Every homeowner experiences those days where it feels like their HVAC system isn’t working correctly. No matter how low you set the thermostat, it feels like your home isn’t cooling off like you’re used to. While your first thought maybe that your system is experiencing a malfunction, the culprit could be a high humidity level.
Humidity’s Effect on Your Comfort Level
Being outside on a day that has a high humidity level can make you feel clammy and sticky. When you have a high humidity level in your home, you’ll feel the same way. When the humidity level is high, that means that there’s more moisture in the air. This excess moisture can make it feel as if the ambient temperature of a room is much warmer than it is.
When your body gets hot, it naturally sweats. This is a bodily process that works to lower your overall body temperature to reach a normal level. When you’re in an environment with a high humidity level, the air is unable to absorb a large amount of sweat that is on your body. This leaves a lot of sweat on your skin, which makes it feel sticky or clammy.
Apart from feeling sticky or clammy, there are some other key indications to alert you of when the humidity level inside of your home is too high. If you look at your windows when the humidity level is high, you’ll notice that they’re foggy. The air in your home will have a musty or damp smell to it. You’ll even feel that the air is moist.
What Is the Optimal Home Humidity Level?
Controlling the humidity level in your home can allow your air conditioner to work at its optimal efficiency instead of fighting the nasty effects of humidity. Just as every person has their own style of clothes that feels good to them, each family has their own household humidity level that makes them comfortable. Most research has shown that families find comfort between 40 and 60 percent humidity.
If you currently have a humidity gauge on your existing air conditioning system, you can easily experiment with finding the right level of humidity for your family. You’ll likely need to adapt the humidity level to the ambient temperature outside throughout the year as the seasons change. Generally, of thumb, the humidity level inside of your home should decrease alongside a drop in the outdoor temperature.
Why Is It Important to Avoid High Indoor Humidity Levels?
It’s important to note that the humidity level in your home should never exceed 60 percent. If possible, try to keep it below 50 percent. High humidity creates a breeding ground for mold growth. The higher the humidity level climbs inside of your home; the faster mold growth will spread. Also, family members who suffer from allergies and asthma will have more difficulty with their conditions when humidity levels are too high.
Apart from worsened allergy and asthma symptoms, high indoor humidity levels can wreak havoc on your furniture. Any pieces that are made from wood will expand when the humidity level inside of your home is too high. When this expansion happens, it speeds up the deterioration process and weakens your wood furniture. It’s crucial to realize that the humidity level in your home affects more than just your health and comfort.
Dealing With Air Conditioners That Can’t Cope With High Humidity
While your air conditioning unit may work well on days where the humidity levels are normal, it may have a tough time doing its job when humidity levels spike. Air conditioners work by removing heat and moisture from the air. When the humidity level is extremely high, the air conditioning unit will have to continue to work harder to remove the excess moisture.
Unfortunately, not all systems are up to the challenge. Some older air conditioning systems may struggle with properly cooling down the inside of your home on days where the humidity level is too high. You’ll notice that your system is constantly running and unable to get to the desired thermostat temperature. An air conditioning system that is fighting high humidity levels will work harder and wear out much faster. If you’re experiencing this issue, you may want to think about upgrading your current air conditioning system or having a dehumidifier installed to help remove the excess moisture in the air.
Consider Having a Dehumidifier Installed
If your current HVAC system isn’t keeping up on those uncomfortable summer days with high humidity levels, it’s advisable to consider having a dehumidifier installed. This appliance will work to pull excess moisture out of the air inside of your home. It will trap the condensation and move it outdoors.
When having a dehumidifier installed, you can enjoy the addition of a humidity gauge if you don’t already have one. This gauge will allow you to set the desired relative humidity level inside of your home. It works much like a thermostat in the essence that the dehumidifier will work to remove moisture from the air until the gauge reaches your set humidity level. A dehumidifier can be a great addition to any existing air conditioning system to help keep your home at a comfortable, cool level.
Top Reasons Your Air Conditioning Unit May Be Responsible for High Humidity
While the idea that bigger is better is usually correct, when it comes to air conditioning units, that’s not always the case. An oversized air conditioning unit will tend to kick on and off too frequently. When the oversized air conditioning unit doesn’t run for a long period of time, it’s unable to remove the excess moisture from the air inside of your home. This leaves the humidity level high and uncomfortable for your family.
Another common reason that your air conditioning unit can’t successfully lower the humidity level is that it’s a single-speed unit. Traditionally, centralized air conditioning units work at one speed. The unit kicks on and runs at full speed until it reaches the desired temperature. Then, it kicks off.
With a single-speed unit, when the temperature rises above the thermostat setting, the air conditioning unit will kick on and run at full speed for a few moments until the temperature drops to the desired setting again. This produces the same problem as an oversized unit where it doesn’t run long enough to remove the humidity from your home. While it’s indeed cooling the air inside of your home, the high humidity level cancels out the coolness for your family.
Getting the Optimal Air Conditioning Unit for Your Home
Air conditioning technology has adapted over the years to become more efficient to fit our comfort levels than ever before. With one call to Fahnestock HVAC, we can assess all your HVAC needs in the Wichita area. Let our skilled professionals assist you in updating or installing a new centralized air conditioning system for your home. We also offer heating, electrical, and plumbing services too. Contact Fahnestock HVAC today for more information