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Anyone who lives in Plano, TX is well acquainted with humidity, but what you may not have ever thought about is how humidity can affect the performance of your air conditioning system. If you have not had an air conditioning service lately, or even if you have, it may be worth considering if you can improve your AC performance by improving the humidity control in your home.
As the heat continues to rise in Texas no doubt you are switching on your central air, or at least turning off our furnace. Soon the humidity will make it unbearable during the daytime, and you will find yourself turning up the AC even if you are trying to conserve energy in the wake of the current health pandemic.
If you are looking at ways to reduce reliance on your HVAC system, addressing the humidity in your home may be a great way to start. You can bring the topic up at your next air conditioning service, but it may be helpful in the meantime to learn a bit about why it is important and what you can do in the meantime.
Central Air and Humidity- How They Influence Each Other
One of the key objectives of an air conditioning system is to reduce the amount of excess humidity there is in the air. The humidity has to go somewhere, so it is only reasonable that the process can start to put undue pressure on your HVAC system if it has to work hard to do so. During the warm Texan summers, your HVAC system has to work extremely hard to pull the humidity out of the air since the levels are so high. This is why it is so important that you schedule a regular air conditioning service before the summer hits. You want to make sure your air conditioning system is ready to handle the coming months and able to perform at its peak efficiency.
Outside of regular service, there are a few air conditioning service things that you can do to help reduce the humidity levels within your home. There are also a few great solutions that can help you strike the perfect balance of humidity in your home year-round. You shouldn’t have to choose between being comfortable and overworking your AC system.
Is Your HVAC System Properly Sized for Your Home?
Ideally, with regular air conditioning service, your HVAC system will be working efficiently and able to remove the right amount of moisture and heat from your home regularly. However, this rarely happens, especially if an HVAC system is old. A lot of times an HVAC system is not properly sized for a home, which results in uneven cooling or less than perfect humidity removal from the air. Other times the vents are not properly distributing the cool air throughout the home forcing the HVAC system to work harder than it should be, it may be time to call for air conditioning service.
If either of these situations is present, then your air conditioning will not be able to create a comfortable temperature level for you, even if you keep playing with the setting. The truth is that a humid 70 degrees does not feel as good as a humidity-free 70 degrees home and no amount of playing with the dial will change the humidity level.
When humidity levels are high as they often are in Plano, TX, you know your AC system is working hard. If you have a system that is not sized properly for your home then it may not be up to the task. At this point, you may be expecting too much out of your AC and even with regular air conditioning service, there is a chance that it will not perform or even break down. As mentioned above, when the air holds onto extra moisture the temperature in a home will feel warmer than it is even if the temperature appears the same.
While you may expect high utility bills in the summer months in Plano, TX, you may be paying higher bills than you should be. This is because the system has to work harder and longer than it should which wears down the unit and consumes a large amount of energy.
Simply buying a larger AC system is not always the answer to cooling your home either though. The best way to figure out what size system your home needs is by asking a professional technician for their advice. If you suspect your system is not sized correctly this is certainly something you should bring up. There is a very precise system that is used to determine what size your air conditioning unit should be, and the process is best executed by an HVAC technician with experience.
Signs that Your AC Is Not Removing Humidity from the Air
If your AC system is constantly running and has already completed its yearly air conditioning service and you are still not getting the results you want there is a good chance that it is because of excess moisture that is hanging in the air. Once you are used to the subpar results however you may not notice the reduced cooling as much, but some other signs may make it easier to figure out if the humidity in the air is your issue.
The first sign of needing air conditioning service is whether the air in your home feels moist. When air is thick with humidity it is often described as heavy or thick. If you feel like it is harder to breathe inside then usual or if the air is thick like it is outside your home in the Texan air, it may be a humidity issue. Women with thick hair may also notice that their hair is constantly frizzy indoors, which is another sign that the humidity may be high within a home. You shouldn’t get beach hair while sitting in your living room when the air conditioning is on.
The second sign is if you notice that some areas of your home are damp or musty. Depending on how well your AC distributes around the home, you may notice that some areas of your home smell musty or old. This is a sign that your AC is not effectively removing moisture from the air as it is settling into the carpet, wooden trim, wooden furniture, or fabrics and the result is that musty smell that may remind you of an attic. The problem is you may not be standing in the attic when you smell it. Your first step should be an air conditioning service, but if this doesn’t work you may have to dig deeper.
Finally, an easy tell is that your windows are foggy. Much like car windows on a warm or cold day, when the humidity levels are offset in your home you will notice your windows fog up. This should not happen in your home if the AC has been running constantly because the humidity should be even. If it does either the windows are leaking a large amount of air, or you have humidity issues.
Effective Strategies to Aid with Dehumidification
The spring is the best time to start to call an air conditioning service to start putting your plan for dehumidification into action. This will allow you to play around and see what works in your home before the unbearable hot and humid summer kicks in. Most HVAC experts say that the humidity level within your home should sit below 60%. This is even more important in the basement or attic areas where you may have many items in storage. If humidity gets too high then mold can grow on your belongings creating a health issue and ruining your things.
The best way to deal with moisture management within your home is to ask an HVAC professional to install a dehumidifier that can be placed directly onto your AC during your next air conditioning service. This humidifier will help enhance the work your AC system is already doing so that it can pull the moisture out of the air before it is sent through the air ducts and out into your home.
You can’t just pick any dehumidifier, but your HVAC professional should be able to find a match for the current AC system at your home. If you discover that you need a new AC system because yours was not properly installed, then have the dehumidifier installed at the same time. Once you add a dehumidifier to your AC system you can manage the humidity levels and temperature of your home at the same time allowing your air conditioning system to work much more effectively then it was previously.
If you are not comfortable adding on a dehumidifier directly to your AC system, or have an older model that does not support the addition of one you can consider buying a stand-alone dehumidifier. These models often have a manual humidity level indicator that you can set to turn on when needed or you can choose to manually keep an eye on. You will need to keep an eye on the humidity levels in your home and run it as needed. An air conditioning service can help you.
In Plano, TX you may find yourself forced to run it all summer because of the high humidity levels, but it will help offset the high energy bills from your AC. Comfort and increased energy efficiency make the small price of running your dehumidifier worthwhile. However, keep in mind that if you have a large home you may need more than one standalone dehumidifier to cover each floor. This is one reason why installing a dehumidifier directly onto your AC during your next air conditioning service can be a more effective way to address the problem.
Outdoor AC Equipment and Humidity
Hot humid Texas summers can also poise trouble for the AC equipment that sits outside of your home. The high temperatures and humidity can oftentimes affect the outdoor unit and condenser that sits outside of your home. The moist, thick air oftentimes can carry in larger amounts of debris, dirt, and dust which then ends up sitting on the fins and coil of your AC unit meaning you’ll want to call an air conditioning service sooner rather than later.
Luckily, you can easily troubleshoot this problem on your own by grabbing a garden hose and washing down your outdoor unit periodically throughout the summer months. If you have a regular air conditioning service scheduled the tech should also clean your outdoor unit as part of the service package. Sometimes taking a coil cleaner to the system can help keep it clean as well. Removing debris and dirt is the best way to ensure that your system will run efficiently. In the long run, it can even help to lower your monthly energy bills which everyone can agree is a good thing.
Plus, when you wash your AC unit with the garden hose you create a misting effect over the condenser coils. This allows it to more effectively absorb the heat which as a result will increase its efficiency and help it cool your home better. Extreme temperatures are on their way in Texas, and with the shelter in place orders, residents will likely be spending more time at home than ever. Now is the time to prepare by checking your system and booking an air conditioning service if you need it.
K&S Heating and Air is a Plano, TX HVAC company that offers full air conditioning service calls to clients throughout the region. As an essential business, our phone lines are always open and we can respond promptly to ensure that you can stay comfortably and safely in your home throughout this troubling time.