When the temperatures begin to rise in the southeast and people start to complain about their discomfort, you often hear the phrase “it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity!” In dry climates summer can be comfortable, but rising humidity can make the season unbearable. If you don’t have a pool or shade nearby retreating into the comfort of your air-conditioned home can be the best feeling in the world on a hot, muggy day! One of the reasons (other than the obviously cooler temperature) is the lack of humidity inside your home versus outside. Low humidity inside is a sign of a properly functioning HVAC system. For most homeowners, the way your air conditioning system operates is a bit of a mystery. How can it handle both jobs at once?
How Your AC Regulates Humidity
An air conditioner doesn’t actually produce cold air in the same way a furnace produces heat for your home. Instead, an air conditioner uses coolant to absorb heat from the air, a blower pushes it through the HVAC system, and eventually releases it outdoors. The coolant continuously circulates to remove as much heat as needed from your home for your indoor air temperature reach the the cooler temperature you’ve set on the thermostat.
Depending on how up-to-date your current HVAC system is, there are built in components that help regulate the humidity without you having to lift a finger. A modern AC system is equipped with an evaporator coil that condenses the liquid in the hot, moist air in your home as it comes into contact with it. The moisture collected by the coil then feeds down into a drainage system that runs outside, away from your home.
Does HVAC Size Matter?
Absolutely, size matters. If your HVAC unit is too small or too large for your home or business, it can affect how efficiently it operates. If the unit is too large it can short cycle, meaning the compressor system will run for a shorter duration. This can often cause humidity to rise as the air is not being circulated often enough. A too-small unit may not have enough power to keep your space cool and comfortable. If you start to notice condensation in your home, it may be a sign of a problem with your HVAC system.
The Benefits of Low Humidity Indoors
No one loves to sit inside sweating. One of the most obvious perks of a dry indoors is a proper environment for our own bodies to regulate humidity. Our bodies cool off by perspiring, so when we are in a humid environment it’s harder for our sweat to evaporate. The less humid the air, the less you sweat.
But there’s more to it than comfort. Higher humidity can also cause the growth of mold inside out home, especially in moisture-prone areas like bathrooms and kitchens. Mold can lead to various health problems, especially in people with respiratory issues, like asthma, and those suffering from allergies. Bacteria also thrive in moist environments, which can be harmful for children and those with weakened immune systems.
Maintenance Is Key for Comfort
If you’re noticing humidity in your home or office, it may be caused by a maintenance issue within your air conditioning system. The most common culprit is a dirty evaporator coil. Sometimes even a fine layer of dust can cause the coil to work less efficiently and cause your HVAC unit to struggle. The dust acts as an insulator that prevents the coil from absorbing as much heat from the air, which in turn makes your system run longer and work harder, using up more energy to reach the set indoor temperature. The coolant used to cool the air now starts to freeze the water vapor in the unit rather than condensing into a liquid. Eventually, without proper attention, the entire evaporator coil can freeze up. If your HVAC system continues to run with a frozen coil or condenser unit, the compressor can overheat causing the entire component to fail. And nothing is worse than a broken AC in the dead of summer! If you see a layer of frost on your outdoor unit and it’s not winter, it’s time to call for help — that is definitely a sign of a problem!
City Heat & Air in Knoxville, TN, The Cool Way to Stay Comfortable This Summer
If your air conditioner isn’t keeping up, or you’re noticing condensation and humidity inside your home or office, it’s time to give one of our professionals at City Heat & Air a call today. Whether your HVAC unit needs routine maintenance, you want to upgrade to a more efficient AC system, or you’re suffering with a broken AC unit, we’re here to keep you cool and comfortable! As the temperatures rise and that famous East Tennessee humidity sets in, you’ll be glad you have a properly functioning unit to help you beat the heat!
City Heat and Air in Knoxville, TN, offers assessments for your current HVAC systems and can find ways to create more a more energy efficient solution that will save you money and offer you peace of mind. With our residential, commercial, and new construction services, no matter your needs—City Heating and Air Conditioning can help! We offer free evaluations in the Knoxville, TN, area, as well as 24/7 emergency service, annual inspections, and monthly maintenance plans. Give us a call at 865-938-1005 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.