When you can feel the humidity indoors but you are still uncomfortable at cooler temperatures, and your air conditioner seems to run constantly, your air conditioner is likely being overwhelmed by the moisture levels.
What to Do
If you are noticing these symptoms in your home, you should consider trying to identify the source of the problem and remedy it. The issue may not be your air conditioner. It could be that your doors or windows are not properly insulated or do not have heat reduction properties (such as double panes). Alternatively, your attic may not be properly insulated, which allows more heat into your home. You should have an energy audit performed to help you determine simple ways to eliminate heat and humidity coming into your home in the summer.
The best way to efficiently eliminate the indoor humidity is to have a dehumidifier installed on your HVAC system. It will pull moisture from the air before the air conditioner forces it through your air ducts. When you pair a dehumidifier with an air conditioning system, you can easily adjust the temperature and humidity level of your home.
You can achieve a somewhat similar result with just a portable dehumidifier. Though smaller than a regular dehumidifier, you might be amazed at how quickly your house becomes more comfortable. You should be able to keep the thermostat at a higher setting.
A dehumidifier will certainly reduce opportunities for mold and mildew growth and will lower the burden on your HVAC system. By keeping humidity levels in check inside your home, your air conditioner can operate much more effectively. You will feel more comfortable and you should notice a nice drop in your energy bill. Annoying issues like foggy windows, musty odors and moist, clammy air should be eliminated as well.
Call a professional HVAC contractor to inspect your air conditioning system. An HVAC contractor can evaluate your air conditioning system, determine if it needs maintenance, and make recommendations regarding a dehumidifier and other suggestions to help improve the efficiency of your system.
Hire a Professional HVAC Contractor
Regular inspections and service by a licensed, professional HVAC service company will help make sure your air conditioning system is operating at optimal levels all summer long. Working with a qualified HVAC service company will help you keep up with the minor repairs and maintenance of your air conditioning system before it turns into a major expense. Hiring a reputable professional HVAC contractor is likely the single best way to ensure the longevity of your HVAC system while enhancing the comfort levels in your home.