Air conditioners are designed to remove moisture from the air. If your air conditioning is running, it’s likely removing a lot of the humidity in your home, which will help keep you comfortable and improve indoor air quality.
But air conditioners can also add moisture to the air, and this is not always a good thing.
The humidity in your home can be troublesome. If you have an oversized air conditioner and it does not stay on long enough to remove the majority of moisture from the building but just cools the room, it will add moisture to the air. This can result in a muggy, sticky feeling.
- The Benefits of Reducing Humidity in Your Home
- An oversized air conditioner can increase humidity levels
- Indoor air and mold growth
- How air conditioners work in general
- Why the air conditioning system is not removing humidity from your home
- What to do about it humidity in your home
- If you're not happy with the air quality in your home
- Reducing humidity is important for a number of reasons
- Ways to reduce the humidity in your home without an AC
- How do you know if your home is too humid – symptoms of high humidity in the home
The Benefits of Reducing Humidity in Your Home
Keeping humidity levels inside your home manageable will improve your comfort, but it will also improve the air quality and reliability of your home.
For those seeking a comfortable indoor atmosphere, it’s important to know the optimal humidity level for your home.
Energy Star recommends that ideal levels are between 30 and 50%. It is in your best interest to follow this recommendation as you will be healthier when these conditions are met.
This article discusses how an AC can actually contribute to higher humidity levels indoors – something you want to avoid if you’re sensitive!
Read on for more information about this issue so that you can make informed decisions about whether or not your AC is working properly.
An oversized air conditioner can increase humidity levels
Air conditioning units are designed to remove humidity from the air. In a perfect world, this would be wonderful as it would counteract high humidity levels that can lead to mold and other problems.
Unfortunately, if you have an oversized air conditioner and it does not stay on long enough to remove as much moisture as it should from your home, this can lead to an increase in the humidity levels and discomfort for you and those who live with you.
A more powerful air conditioner is not always the best option. An oversized AC can lead to increased humidity levels and a lack of proper ventilation necessary for indoor air quality.
Indoor air and mold growth
Mold grows on lots of things. Mildew is the first stage of mold growth, and it can happen quicker than 24-48 hours.
It can grow on wood, ceiling tiles, cardboard, wallpaper, carpets, drywall, fabric, plants, and food. Mold colonies start to grow on a damp surface in less than 2 days.
As you can see it’s very important that the AC is in good working order to combat the humidity and mold growth.
How air conditioners work in general
Air conditioners work by removing heat from a room. An air conditioner removes humidity from the air when it cools.
An oversized AC can increase humidity levels in your home and this can lead to discomfort as well as quality-of-life problems.
An air conditioner that’s too large will remove moisture from the air, but it may not run long enough or often enough to make a real difference in your comfort and humidity levels.
So an oversized AC can actually create more problems than it solves when you consider how much energy is required for one of these units to effectively cool air and how much more uncomfortable you and your family will feel.
An oversized air conditioner can also cause problems with the operation of other home appliances, especially if they are sensitive to temperature swings and moisture.
You need to make sure that your AC is sized correctly for your home’s needs.
An oversized unit will not remove humidity from the air completely leaving you feeling uncomfortable with higher humidity levels in your home.
An oversized AC also creates a longer cycle of air circulation which will lead to more problems down the road with mold and bacteria growth, considering that increased moisture is likely to accumulate.
So in short air conditioners cool the air and remove humidity from the room.
Why the air conditioning system is not removing humidity from your home
There are a number of reasons why ACs are not removing moisture from the air.
- An oversized AC may actually increase humidity levels in your home because it does not run long enough or often enough to make a difference in your comfort and humidity levels.
- An oversized AC can cause significant problems with other home appliances, like your heating system.
- An oversized AC also creates a longer cycle of air circulation which will lead to more problems down the road with mold and bacteria growth.
What to do about it humidity in your home
A dehumidifier is the best way to reduce a high level of moisture in your home.
An air conditioner that is sized properly will remove humidity from the air by extracting it as water vapor, but this cannot be done if all you have is an oversized AC unit.
If you get a dehumidifier the humidity level will subsequently drop and you will notice the difference.
Using a dehumidifier in conjunction with an air conditioner is a good idea, especially if you live in an area that has high humidity levels during certain times of the year.
A dehumidifier is a low-cost solution to excess moisture problems.
If you’re not happy with the air quality in your home
If you are not comfortable with the air pollutant levels in your home, you can invest in an air purifier.
An air purifier will work to remove air pollutants from the air and combat the mold, dust, and other allergens caused by higher levels of humidity indoors.
An air purifier will also work to improve indoor air quality by improving ventilation and removing toxins that can cause discomfort.
An oversized AC is not designed to do this and may actually create more problems for you and your family when it comes to allergies, cleanliness, comfort, as well as energy use.
Reducing humidity is important for a number of reasons
Many people do not know that humid air can cause more problems than dry air. According to research, dry air is healthier for you and is the best option.
If you got humidity in your home, it can cause mold and mildew to grow in your home walls, flooring, ceilings, furniture, appliances, and even in the air, you breathe.
This is dangerous to your health because some molds can produce allergens like spores that are bad for asthma sufferers or other allergy symptoms.
Did you know that in 80°F weather, 60% relative humidity can make the air feel like it’s 90°, so it’s important to have a perfectly sized air conditioner running in the summertime?
Ways to reduce the humidity in your home without an AC
- If possible you can dry your clothes outside. An old-fashioned clothesline is best but if you don’t have an outdoor space, hanging a few items on your back porch will help.
- Another option is to open windows and doors for ventilation. This could be done throughout the whole day as well.
- Also, running a dehumidifier in your home can help reduce the level of humidity in your house.
- If you got leaking pipes or windows that are not weather-stripped, these should be sealed.
- You should also keep your gutters clean because if they are clogged there is a chance that water can leak into your home.
- Also, if you have an attic, make sure that your roof is well insulated and does not leak. Check for any wet insulation that has a musty odor because this could mean mold and mildew are growing there.
- When cooking over a stove use the fan setting to remove air from the kitchen. An exhaust fan can be added to your range hood vent if it doesn’t already have one.
- You can use Charcoal Briquettes to remove humidity as well. Just place them in a bucket and it will absorb the excess humidity in your home.
- Cat litter can also be used for removing humidity from the air. Just leave a bowl of cat litter near an AC vent or close to where you notice humidity levels are higher than usual.
- You can also use Baking Soda as well, just place it in bowls and on trays around the house. This will help reduce the humidity in your home.
- If you have mold growing in your home, a bleach solution can be used to kill the mold and prevent it from coming back. An antibacterial cleaner will also work but make sure it’s safe for all surfaces that it comes into contact with.
- The best way to avoid having too much moisture in your house is to reduce humidity levels by properly maintaining your home.
How do you know if your home is too humid – symptoms of high humidity in the home
One way to measure the humidity in your home is by using a hygrometer. A hygrometer is a device that can tell you the temperature and humidity inside your house. An ideal reading is between 30% and 50%.
If you don’t have a hygrometer you can tell if your humidity levels are too high when you experience discomfort while in your home.
Here are some telltale signs of high humidity:
- An example of this is the feeling that the air outside seems “more comfortable” compared to how it feels inside your home.
- Clammy skin
- Foggy windows
- A heavy atmosphere
- You can also smell mildew or musty odors
If you find that your home is uncomfortable during the hot summer months, it might be time to have your air conditioner checked or replaced.
An improperly sized unit will not do the job as efficiently as possible and this can impact your comfort level.
An air conditioner lowers the temperature inside a house, but that’s not the same thing as lowering the humidity. In order to overcome the feeling of extra heat indoors during a humid day, an AC must run longer than it would otherwise.
The best indoor humidity level ranges between 30 to 50 percent.
If you’re not sure whether or not your home has too much moisture, keep a hygrometer on hand and monitor your indoor relative humidity level.
There are many ways to control humidity in your home without using an AC; these include opening windows for ventilation throughout the day, cleaning out leaking pipes/windows that are not weather-stripped, checking for any wet insulation with a musty odor (and if there is mold growth), placing baking soda around your house, etc.