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How Does Humidity Affect Your HVAC System?

July 14, 2014

How Does Humidity Affect Your HVAC System?

 

One important role for your air conditioning system is to remove moisture and excess humidity from the air. When humidity levels spike in warm weather months, it forces your unit to work harder. This can take a toll on your systems efficiency levels. When humidity levels are too high, your home will feel warmer than it actually is, and consequently, a lot warmer than you thermostat registers. Because the air in your home is holding excess humidity that is not being removed, your air conditioning system will have to work harder to be able to maintain a comfortable environment for you and your family. This will add wear to your air conditioning unit and result in higher energy bills.

In order to combat excess moisture in your home during the warmer months, it is a good idea to have a dehumidifier professionally installed on your HVAC system. By extracting extra water from the air before it is cycled through the system, a dehumidifier can help keep your home’s humidity level comfortably below 60%. If you are having a new HVAC unit installed, adding a dehumidifier simultaneously will give you the ability to monitor both your home’s temperature and humidity levels. Another option to prevent excess humidity in your home is purchasing an independent dehumidifier with manual humidity level indication and control. Carefully managed humidity levels will result in more effective and efficient use of your air conditioning unit.

In cooler months low humidity levels can make your living space feel cooler than your thermostat registers. Cool air does not hold as much moisture as warm air. This can lead to discomfort for you and your loved ones and even damage to your home’s flooring and furnishings. With lower humidity, you may find yourself increasing your thermostat’s temperature above the comfortable 71-77 degrees Fahrenheit in a desperate attempt to keep your living space comfortable. Your heating system, whether it consists of a furnace or heat pump, will be forced to work harder, and still may never be able to provide a warm enough environment for you and your family.

For your heating system to provide you with the proper warmth temperature, you will need to take the opposite approach as in the warmer months. The installation of a humidifier on your HVAC system will help to add an appropriate amount of moisture to the air before it is pumped into your home. This will help maintain a comfortable humidity level of 30-40%. A stand-alone humidifier may also be used to distribute moisture; however, more than one unit may be necessary to keep your home comfortable.

Although extremities in humidity levels can take a toll on you HVAC system, these are a few simple ways in which you can prevent HVAC wear and excess energy costs.

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