When the air outside feels so much hotter than the weather report indicates, it’s usually because of the humidity. When it’s hot and humid outside, your body cannot cool down the way it naturally does. Normally, your body sweats to cool down, and you feel cooler as sweat evaporates. But sweat cannot evaporate quickly when there is too much moisture in the air.
When you go indoors and turn on your air conditioner, you feel cooler not only because the AC removes heat from the air and sends cool air through the vents, but also because your system is designed to remove moisture from the air. In fact, some of the first air conditioners were invented mainly with humidity control in mind. In this post, we’ll share some tips on how to get rid of moisture in your home and how to keep your home more comfortable.
What Is Humidity?
Humidity is what causes your mirror to cloud up when showering. While this type of moisture in the air in your bathroom is more easy to detect, what causes high humidity in a house? Humidity can be the culprit for mold building up in certain areas of your home. Humidity is also what causes us to feel as if we are walking around in a sauna. However, did you know that it is actually humidity inside your home that causes it to feel warmer, not the actual temperature? High levels of humidity in your home can have an effect on your body and comfort levels, your home and your energy costs.
Humidity is the amount of water vapor that is in the air. Usually, relative humidity is represented as a percentage. The most common and ideal comfort range for humidity levels is between 30 and 50%. For example, 100% humidity would mean that the air holds all of the water vapor it possibly can, while 0% would indicate the complete absence of moisture in the air.
Humidity can cause us to feel a lot warmer than we really are—which causes us to sweat. With higher humidity levels, our body has a harder time evaporating our sweat. The could explain why you may wake up sweating in the middle of a hot summer night.
On a serious note, high humidity can have even larger consequences. In extreme cases, high humidity can lead to conditions such as:
- Muscle cramps
- Heat exhaustion
- Heat stroke
How Your Air Conditioner Cools Your Home
While your health is the primary concern, humidity can also have negative effects on your home as well. High levels of humidity can cause a vast array of issues in your home, including musty odors, moist, clammy air, allergies, mold growth, warped wood floors, condensation build-up and much more.
To combat humidity, your air conditioner cools the home by removing heat from the air. The indoor blower fan sucks in warm air from your home and blows it over a coil. This coil contains refrigerant, which is constantly converting from a liquid into gas form as the AC is running. The evaporating refrigerant absorbs the heat from the air with ease and carries the heat outdoors to dissipate, and the coil becomes very cold as a result. The fan blowing past the cold coil is what brings cool air into the home.
As the fan blows over the coil, moisture in the air collects on the coil as condensation. Think of it in the same way as if you brought a glass of ice water outside on a hot day. The condensation that collects on the outside of the coil drains in a condensate pan and moves into a drain.
If your air conditioner or heating system isn’t capable of maintaining comfortable humidity levels, some homeowners invest in dehumidifiers to help. This simple appliance will pull moisture from their air before it goes into your home. A dehumidifier can work with your air conditioner so that you can your adjust the temperature and keep your humidity levels down.
ABC Can Keep Your Indoor Air Comfortable
Consistent high indoor humidity is a sign that your air conditioning system isn’t working as it should. Since this appliance is responsible for the biggest part of your monthly utility bill, getting a dehumidifier is only a temporary solution. In the long-term, your AC needs to be serviced by a professional who can troubleshoot your problem and suggest a course of action. The experts at ABC Home & Commercial Services have been helping Texas homeowners keep their homes comfortable for generations. With the training and experience to handle any kind of cooling or heating issue a homeowner may experience, you’ll have your AC up and running properly in no time.