Humidity is one of the big obstacles against comfort during our summers. The extra moisture in the air is like putting on a coat on a hot day: it traps heat inside our bodies, making us feel hotter than the actual temperature. When humidity is above 70%—and this happens often in the Conway area—the temperature can feel 8° to 10° hotter. This makes a subtle difference when you consider that an 85°F day will feel like it’s 95°F!
But you have an air conditioning system, and that should take care of you indoors. But hold on a minute … does your AC really do anything to dehumidify your home? The short answer is that an AC does some dehumidification, but it’s not specifically a dehumidifier and won’t make an enormous difference in comfort.
Dehumidification is a side-effect of an air conditioner, not its purpose
The way an air conditioner makes your home cooler is that it evaporates cold refrigerant to draw heat out of the air. The cool air around the refrigerant coil where this occurs then gets blown into the rest of the house.
As the refrigerant absorbs heat, it also causes moisture in the air to condense into water droplets along the coil. This is the same process as when moisture beads start to appear on the outside of a glass or can of cold liquid taken out of the refrigerator. The air conditioner removes this moisture through a drip pan and drain.
This dehumidification is not what the air conditioner was designed to do: it’s a side-effect of how it cools the air. A standard air conditioner cannot make much difference in a home during a humid day, and in some cases the amount of moisture in the air can overwhelm the AC’s condensate system and lead to water leaking from the unit—a situation that calls for air conditioning repair in Jacksonville, AR.
Dealing with high humidity
An air conditioning system still provides cooling, which can help to overcome the extra heat that humidity makes you feel. But the AC will need to run longer because it has more work to do to make you feel cool in humid conditions. This adds up to higher bills and an air conditioner that wears down faster.
A solution we recommend is to have our team install a whole-house dehumidifier in your HVAC system. This dedicated system works in connection with the air conditioner to lower the indoor humidity level to a more balanced one—we recommend around 45% humidity, the right spot between too humid and too dry. A dehumidifier also uses refrigerant to draw moisture from the air, but it can handle larger amounts of water and it reheats the air it dehumidifies so it won’t throw off the air conditioner and make the home too cold. You control the humidity levels through a type of thermostat called a humidistat, or we can install a new thermostat for the HVAC system that includes humidity controls.
Feel free to call us if you have any questions about getting control over humidity in your house and having a dehumidifier installed.
Dewees HVAC is here to keep you comfortable! Call us for AC service in the Conway area.