Do you still feel the humidity in your home even when your air conditioner is turned on? Does the air inside your home clammy? Are your windows foggy? Does your home have a musty and unpleasant odor? Do you see mold and mildew growth in bathrooms? These are the classic signs that your home has high humidity.
Apart from causing discomfort and creating an unpleasant indoor environment, high humidity can also impact heating and cooling inside your home.
The amount of moisture in the air affects the perception of how cold or warm we feel. For example, high humidity on a hot summer day can make your home feel warmer even when the air conditioner is running. Ideally, the moisture levels inside your home should be maintained between 35-45 percent to achieve optimum comfort. High humidity can impact your home’s heating and cooling in several ways.
Makes your HVAC less effective
High humidity levels inside your home can limit the effectiveness of your air conditioner by canceling out its cooling effect. Even at the right thermostat setting, you may feel warmer than you should. It will also necessitate that the air conditioner works longer and harder.
Reduced HVAC efficiency and performance
To handle high humidity, the HVAC system has to work harder than usual because it has to condense and remove the moisture inside your home. Due to this, the HVAC system is not able to perform optimally and will consume more energy. This will translate into higher energy bills. Also, with lower HVAC performance, your home will not receive enough cold or warm air, making you feel uncomfortable inside your home.
High humidity inside your home not only affects the comfort levels and HVAC system performance but may also necessitate more frequent repairs and maintenance. An overworked HVAC system will break down easily and more frequently and will require repairs.
How to tackle high humidity in your home?
Accurate sizing of the HVAC system is essential. A larger heating and cooling system does not necessarily mean better cooling and more comfort. When the heat pump or air conditioning unit is too large, it will quickly reach the desired temperature and cycle frequently. Shorter cooling cycles mean the system will not have adequate time to remove moisture and the indoor air will be more humid. By using the right-sized heating and cooling system, you can tackle this problem. Some other things you can do to keep humidity levels in check include:
• Ensure that the ductwork is properly sealed and insulated so that no moisture can enter the system
• Use an exhaust fan in high-humidity areas such as the kitchen and bathroom
• Clean the coils, as dirt and debris can affect the unit’s ability to release heat. This does not allow the air conditioner to operate at peak efficiency, and it may have trouble removing humidity from indoor air.
• Cleaning out the drain line regularly to remove all blockages can also make a considerable difference
• You can add a dehumidifier to your HVAC system that can keep humidity levels inside your home within an acceptable range
The simplest thing you can do to ensure that the heating and cooling system is working at its peak efficiency and that the humidity levels are in check is to ensure regular, scheduled preventive maintenance.
A routine tune-up can also prolong the lifespan of the system and help reduce energy consumption.