Once the winter and spring months are through, everyone is ready to jump into summer. So it’s time to dig out those old shorts, tees, and bathing suits from the back of your wardrobe and get ready for that perfect summer tan.
Unfortunately, the warm and pleasant dry heat that we often associate with summer isn’t always the reality. Aside from the discomfort of high temperatures, high humidity can also bring mold, which many people are allergic to.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through several factors determined by your AC unit, which may cause the high and low volume of humidity that may take place in your home.
The amount of humidity your air conditioner removes is between 30 and 50%. Therefore, air conditioners that are well-maintained may effectively remove moisture. However, when humidity levels are too high, air conditioners may struggle to maintain a comfortable humidity level in your house.
Does an Air Conditioner Remove Indoor Humidity?
Although it isn’t their primary function, air conditioners can help you answer this question by lowering humidity levels in your home.
A common misconception among homeowners is that your air conditioner’s sole purpose is to blast cool air into your home at the temperature set on the Thermostat. This is, without a doubt, its primary goal. But on the other hand, the average homeowner is unaware that your air conditioner is also responsible for removing moisture from the air, commonly referred to as humidity.
Most modern air conditioners are now built to control humidity to preserve room comfort.
- The essential function of the evaporator coil in your air conditioner is to evaporate cooling chemicals from liquid to gas while also soaking up the heat.
- Below the evaporator coil is a condensate pan that serves as a storage for the water vapor. In layman’s terms, your air conditioning unit takes warm air from your home and condenses the excess moisture using the cold evaporator coil.
- The unit effectively removes humidity by capturing and eliminating excess moisture from the air in your home.
- The condensed water vapor condenses on the condenser pan and is then steered away from your house.
What Is Humidity?
The volume of water vapor trapped in the air is called humidity. More water vapor can be found in warmer air than in colder air. This is because higher temperatures cause water molecules to travel more quickly, preventing condensation. Dampness levels represent how much humidity the air may potentially store. Cooler air does not automatically mean less humidity.
How Much Humidity Does an Air Conditioner Remove?
Your air conditioner may remove anywhere from 5 to 20 gallons of water every day from the air on your property, depending on how hot and humid the weather is outside.
Humidity levels in indoor environments should range from 30% to 50% relative humidity (the amount of water vapor the air contains compared to the maximum amount it could hold at any given temperature). Any higher than this is both unhealthy and ineffective.
Fortunately, dehumidification can help reduce indoor humidity (or increase in a dry winter through humidification). There are also times of the year when your indoor environment doesn’t require heating or cooling to be comfortable, but humidity control is still needed.
Problems Caused If the Humidity in Your Home Is Too High or Too Low
According to Building Science Corporation research, 70% or greater humidity near a surface might cause substantial property damage.
While according to the Health and Safety Executive, indoor relative humidity should be maintained at 40-70 percent, some experts propose a range of 30-60 percent.
If the relative humidity in your house routinely exceeds 60%, it can cause problems. Mold and mildew begin to form when the air contains water vapor over that level, and excess moisture can create decay, causing damage to your items.
Let’s have a look at some potential issues.
Molds and Musty Odors
When the weather warms up outside, you may notice an increase in humidity in your home. Condensation on windows, wet stains on walls and ceilings, moldy bathrooms, musty odors, and a clammy sensation in the air can all be signs of too much humidity.
Extended periods of high humidity in your home can cause rot and structural damage. It can also attract pests. Bugs are always on the lookout for water, and condensation provides them with just that.
High humidity can be very harmful when combined with high temperatures since it interferes with the body’s capacity to cool itself, perhaps leading to a heat stroke.
People with heart problems or asthma should use considerable caution in such situations. Dryer air is more comfortable at higher temperatures, so homeowners may turn up the temperature on their central air conditioners and save energy.
High humidity can also exacerbate allergy symptoms, contribute to chronic allergies, and cause dust mite issues. In addition, molds increase more quickly in high humidity, and they can develop almost anywhere, causing damage to whatever they grow on.
Allergy and asthma sufferers are at risk from mold spores. In addition, when the humidity is high, dust mites proliferate. These tiny pests, found in practically every home, are another annoyance for allergy and asthma sufferers.
Your furnace runs more when the temperature outside drops. As a result, your home’s humidity level might drop as low as 10% in freezing weather. The Sahara Desert, by contrast, has an average relative humidity of 25%.
When you consider that people feel most at ease when the relative humidity is around 40%, it’s easy to see how dry indoor air can be harmful to your family.
Low humidity symptoms can cause static electricity, dry skin, lips and hair, scratchy throats and noses, itching, and chapping. In addition, the mucous inside your nose and throat may dry down, making you feel more uncomfortable and more susceptible to colds and respiratory illnesses.
In addition, body moisture evaporates so quickly at low humidity levels that you feel cold even at higher thermostat settings.
Rotting Furniture, Floors, And Furnishings
Woodwork and furnishings can be harmed by low humidity. Shrinkage, hardwood floor separation, and warping will be noticeable, as will your piano going out of tune, wallpaper peeling at the edges, drawers loosening, and molding gaps appearing.
The Advantages of Lowering Humidity
Human bodies become cold as they sweat, making people feel uneasy when humidity levels rise. When the weather is humid, the air is humidified, making it more difficult for your sweat to evaporate.
The air becomes less humid and more responsive to the evaporation of human sweat as the temperature drops. As a result, you will feel more at ease.
As a result, attaining the proper moisture balance will help you feel more comfortable and fight the flu.
How Long Should AC Run To Remove Humidity?
AC units should run for roughly 15 to 20 minutes under ideal working circumstances before turning off. In warm temperatures, the cycles may be a little shorter. Keep in mind that running the air conditioner for less than 10 minutes isn’t ideal because the air conditioner won’t be able to dehumidify the room properly.
The hotter outside, the longer it takes for your air conditioner to cool down to the required temperature. On a 95-degree day, don’t be surprised if cycles last longer than 20 minutes, especially if it’s humid outside. Under these conditions, it’s typical for air conditioners to run longer.
Longer cycles are beneficial since they assist in dehumidifying your home and reduce the wear and tear caused by short processes.
People Also Ask
Why is my house so humid with AC on?
When your air conditioner is working correctly, it cools and dehumidifies the air within your home. However, there are several reasons why your air conditioner may fail to perform its dehumidifying tasks.
One of the causes listed below could explain why your home feels muggy even when the air conditioner is turned on.
- The Thermostat is set incorrectly.
- Your air conditioner is being disrupted by dust and dirt.
- Your Indoor AC Unit’s Evaporator Coil Is Frozen.
- Your current system is too small for your house.
- Your current system is nearing the end of its useful life.
- There are leaks in your ductwork.
- It’s just quite humid outside.
Does running the fan on my air conditioner reduce humidity?
If the fan is set to AUTO, moisture collects and sits on the refrigerant coils. The humidity may slide off the coils and drain away outside when the fan switches off between cooling cycles.
The moisture on the refrigerant coils, on the other hand, does not have a chance to evaporate when the fan is switched on. The majority of the moisture evaporates and is blasted back into your home because the fan is operating all of the time.
By extracting moisture from the air and forcing it outside, the AUTO option allows your air conditioner to dehumidify your home properly.
Because the moisture taken from your air is eventually replaced, the ON setting inhibits your AC from adequately dehumidifying your home.
While air conditioners have dehumidifying properties, using them continuously isn’t the best answer for a high humidity level in your home. Unless your air conditioner has unique humidity controls, it can be beneficial to regulate the humidity in other ways.
Remember that high humidity levels can harm your home, health, and comfort. Therefore, it’s advisable to maintain them moderately during any season, though the ideal levels will change.