Will My Air Conditioner Dehumidify My Home?
The humid subtropical climate in West Volusia County can make your home feel even hotter than it is, as high levels of moisture in the air prevent the sweat on your skin from evaporating. While your air conditioner can effectively lower the temperature of your indoor air, dehumidification is also required to achieve true comfort—but is your air conditioner up to the task?
Do Air Conditioners Dehumidify?
The main function of your air conditioner is to reduce the temperature in your home by removing the heat from your indoor air. This is achieved through a cycle where the indoor air is drawn in through the return vents and passed over refrigerant-filled coils. The cooled air is then sent back through the supply vents while the heat that was extracted is expelled to the outdoors.
As a by-product of the refrigeration process, dehumidification occurs as the warm humid air travels over the refrigerated coil, forming condensation where the hot air meets cold. The moisture is then released to the condensate drain pan below and channeled to the outdoors. While this process is effective at removing moisture, it is not a cost-effective solution in areas where the relative humidity is exceptionally high, as you would need to set the thermostat lower than necessary to remain comfortable.
Tips to Lower Your Relative Indoor Humidity
Indoor humidity levels should be between 30 and 50 percent for optimum comfort, and at levels of 60 percent or more, you may experience the growth of mold and mildew and issues with health. Reduce the humidity in your DeLand home with these tips:
Replace your air filters. Once the air filter becomes dirty or clogged, it slows down the passage of air, reducing the efficiency of your cooling system. Inspect your air filter every four to six weeks during peak cooling season and replace as needed.
Ventilate. Moisture is created each time you shower, boil water, run the dishwasher, or do laundry. Use exhaust fans in your kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room each time you perform any of these actions.
Seal air leaks. Leaks around doors, windows, pipes, and wiring that lead to the outdoors can allow hot, humid air to enter and cool, conditioned air to escape. Seal these areas using caulking or weatherstripping as needed.
Schedule annual maintenance. An annual maintenance agreement helps ensure your air conditioner performs at peak efficiency. Schedule maintenance each spring to have your system inspected, cleaned, and tuned up.
Install a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier works much like an air conditioner to remove humidity while using significantly less energy. Choose from these options:
- Whole-home dehumidifier – This type of dehumidifier is professionally installed and is integrated into your duct system, working to dehumidify your entire home. The moisture that is collected drains automatically requiring no intervention from the homeowner.
- Portable or room dehumidifier – Portable dehumidifiers may be purchased at most home improvement stores and are designed to work in small spaces such as a bedroom. Accumulated moisture must be disposed of by the homeowner on a regular basis, usually every few hours during the humid season (most of the year in Florida!).
Learn More About How to Reduce Humidity in Your Florida Home
If you would like to regain control over the humidity inside your home, call the experts at Jacob Heating & Air Conditioning at 386-337-3502 to learn more about how to stay comfortable during times of high humidity, or contact us online to schedule an appointment today.