When the air outside feels like a wet blanket, you want your home to feel like a refreshing oasis… or at the very least, a comfy place to live in between ventures outdoors. Here at Air Express, we believe that our customers should be comfortable in their homes, no matter the temperature outside. Every Floridian wants cold air, and most AC systems (when installed properly) will provide that. However, many people don’t know that their AC system should be working to decrease humidity and provide cooling. As we get deeper into the rainy season, this is the perfect time to learn more about how to get rid of humidity in your home. Read on for advice, straight from Nick, one of our World’s Smartest Technicians!
1) What causes humidity inside a home, even when the AC system is working?
We live in a tropical climate, making humidity a constant battle. There are a lot of things that cause humidity in a home, including incorrect system size, an aging system, leaks in windows and doors (which create drafts), poor ventilation, and old insulation. Plus, if you cook a lot or have a party with a bunch of people, you can create spikes in humidity outside of what is normally happening.
2) On a similar note… what does it mean when my AC is sweating? Does that have to do with humidity?
Humidity is usually a contributing factor in sweating. The “dew point temperature” is the temperature at which water vapor condenses into water, and the result is sweating. The underlying problem here is that the supply air temperature is lower than it should be for external conditions of temperature and humidity.
It is normal for an air conditioner’s coil to sweat a little. That’s why there is a drain pan and a dedicated drain line for the pan leading outside.
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3) What type of AC system is best for decreasing humidity?
All AC systems remove heat and humidity from your home and then deliver cool air back to the space. There are some systems that are better at this than others. The best AC system for removing humidity, especially here in Florida, is an inverter AC system. These smart systems are able to keep up with heat load differently than a conventional system. Conventional systems are sized to cool your home during the hottest part of the day. But when heat load varies throughout the day, traditional systems continue producing the same amount of cool air, which is obviously pretty inefficient. It cannot change size to adapt to changing temperatures or changing seasons– and we have a lot of those in Florida! So, if you have a two ton system it will always produce two tons of conditioned air, no matter what’s going on with the weather. But when heat load is less during different times of the day, your AC system will remove heat too quickly. This doesn’t allow your system to pull the moisture out of the air and dehumidify as it should. That’s why your home sometimes feels more uncomfortable and muggy during certain times of day.
An inverter can adapt and change size to keep up with the changing temperatures outside. It rides the same wave as the heat load “curve” throughout the day, allowing it to pull the heat and moisture out of the air properly. You may have a four ton inverter AC system, but it can size itself down to a system with less tonnage if the temperature calls for less cooling. This is much more efficient and can save you a lot in energy costs.
4) Is the size of my air conditioner relevant to the humidity inside my home?
Yes, size does matter. When a new home is built, heat-load calculations are performed before an AC system is installed. But over time, factors involved in that first calculation may change. For example, you might have added newer windows (such as double pain), installed higher ceilings, or added new insulation. Maybe you have more people living in the house now than when it was first built, or maybe you like keeping your home cooler during the summer months. All of these factors will change your heat-load calculation, which changes the ideal size of your AC system. And an incorrectly-sized system is not able to pull humidity at the correct rate, making your home feel muggy. That’s why you always need a heat load calculation when you are installing a new system, especially when considering the effect size has on humidity.
5) What can I do as a homeowner to decrease humidity?
You can try some simple things, such as running exhaust fans or using a stand-alone dehumidifier. Always make sure to change your AC filter regularly, because this affects the performance of your AC system. Make sure you have a preventative maintenance plan in place with a good Tampa AC company. They can make sure your coils are clean and not struggling to breathe. You can also install a dehumidifier on your AC system, which will tie in with your system so you do not have to change the way you live!
It’s also important to think of little things that can affect humidity in rooms. During the summer, it’s probably not wise to boil water in your kitchen regularly, especially if you’re cooking a big dinner. You’ll be sweating before dinner is even served!
If you’re serious about making a change in your home, you can start by changing your flooring. Choosing tile or hard wood instead of carpet will make a huge difference in your home, because carpet traps heat and moisture. Most of all, if you have an old, inefficient AC system, we recommend installing a new system, specifically an inverter. This system will really make a difference not only in your home’s comfort but also in the electric bills you pay each month. You could save 70% every month with an inverter. If you save $100 a month, you’ll save $12,000 over the course of 10 years. Essentially, buying an inverter now means that you’ll get it for free– and even save money– by the time you need to install a new system!