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Is Humidity Hurting My Air Conditioner?

vent on wallIt goes without saying that summers in Texas are HOT, particularly in our area. Even worse than the soaring temperatures are the increasing humidity levels that can turn our homes into unwelcome steam rooms. Your air conditioner does have some dehumidification properties. However, it isn’t built to effectively lower the humidity to an acceptable level.

In turn, humidity can, in fact, hurt your air conditioner, and also leave your home feeling muggy and uncomfortable. That’s the bad news. The good news, however, is that our New Braunfels, TX, HVAC professionals have a way for you to deal with it: the installation of a whole-house dehumidifier.

The Problem with High Humidity

Excessive humidity, in general, means a relative humidity level that is above 50%. For most people, this is the point in which our discomfort becomes apparent. As humans, we keep cool by sweating, and by having that sweat evaporate off of our skin in a breeze.

When humidity levels soar too high, there’s too much ambient moisture in the air for that to occur. Therefore, our bodies stay heated, and the sweat stays on our skin. This leads to that gross, sticky feeling when the air is too muggy. Excess humidity also encourages the growth of mold and bacteria, which no household wants to see!

The Impact of Humidity on Your AC

Your home’s humidity can be lowered by lowering the indoor temperature, which leads many people to the idea that their air conditioner is more than enough. When temps are lowered, ambient moisture coalesces into droplets—the same principle that creates dew in the early hours of morning. So as we stated above, yes, air conditioners do have some dehumidification properties by default. But, there are problems with this.

To begin with, air conditioning systems can’t control the humidity levels in any effective way. They remove moisture in the air, but not enough to make any sort of real difference—and you have no control over this. Furthermore, high humidity causes your air conditioner to work harder than it should have to in order to do its main job—cool your air.

Since the air feels hotter when humidity is too high, your air conditioner has to do more, which raises both your monthly bills, and the possibility of a breakdown in the future. Over time, excessive humidity levels each summer can shorten the lifespan of your cooling system considerably. Finally, since the air conditioner isn’t designed to handle excessive moisture, it can be overwhelmed by high humidity. There is a drain pan in place to collect condensation. However, too much of it can overflow and cause a system breakdown.

As we mentioned above, the solution is the installation of a whole-house dehumidifier. This enables you to deal with excess mugginess properly. Dehumidifiers are designed to allow precise control over the relative humidity levels, letting you set the level you prefer. This keeps you as comfortable as possible in your home, while helping your air conditioner do its job without unnecessary strain.

For exceptional HVAC and indoor air quality products and services, contact Riteway Service Company today.

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