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Is My Air Conditioner Enough to Take Care of Humidity?

Posted on: July 11, 2016

High humidity is a major problem for comfort in Durham during the middle of the year. The old saying, “It’s not so much the heat, it’s the humidity,” is a reality that we deal with almost every day during the summer.

Why is humidity such a problem during warm weather? High humidity doesn’t actually raise the temperature of the air around you; what it does is slow down the ability of your body to release heat by make perspiration more difficult. The humidity traps heat inside you, making it feel as if the temperature is 8° to 10° hotter than it actually is.

The Air Conditioner to the Rescue! (But Not Really)

An air conditioner removes heat from the air, cooling it down. Sometimes this is enough to provide comfort for a home, but it doesn’t help much to counter high humidity. An air conditioner has some dehumidification properties: as the evaporator coil absorbs heat from the air, it causes ambient moisture to condense along it. This water then drips into a condensate pan and flows down a drain. (You’ll occasionally hear the sound of water dripping from the AC cabinet.) However, this is insufficient to actually lower relative humidity in a house. The air conditioner can cool you down, but it won’t provide real dehumidification, leaving you still feeling hotter than you should.

Using a Whole-House Dehumidifier

To balance your home’s humidity so you can enjoy improved summer comfort and reduce the amount you have to rely on your air conditioner, arrange with HVAC professionals to install a whole-house dehumidifier. When this is integrated into your HVAC system, it will provide the full dehumidifying power you need, without causing any interference with the air conditioner. You control the dehumidifying levels with a humidistat. It’s best to aim for a relative humidity level between 30% and 50%. (Don’t make your home too dry! That will create a whole different set of comfort problems.)

Bud Matthews Services provides quality whole-house dehumidifier services in Durham, NC.

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