Although homeowners often believe that the sole purpose of an air conditioner is to cool the house during summer, an AC unit also provides other benefits. Apart from cooling your home, the air conditioner helps dehumidify your house and makes it a comfortable haven. If your AC unit is operating but your house feels humid and damp, you might want to take action before the problem escalates.
Unfortunately, high humidity levels inside your home can affect your HVAC system and your health. Therefore, our experts at Quality Air Of America always encourage homeowners to maintain an ideal humidity level alongside a comfortable temperature. If you are worried about why your house is damp and muggy even though the AC is running, the indoor humidity you feel could be a result of one of the following problems.
Your Air Conditioner Unit Is Too Large or Too Small for Your Home
Size is a crucial factor in the efficiency and effectiveness of an AC unit. A cooling system that is too small for your house can have plenty of challenges handling the amount of air inside your home. Although it will moderately dehumidify your house, it will not provide you and your loved ones with the comfort you crave.
Unfortunately, most homeowners assume that a bigger system offers more effective cooling. When it comes to an air conditioner, however, bigger isn’t always better. If your home’s AC is too large for the space, the unit will operate in short cycles, resulting in uneven temperatures throughout your house and higher energy bills. In addition, a short-cycling unit will not be able to properly remove humidity from your home.
Frozen Evaporator Coil
The purpose of your air conditioner’s evaporator coil is to remove humidity and heat from your indoor air. If debris blocks airflow or the refrigerant fluid is low, a layer of frost or ice can form over the evaporator coil. This can prevent the coil from extracting heat and humidity from your home’s air, resulting in high humidity levels and a generally dysfunctional AC.
If this happens, turn the AC unit off until the coil thaws. After that, check for issues causing the coil to freeze. These include a low refrigerant level, a blocked condenser unit, a clogged condensate drain, and a dirty air filter. If the need arises, replace the air filters and remove dirt and debris from the outdoor unit. Do not forget to contact a certified HVAC technician to inspect the AC, fix refrigerant leaks, and clear drain clogs.
Leaking ductwork is another source of indoor humidity. If holes and cracks exist in your home’s ductwork, moisture will enter your living space, causing an increased indoor humidity level. This can result in the growth of mold and mildew.
If you suspect that your ductwork has holes or cracks, contact an experienced professional to have it inspected. They’ll be able to determine if your ductwork has leaks and repair them if necessary.
Aging AC Unit
Old air conditioners, especially those that have been in use more than 10 years, do not run as effectively and efficiently as new models. When you neglect routine maintenance services, wear and tear can increase drastically, resulting in inadequate cooling, inconsistent temperatures, and poor humidity control.
If your AC system cannot handle your comfort needs and a coil cleaning and preventative maintenance service cannot fix the problem, it might be a sign that you need to replace the system. If you have an old AC unit that has issues cooling and dehumidifying your home, contact a certified technician to inspect the system and compare the pros and cons of replacing versus repairing your unit.
Poor Ventilation System
The air quality inside your home is tied to how good your ventilation system is. If you have an excellent ventilation system, indoor air quality will be ideal since the air circulates within your living areas properly. However, poor ventilation means the air will become stale and result in unwanted pathogen growth. In addition, the humidity levels that build up within your home through cooking, showering, and other related activities will increase.
Therefore, to prevent the buildup of indoor moisture that can result in mold growth, you can support free air circulation by opening windows and doors when the weather permits. You may want to invest in ventilation fans for your bathrooms and kitchen. It is also a good idea to have a professional inspect your attic for proper ventilation. Without it, heat and humidity can build up throughout your interior space, leading to an uncomfortable indoor environment.
Dirty Air Filter
For an air conditioner to run smoothly and efficiently, it needs to be clean. Air filters on an AC unit do a lot of work to protect the system from debris, dirt, dust, and other contaminants. Failure to replace or clean the air filters regularly can negatively affect the functionality of your air conditioning system, reducing its ability to dehumidify and cool your home.
If you have run your air conditioning unit for months without keeping up with your routine maintenance services and you’ve noticed that your home feels humid, your AC might be filled with debris and dirt. This means you will need to hire the services of a licensed technician to eradicate all the excess dirt preventing your unit from running efficiently.
Wrong Thermostat Setting
If you set your thermostat to the wrong setting, you might experience humidity issues. One function of the thermostat is to control your AC fan. When you set the thermostat on “AUTO” mode, the air conditioner will operate only when your house requires cooling to reach the temperature setting.
When it is set to “ON,” the fan will run continuously even when the AC isn’t producing cool air. This will allow air to move constantly over the coil and blow moist air back into the living room. Therefore, you should always put your thermostat on the “AUTO” setting to prevent this.
Overcrowded Living Spaces
Even though your AC unit is functioning properly, it cannot handle sharply increased humidity levels. Overcrowding in one room can result in high humidity, and the AC unit will have a hard time dehumidifying the air and cooling down the environment. Therefore, to avoid high humidity levels, don’t overcrowd any rooms.
High Humidity Levels Outside
If the humidity levels outside are high, it also becomes challenging to control indoor humidity levels. During summer, the weather can force the AC to struggle with dehumidification and cooling. In addition, thunderstorms on a hot weekend can raise the moisture level in the air, resulting in a sticky feeling. Therefore, if you live in an area where the climate is always muggy and damp, it’s crucial that you consult a certified HVAC professional to recommend a suitable AC system for your house.
Dealing With High Humidity
Although your AC has dehumidifying capabilities, running your AC continuously is not the best solution for dealing with moisture levels in your home. Unless your AC has special humidity controls, it might be helpful if you balance the humidity levels in other ways. One of the best solutions to maintaining comfortable humidity and temperature is installing a whole-house dehumidifier.
Your Team of Experienced and Certified Professionals
If you have any problem with your AC or indoor humidity, our crew at Quality Air Of America in Miramar can help. We cover all of Miami and Fort Lauderdale, and we offer a wide range of services to keep your house comfortable, including AC replacement, repair, and maintenance. We also provide heating and air quality services, as well as dryer air vent cleaning, attic insulation, and duct sealing services. Contact us today to gather more information or set up an appointment.