Controlling Humidity in Your New Haven Home: Can an A/C Handle the Job?

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August 27, 2013

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Controlling Humidity in Your New Haven Home: Can an A/C Handle the Job?Controlling humidity in your Indiana home can present a challenge, especially during late spring and early fall. On hot summer days, when your A/C unit is running full blast, it should do a decent job at dehumidifying your living space as a natural byproduct of the cooling process, assuming it's properly sized. If it's over-sized, however, its dehumidifying abilities will be compromised, and a dedicated dehumidifier may be needed to provide relief. Also, on moderate days when the A/C isn't operating but relative humidity inside your house is 50 percent or higher, you'll need a dehumidifier to bring it down to a comfortable level.

Experts agree that the ideal humidity level in a home is between 30 and 50 percent. Effects of relative humidity much above that include:

  • Heightened allergy problems caused from mold, fungi and dust mites
  • Air that feels uncomfortably stuffy, sticky and hotter than it actually is
  • Damage to your home such as peeling paint or wallpaper, warped wood and unpleasant odors

Both A/C and dehumidifier units remove humidity from your home by absorbing hot, humid air through the use of refrigerant-filled coils. Like a cold soda can absorbs heat on a hot day, warming the liquid, condensation is also formed in this process of heat transfer, causing the can to "sweat."

Condensation forming on the cold coils of an A/C unit or dehumidifier drips down the coils, is collected and drained away. In an A/C system, primarily designed for cooling, heat absorbed from your home's air is transferred and released outdoors. With dehumidifiers, meant for controlling humidity, heat is released back into the environment in which the unit is located.

Dehumidifiers come in either portable units designed to treat the air in one area only or in whole-house models, which treat all the air in your home, usually in conjunction with your HVAC system, using the same air ducts that your central air and heating systems use.

Hartman Brothers Heating & Air Conditioning has been serving the Fort Wayne area since 1963. Please contact us for information or advice regarding any of your indoor air quality or comfort needs.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in New Haven, Indiana and surrounding Fort Wayne area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about home humidity and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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