Humidity Control and Your HVAC System

You’d think that the air conditioning would remove humidity. So why do you still see high levels in your home?

Ideal conditions are between 40 and 60% and will keep you most comfortable and lower the probability of viruses that thrive in high and low humidity levels. 

The Problems

The AC unit is too large for its space. It may sound counterintuitive, but a unit too large will not control humidity levels as well as one fit for your home. The compressor in a unit too large will frequently turn on and won’t stay running long enough to balance out the humidity levels. An HVAC specialist should design an air system based on a calculation of the cubic feet of space. 

An air conditioner that runs at only one speed can have the same effects as an oversized unit. These units run on full-blast and, in turn, don’t run long enough once the temperature goes beyond the thermostat threshold. A modulating system (VRF) can run longer at a low capacity. 

Have you ever opened a door and noticed wind rush inside? That’s negative air pressure caused by exhaust fans or HVAC systems that vent too much air from a space. The air inside will try and compensate by pulling outdoor air from every available opening in a building. Then, during humid days, muggy air will be brought right inside. 

A lousy thermostat setting can include a fan that stays “on” rather than set to “auto.” While the moving air might feel cooler, it can blow moisture previously pulled by the AC throughout the space and has not yet had time to drain away. 

A final problem could be an old air system. When parts wear or haven’t been maintained, they won’t control humidity levels like they once did. 

The Solutions

Clean the coils. The humidity from outside can wreak havoc by adding moisture and collecting dirt. Regular cleaning should do the trick. 

Cleaning the coils may not always be enough, though. the best option is to get set up on a Preventative Maintenance Plan. This investment includes regular inspections, tune-ups, and cleaning of components that, without proper care, can cause inefficiencies down the road. An HVAC technician will be able to spot and fix problems before worsening or potential system failure. 

If you’ve tried everything but you’re not ready to entirely replace your air system, you can try using a dehumidifier to help ease the problem. As always, talk to a specialist to help you find the best dehumidifier for your space and keep extra humidity from traveling through your ductwork and back into your home.