You may think of your air conditioner as a device that cools your home, but this isn't entirely true. Air conditioners do more than cool the air. They condition the air by removing humidity and by lowering the temperature. Under normal circumstances, turning on the AC produces cool, comfortable air, but sometimes doing so can produce cool, damp air instead. There are a number of reasons this can occur.
Your Air Conditioner Is Too Large for the Space
It is only human nature to assume that if a small unit will cool your home that a larger unit will do so quicker or better, but this isn't true. Installing an air conditioner that is too large for the area to be cooled can leave you feeling cold and clammy. That's because a larger unit does cool the air faster than a smaller one, but it doesn't have time to remove the humidity from the air before the temperature drops below your thermostat setting and the unit shuts off. That means the air in your home will still have too much moisture in it, even though the air is cool.
Your Air Conditioner Has Only One Speed
One-speed air conditioners typically run on high until the air temperature reaches the desired level and then shut off until the ambient temperature in the room rises. This can mean a lot of turning off and on instead of running consistently to cool the air and remove humidity. If your unit turns off and on frequently due to running on one speed, the system may not have time to remove the moisture from the air before it turns off again. Installing a modulating air conditioner that runs consistently will do a better job of removing the humidity from the air. While this type of unit may take a little longer to cool the home when it is initially started, it will run more consistently and keep the humidity level under control too. These units are especially useful in areas where temperatures are not too high but there is high humidity.
You Are Running It on Fan Only
It may be tempting to try to save energy by running your air conditioner on fan only if the temperature is tolerable, but if the humidity is high, this will not take care of the problem. You may initially feel cooler because the air in your home is moving, but you may even increase the humidity in your home by blowing moisture back into the living space before it has drained away from the AC.
You Have Too Much Negative Air Pressure in Your Living Space
Negative air pressure is just a fancy way of saying you are exhausting too much air from your home. This can happen when you use exhaust fans in the kitchen or bath for long periods or place fans in windows to draw out hot air. Other common causes of negative air pressure in your home are fireplaces and leaky duct work. This causes the air pressure inside your home to drop. When that happens, warm, humid air from the outside will be sucked into the home via cracks around windows and doors. You may also notice a gust of wind whenever someone opens the front door as air from the outside rushes in. If it is hot and humid outside, this may increase the humidity in your home faster than your air conditioner can remove it from the air.
Your Air Conditioner Is Old
Air conditioners don't last forever. They get old and less efficient with age. Typically, you will notice an increase in both humidity and temperature control and may notice a jump in your utility bill too. Your local HVAC contractor can evaluate your current AC system and make recommendations for repairs or replacement.
If you have trouble determining why your home's humidity levels remain high despite running an air conditioner, call an HVAC contractor such as A & E Heating and AC Inc. A contractor will have the experience and expertise to troubleshoot your system for you.Share
13 December 2016
Every summer, I agonized over energy bills that would shoot into the stratosphere as a result of my efforts to keep cool in the heat. Every time I turned the temperature down, my bills increased. This summer, I decided to take some of the control over my energy bill back. I installed reflective film on my windows that reduced the amount of light and heat coming into the house. I started serving more cold meals or asking my husband to barbecue outside, so that my air conditioner didn't have to compete with the hot stove, and I started doing laundry at night to reduce appliance heat in the house at peak times. I also had ceiling fans installed. So far, the difference in my bill has been tremendous. This blog is a way for me to explore other ways to reduce energy drain during the summer months.