High humidity on summer days makes it much harder for us to keep cool. The increased moisture in the air doesn’t make the temperature hotter—a 90°F day is still 90°F—but it does make it harder for our bodies to release heat and cool us down. This is why humid days feel hotter: we have all this extra heat stored up.
Of course, you have your home’s air conditioning system to help keep you cool. But does the AC do anything about the humidity aside from blast out enough cool air to overcome the heat? Well … a little. But it’s rarely enough.
The Standard Air Conditioner Is Not a Dehumidifier
It’s best to say that an air conditioner has some dehumidifying properties, but it isn’t an actual dehumidifier. When an air conditioner runs, it draws cold refrigerant through an indoor coil, where contact with the warmer indoor air causes the refrigerant to evaporate. This evaporation draws heat from the air, which is how the AC provides cooler air for the house. But evaporation also causes moisture in the air to condense along the coil, which then drips down into a pan and drain. (This is the dripping sound you occasionally hear from the AC.) So the air conditioner does pull some of the moisture from the air, dehumidifying it.
However, unless the air conditioner was specifically built with humidity controls, it cannot make much difference for comfort in a house. It’s just not designed for it and doesn’t have any precision control over how it draws moisture out of the air. (In fact, on dry days, and AC can end up making the house too dry.) On the most humid days, the AC won’t make a noticeable dent in humidity levels, and you’ll have to keep running the system longer and longer to overcome the extra heat.
The Whole-House Dehumidifier Is the Answer
The way to overcome the high humidity problem in your house is to arrange with our team for a whole-house dehumidifier installation. You can purchase portable dehumidifiers, but they only work in one room at a time, don’t have high capacity, and can create fire hazards. It’s best to have a single dehumidifier installed into the ventilation system that works in tandem with the AC and has precision controls on the thermostat.
A whole-house dehumidifier operates similarly to an AC: it has a refrigerant coil where cold refrigerant evaporates to pull moisture from the air. It also pulls heat from the air, but to prevent this interfering with the action of the air conditioner, the dehumidifier re-heats this air to balance it. You set the humidity level on the thermostat for proper balance. We recommend a relative humidity level of 45%, which is the median between a too-humid and a too-dry day.
Balanced humidity does more than make your house more comfortable. It stops mold growth, unhealthy conditions, and water damage. It’s a big benefit to have a whole-house dehumidifier, so please contact us to learn more about them and schedule installation for a dehumidifier in Malvern, PA.
Michall Daimion Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. has served the Main Line since 1976. Call to schedule whole-house dehumidifier installation.