Your air conditioning system is one of the most important appliances in your home during the summers. It’s easy to think of an AC as the solution to all the times you and your family are feeling the heat, and that includes the extra heat you feel when relative humidity is high (above 60%). But this isn’t exactly the case. Your air conditioning system does affect indoor humidity, but rarely enough that it will make a difference for your comfort.
How an AC Affects Humidity
An air conditioning system is not a dehumidifier, but it does have dehumidification properties. When an AC runs, it evaporates cold refrigerant (around 40°F) inside the indoor refrigerant coil. This absorbs heat to create the cooling effect for the house. It also causes moisture vapor in the air to condense on the coil, where it drips down into a condensate pan and then exits the home through a drain and drain line.
Although this removes some moisture from the air, the amount is minimal compared to what you would need to feel cooler inside your house. With relative humidity above 60°F, the change the AC makes is negligible. You’ll still suffer from the warming effects of humidity, which can make your body feel 8° to 10°F hotter than the actual temperature. You will need to run the air conditioner for longer to overcome this increased discomfort.
Solving High Humidity
The best method to deal with high humidity indoors is to have a whole-home dehumidifier installed. You can find portable dehumidifiers, but these only work for a single room at a time, and the cost to purchase enough for the whole house exceeds the cost for a professional installation of a whole-home dehumidifier. These portable units also take up extra space indoors and create noise.
A whole-home dehumidifier is installed into the HVAC system and hooked up to a central control called an aquastat. (You can also have humidity controls integrated into a new thermostat so you have control of the HVAC system and dehumidifier from a single panel.) The dehumidifier works similarly to an air conditioner: it has its own evaporator coil to remove extra moisture from the air and remove larger amounts of water from indoors. The dehumidifier cools the air in the process, but to prevent it from imbalancing the cooling AC, it reheats this air to its original temperature.
You can expect a long service life from a whole-house dehumidifier, and it will also help increase the service life of your air conditioner because it will remove extra strain from it. You’ll enjoy lower air conditioning costs at the same time: with your house feeling 8° to 10°F cooler on humid days, you can give the AC longer breaks and cut down on electrical bills.
Call Bartels for Dehumidifier Service
To find out more about whole-home dehumidifiers or to arrange for the installation of a dehumidifier in Hamilton, OH, speak to our friendly team members. We work with both whole-home dehumidifiers and humidifiers, so we can solve your year-round troubles with imbalanced humidity.