If your air conditioner is in good condition, it should be able to both cool your living environment and extract excess humidity. If you’ve got condensation on the windows of your home or if the indoor air feels oppressive and muggy, something is amiss. In some instances, excess humidity is the direct result of lifestyles and everyday life habits. At other times, it’s an indication of problems within the air conditioning system.
You May Have a Frozen Evaporator Coil
Freezing at the evaporator coil is a common cause of excess indoor humidity. This can be the result of having a dirty air filter, a blocked condensate drain, or a dirty evaporator coil. As the air conditioner strains to move air through this coil, it will begin to overheat. Rising humidity levels are a sign of overheating. If you believe that your evaporator coil is the problem, turn the air conditioner off and schedule service.
Insufficient AC Maintenance Can Leave You With an Overly Humid Home
Failing to care for your air conditioner will eventually leave you with a humid, uncomfortable home. Build-ups of dirt and debris that accumulate in the air vents, on your air filter, and in your air ducts will inhibit airflow. Not only can excess dirt and lint in these areas cause problems at the evaporator coil, but they’ll also place stress on the entire AC system.
At the first sign of excess humidity, you should turn your unit off and get caught with ongoing AC maintenance. Filter changes should be performed once every 30 to 90 days, and HVAC air vents should be cleaned about once every six months. You should also schedule annual AC inspections and tune-ups so that a licensed technician can give your system a thorough cleaning before each hot season.
Your Air Conditioner Could Be too Large or too Small for Your Home
If you’ve just had a new air conditioner installed, or if you’ve moved into existing construction that already had an air conditioner when you arrived, improper AC sizing might be the culprit. Overly large air conditioners work hard and turn off quickly. This gives them very little time to address excess humidity. Air conditioners that are not big enough for their service areas struggle in all areas of functioning.
Someone Switched the Thermostat to “FAN”
Check the setting on the thermostat. If someone in your home mistakenly toggled the setting over to “FAN,” your air conditioner isn’t actually on at all. In fan mode, your HVAC equipment is simply blowing around air without heating or cooling it. Your air conditioner isn’t removing excess humidity, and your indoor temperature isn’t going to change. To keep your AC system running, the thermostat setting should always be in the “ON” position.
It’s Time to Have Your HVAC Air Ducts Cleaned
Anything that inhibits airflow in your air conditioner can create higher than comfortable levels of humidity indoors. If your filter isn’t the culprit, take a look at your HVAC air vents. You can clean these with your vacuum cleaner attachment and a damp cloth. However, excess dust on HVAC air vents is also an indication that your air ducts are dirty as well. Air duct cleaning should generally be performed once every three to five years, but it may be necessary to have these services performed more often if:
- Excess humidity is an ongoing or recurring problem
- You live in a dusty neighborhood
- You have yet to landscape your property exterior
- Your home is near a busy freeway
- You have a pet
Having your air ducts and air vents professionally cleaned will improve airflow throughout your HVAC system. These services also make it easier for air conditioners to stay on top of humidity regulation.
You Need a Whole-House Dehumidifier
Sometimes excess humidity in the home isn’t the result of performance-related issues with the air conditioner. High levels of humidity are common in busy, bustling households. If your home has lots of residents, this can contribute to an overly moist living environment. When there are lots of people cooking, showering, bathing, and using moisture-generating appliances like the dryer, the indoor air can become wet, heavy, and oppressive even while the air conditioner is on. Having a whole-house dehumidifier installed is a sure way to fix this issue. This equipment will seamlessly supplement the humidity regulation that your air conditioner provides.
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