Can You Lower Humidity by Running the Air Conditioner?
Unwanted humidity can create many problems, such as mold growth, musty smells, structural issues, and an uncomfortable muggy feeling. That’s why it’s necessary to control humidity if you want to enhance indoor air quality and home comfort.
The ideal relative humidity level is about 30 to 50 percent. Summer is typically the toughest time of year to remain within this range. Luckily, turning on the air conditioner can help.
After all, air conditioning doesn’t just cool your home—it also lowers humidity. Here’s info about how this works, coupled with ideas to manage indoor humidity levels.
How Air Conditioning Lowers Humidity
Contrary to what you might think, your air conditioner doesn’t put in cool, dry air in your home—it takes out heat and humidity. The process necessitates refrigerant, which soaks up heat and moisture effectively from the indoor air. Here’s the process:
- Indoor air moves through the ductwork and passes over the evaporator coil containing cold refrigerant.
- The refrigerant stores heat, and the moisture in the air condenses on the coil.
- The condensation drips into the condensate pan below the evaporator coil and drains away.
- Cool, dehumidified air blows back into your home.
Ways to Reduce Humidity
Running the air conditioner might be adequate to bring the relative humidity below 50 percent in dry climates. But if high humidity remains a problem in your home, try again with these tips.
Turn on the exhaust fan in the bathroom, kitchen and laundry room when you shower, cook and wash clothes. This form of ventilation lowers humidity at the source to keep these rooms comfortable. You can also open a window when it’s milder outside to draw in fresh air.
Mop Up Standing Water
Damp shower tiles, kitchen counters and laundry room floors raise indoor humidity and could encourage mold and mildew. Dry any standing water promptly to protect against these problems.
Use a Dehumidifier
If you grapple with high humidity in the summer, look into installing a whole-house dehumidifier that runs in tandem with your air conditioner to make each room more comfortable. A whole-house system can even operate independently of the AC to lower humidity on more temperate days without using the air conditioner. This technique saves you money and avoids that “cool but clammy” feeling.
Set the AC Fan to Auto
The condensation that forms on the evaporator coil needs time to accumulate and flow away. If you are running the air conditioning fan continuously, the moisture won’t be able to leave your home. That’s why it’s more effective to flip the fan to “auto” so it is only running when the AC compressor switches on. You should be able to adjust this setting easily on your thermostat.
Swap Out the Air Filter on a Regular Basis
A clogged filter traps dust and debris and may encourage mold spores if it gets wet. This adds more moisture and mold spores into your home every time the AC turns on. Exchange the air filter once a month or as suggested by the manufacturer to reduce indoor humidity and enhance air quality.
Adjust the Fan Speed
Refining the fan speed can be tricky. Strong airflow helps the AC meet your cooling demand on particularly hot days, but this could cause shorter cycles that minimize the chance of effective dehumidification. Coordinate with an HVAC technician to help you determine the best fan speed for your comfort preferences.
Clean the Evaporator Coil
A dirty coil can’t cool and dehumidify efficiently. If your cooling is having trouble maintaining the preferred temperature, get in touch with our HVAC specialists to maintain your cooling system and clean the evaporator coil. Cooling and dehumidifying capabilities should improve as a result.
Check the Refrigerant Charge
Insufficient refrigerant can impair your air conditioner’s ability to carry out its job. Left unchecked, major issues like a frozen evaporator coil or compressor failure could occur. Only a certified HVAC technician can fix refrigerant leaks and replenish the system as necessary, lending you another reason to request an AC tune-up.
Exchange Your Air Conditioner
If your home has consistent comfort trouble and your air conditioner is wearing down, it might be time to replace it. Pick a new AC unit with innovative features, such as a thermal expansion valve (TXV) and variable blower motor. A TXV delivers the perfect amount of refrigerant consistent with the air temperature, and a variable blower motor increases or decreases the fan speed to meet demand. Both features enhance cooling and dehumidifying effectiveness.
Manage Indoor Humidity with Winnipeg Supply Service Experts
If you decide it’s time to get a whole-house dehumidifier or upgrade your air conditioning, Winnipeg Supply Service Experts can help. Our HVAC services are structured to improve home comfort and energy efficiency for your long-term satisfaction. To ask questions or schedule a visit from one of our experienced heating and cooling technicians, please call us today.