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Residential Heating and Air Conditioning Blog

Humidity and Your AC system


When you live in the “Land of Ten Thousand Lakes,” you’ll have plenty of humidity to deal with during the summer! We expect to get humid conditions here in the Twin Cities every summer season. Most people try to deal with humidity in their home by cranking up the air conditioner. But is this really the best method?

We know quite a bit about cooling homes and balancing humidity in the Twin Cities, and we want to pass on some of this important knowledge to you today. This post will look into the effects of humidity on your comfort, your home, and most of all, your AC. We’ll also look into whether your AC is enough on its own to counter the problems that come with humid weather. 

How Humidity Affects Your Comfort and Your Home

You know what a hot and humid day feels like: it’s sweaty and feels much hotter than the same temperature with drier conditions. The reason humidity does this is that it makes it harder for the human body to release heat through perspiration. Instead, excess heat remains trapped in the body, making the temperature feel hotter than it is. 

Humidity causes other problems in a house:

  • Growth of mold and mildew
  • Damage to wood furniture and paint
  • Excess allergens and dust mites, leading to health concerns
  • Musty, unpleasant odors
  • Water damages

If your home routinely experiences relative humidity higher than 60%, we recommend you find a way to effectively address these issues. 

Humidity and Your Air Conditioner

Your AC removes humidity from the air as it operates: when the cold refrigerant in the indoor coil absorbs heat through evaporation, it also causes moisture in the air to condense along the coil. It then exits the AC and the house through a condensate system. 

Humidity can increase wear and tear on the AC, especially with a faulty condensate system. Most damaging, it can lead to mold growth in the air conditioner, which harms energy efficiency, sends unpleasant odors into the air (“dirty sock syndrome”), and can shorten the air conditioning system’s service life.

Does an AC Do Enough to Combat Humidity?

No. An air conditioner does lower humidity levels as an extension of how it cools the air, but it isn’t designed specifically as a dehumidifier. You won’t be able to counteract high humidity levels with an AC alone, and you may end up running the air conditioner too often trying to overcome the effects of a humid day. For precise humidity control, you’ll need other solutions.

The Whole House Dehumidifier

A whole house dehumidifier is a powerful appliance for balancing indoor humidity levels. Unlike portable dehumidifiers that only target specific areas, whole-house dehumidifiers integrate directly into an HVAC system and maintain precision control over relative humidity levels throughout a home. You must have HVAC technicians install the whole-house dehumidifier in order for it to work as intended.

For professional AC installation in Minneapolis, MN as well as dehumidifier installation and service, reach out to our technicians. We’ll help you learn the ways you can improve your home cooling and humidity control so you’ll enjoy greater comfort and avoid the many troubles that come with humid conditions.

Contact Residential Heating and Air Conditioning and “Feel the Difference”!

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