Is your home sticky and uncomfortable? With today’s COVID concerns, it’s more important than ever to maintain proper humidity levels in your home. COVID and other viruses and bacteria thrive and spread in both very low and very high humidity conditions. Keeping relative humidity levels in your home between 40-60% is best to safeguard your family’s health. How can you improve the performance of your air conditioner, gaining control of moisture levels in your home?
Old or “economy” systems that offer only one fan speed (on or off) can experience the same problem as a system that is too large to offer effective humidity control, running at full blast in temperature is achieved, then cycling off again. When it’s time for a new air conditioner, consider upgrading to a modulating/variable fan system for more precise, efficient performance and improved comfort humidity control. Your wallet will thank you.
While the movement of air in your home can make you feel cooler, using your “fan on” setting on your thermostat will not remove excess humidity. Instead, it can make humidity issues worse, blowing moisture your unit is trying to remove back into your home.
Whole house dehumidifiers and humidifiers, added to your central comfort system, ensure ideal relative humidity in your home year-round. Dehumidification in the summer prevents the proliferation and spread of dangerous microorganisms. Humidification in the winter also reduces the incidence of airborne virus, bacteria, dust, and other irritants which easily spread in dry air.
If you feel a whoosh of air every time you open a door or window, your home could have negative air pressure issues. In this scenario, pressure attempts to equalize, drawing outside air into your home through every open door, window, crack, and crevice. In the summer, when humidity levels are high, this includes muggy air. If you fear your home is affected by this phenomenon, talk to an HVAC pro regarding ventilation system changes that can help you correct this issue.
Improperly sized systems, specifically those too large for your home, are ineffective at removing moisture, and often struggle to maintain temperature. A telltale sign is a system that turns off and on frequently. In this case, the air conditioner never runs long enough to remove moisture from the air. Talk to a licensed, experienced HVAC technician – not a builder – to ensure a new system that’s a perfect fit.
Aging systems, particularly those over 10 years old, don’t run as efficiently as they did when new. When maintenance has been neglected, wear can increase exponentially, leading to inconsistent temperatures, inadequate cooling, and poor humidity control. If your older system is struggling to handle your home comfort needs, and preventative maintenance and a coil cleaning does not fix the issue, it may be time to invest in a new system.