When you hear the term indoor air quality, what comes to mind? Most likely, you think about the temperature of the air in your living space. This certainly has a great deal to do with your comfort, especially as we approach summer. You simply can’t get by without an effective air conditioner installed by a professional HVAC contractor in Sugar Land, TX.
But indoor air quality is about more than just temperature. When we say “indoor air quality” we’re referring to a couple different factors. Contaminants, or lack thereof, in the air is one factor. Another is the relative humidity level of your indoor air. We’ll save contaminants for another post. Today we want to talk about that humidity factor, and how it affects your air conditioner.
The Problem with High Humidity
Relative humidity levels in your home are considered too high when they g above 50%. Generally speaking, this is when most individuals notice discomfort in their home. We human beings cool off by sweating, and having that sweat evaporate off of our skin with a breeze (which is why an air conditioner feels so nice!)
Therefore, when humidity is too high, there’s too much ambient moisture in your air to allow our bodies to sweat. Therefore, we stay hot and sweat stays on our skin, leading to the gross and sticky feeling we are all too familiar with in muggy air. In addition, excess moisture encourages the growth of bacteria and mold, both of which can make even the healthiest person ill.
But What Does This Mean For Your Air Conditioner?
Ah yes, back to that pesky air conditioner problem. You see, the best way to lower humidity is by lowering the temperature of the air. This process causes moisture to coalesce, and on a dry day, that moisture evaporates much like our sweat. By default, your air conditioner does have some dehumidification properties. So, what’s the problem, you ask?
Your air conditioner isn’t designed for this purpose! Yes, it removes a small amount of moisture from the air simply by operating. But it’s not at all a significant amount, and you actually have no control over how much moisture is being removed from the air.
So eventually, that excessive moisture in the air causes your AC system to work harder than it should have to just to do its one job. And since the air feels hotter when humidity levels are too high, you typically find yourself turning the thermostat down lower and lower—so you’re effectively compounding the problem. Your air conditioner will work harder, cost more to run, and die on you far faster, the longer it has to deal with excessive humidity.
There Is a Solution!
And that solution is the installation of a whole-house dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers work with your air conditioner, allowing you complete control over the relative humidity level of your home and enabling you to turn up the thermostat a few degrees so that your air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard.
A dehumidifier also reduces the risk of running into problems brought on by condensation buildup in your air conditioner—which can lead to mold growth and even fire risk if the moisture reaches electrical components.
To learn more about dehumidifiers and the other indoor air quality products we install and service, contact Fresh Air, LP today!