Will Air Conditioning Remove Home Humidity?
Summers in Windsor, Ontario, are warm and humid. You rely on your air conditioner for cooling the air in your home. You might be surprised to learn that it also helps with humidity control. Read on to find out how air conditioning helps remove humidity from your home, why humidity removal is important, and some issues that can interfere with this process.
The Ideal Indoor Humidity Level
An ideal indoor humidity level is around 40 to 50 %. At this level, the air is moist enough for you to breathe easily. Your nasal passages, throat, eyes, and skin will have the right moisture content for health and comfort. If the humidity drops lower than 30%, your nose, sinuses, throat, eyes, and skin will be too dry. You may have breathing issues, eye or throat irritation, and dry or itchy skin. If the humidity goes above 70%, your body cannot cool itself. This is the case even if the indoor temperature is a moderate 21 to 26 degrees Celsius.
Understand the Cooling Cycle
During a cooling cycle, the liquid refrigerant passes through your air conditioner’s evaporator coil. The evaporator coil is inside your home. Warm air is blown across the cold coils. This drops the air temperature. Cold air cannot hold as much moisture as warm air, so some of the moisture condenses into water. The cooled air passes through the air filter and into your home’s ducts.
Where the Condensed Water Goes
The water that condenses out of the air during a cooling cycle drips into the drain pan. The drain pan connects to the condensate line. The condensate line leads to your home’s drain system. The condensate line is usually made of PVC pipe. This humidity removal happens during every cooling cycle.
Why Moisture Removal Is Important for Cooling
You will not feel comfortable when the air in your home is humid. Your skin may feel clammy. High indoor humidity encourages mould growth. As mould grows, it releases spores. Those spores are a common trigger for people with allergies and asthma. Even if you do not have mould allergies, exposure to the spores could cause you to feel sick.
What Happens if the AC Doesn’t Remove Enough Humidity
If your air conditioner does not remove enough moisture from your home’s air, your comfort and health could suffer. In addition to not being comfortable or feeling well, too much indoor humidity could cause damage to your home and belongings. Excess humidity could cause wood furniture, floors, and trim to warp. Wallpaper, drywall, and carpets could discolor. Belongings made from paper may deteriorate. Even the upholstery of your furniture and paintings on your walls could be damaged by high humidity. If there is too much humidity in your home, your air conditioner will cycle more often. This leads to excessive wear and tear. Your air conditioner may need more repairs, or it could fail sooner than expected.
Issues That Interfere with Humidity Removal in Your Home
Several types of air conditioner problems may prevent the system from effectively removing humidity from your home. Dirty evaporator coils interfere with the absorption of heat and condensation of moisture. A refrigerant leak also reduces the air conditioner’s ability to cool and dehumidify your home. Damage to the drain pan could allow water to back up into the air handler, resulting in extensive damage and an automatic shutdown of the AC. A clogged condensate line also reduces indoor humidity removal.
Tips for Improving Indoor Humidity Control
Once each month, check your condensate drain. Use a wet/dry vacuum to remove obstructions. Pour a 10 % bleach solution into the pipe in order to eliminate algae and mildew growth. Change your AC’s filter every one to two months. Schedule an AC tune-up each spring. The tune-ups include cleaning the evaporator coils and measuring the refrigerant level. Preventive maintenance improves your AC’s ability to maintain a comfortable humidity level in your home.
At Guaranteed Comfort Heating & Cooling, we’re proud to offer quality heating and air conditioning rental, repair, maintenance, and installation services. We’re also prepared to provide you with ductless split systems, heat recovery ventilators, water heaters, air purification systems, UV air sanitizers, HEPA, and MERV 16 air filters and air cleaners. You can also count on us for reliable heat pump and boiler services. Contact Guaranteed Comfort Heating & Cooling today for more information about indoor humidity control.