Is Your Home Too Humid? Your Air Conditioner May Be To Blame!


Humidity is a fact of life for people in many regions across the United States. Hot summer weather often brings excessive moisture, which can be uncomfortable and create a breeding ground for problems such as mold. Air-conditioned spaces can offer some relief, but it may seem like even the best air conditioners can struggle to keep up with very humid environments.

However, a well-designed residential air conditioning system should maintain a relatively comfortable relative humidity. If your air-conditioned home isn't offering a refuge from the sticky, moist summer air, it may be due to one of these three common problems.

1. Short Run Cycles

The simplest explanation for humid interior air is that your air conditioner isn't running long enough. Your air conditioner's primary job is transporting heat energy from the indoor evaporator to the outdoor condenser coil. This process cools the air around the evaporator and causes moisture to condense from the air, reducing your home's temperature and maintaining a more comfortable humidity level.

However, if your air conditioner doesn't run long enough, it won't have enough time to dehumidify the air. As a result, your interior air temperatures may match your thermostat setpoint, but you'll still feel sticky and uncomfortable. Excessively short run cycles can have numerous causes, including oversized systems, clogged air filters, and refrigerant leaks.

2. Condensate Drainage Problems

It's necessary for the condensate that forms on the evaporator coil to drain away between cycles. If too much condensate remains on the coil or sitting in the drain pan, the air moving across the evaporator coil may pick up extra moisture. This situation can also lead to musty or moldy smells since the excessive moisture on the coils will eventually promote mold growth.

Condensate drain problems can have numerous underlying causes, including a clogged drain, faulty condensate switch, or even improper thermostat settings. If you typically leave your thermostat's fan setting to "on," try switching it to "auto" and seeing if your humidity problems resolve. If not, you'll need an HVAC technician to investigate further and look for potential condensate drainage issues.

3. Airflow Issues

Paradoxically, less airflow across your evaporator coil can result in colder temperatures, potentially causing damage to your system and stopping it from properly removing moisture. Without adequate airflow, evaporator coil temperatures will drop enough for condensation to begin to freeze. A layer of ice on the coils will act as insulation, stopping the refrigerant from absorbing more heat.

A frozen evaporator coil will usually cause your system to shut down, but you may experience unusually cold and humid air before the air conditioner finally shuts off. Always start by checking and, if necessary, replacing your air filter. If a new air filter doesn't solve the problem, stop using your system and contact an HVAC professional to help you troubleshoot the issue.

To have your AC unit inspected, contact an AC repair service in your area.


24 January 2023

cleaning the air in your home

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