Understanding what humidity is in determining what the right level of humidity should be in a home with an air conditioner and how humidity can affect the AC.
Is your home feeling unnecessarily hot and humid, meanwhile you have an air conditioning system? This can seem pretty strange as one would assume that perhaps the air conditioner should be doing something to at least control the levels of humidity in the house.
Shockingly, this is not the case as this is not really what air conditioners are designed to do. If your home has been particularly humid and you do not understand why, because you have an air conditioner, you might need to understand what humidity actually is and how an air conditioner is affected.
What exactly is humidity?
When the humidity in your house is too high, this will mean that your air conditioning unit will definitely get affected as well as you, as humidity is not comfortable. When it comes to understanding humidity, it is determined in two main measures. These are absolute humidity and relative humidity.
Absolute humidity determines how much water steam is currently in the air, no matter what the temperature in the house is at the time. To be able to determine the absolute humidity of a certain quantity of air, the accumulation of water steam is divided by the accumulation of dry air.
In respect of relative humidity, it determines how much water steam is actually in the air as opposed to the highest amount of water steam that is possibly in the air at that temperature.
When the air is warmer, it can hold more dampness than cool air can. When the humidity levels are high, the air around you will feel muggy, stuffy, and steamy along with other unpleasant feelings.
At what level should the humidity be at in your house?
What is considered as the best humidity level indoors is between 30 to 60 percent. To be able to test the indoor humidity levels in your home, you can make use of a hygrometer. This can be found at home improvement stores.
Another way to determine where your humidity levels stand is to check the windows around your home for any condensation, as well as the walls and ceilings to see if any dampness or mould has developed. This will indicate to you if there is a possibility that your humidity levels may be high.
When the outdoor humidity levels are relatively high and the air from outside manages to make its way into the indoors, this can drastically increase the humidity level of your house. Humid air from outside can enter by means of open windows or poor sealing around your windows and your doors.
The humidity levels indoors can also be aggravated by things happening around the house that can contribute to increased moisture such as cooking, showering or bathing, as well as hanging damp laundry indoors as opposed to outside for whatever reason.
Does an air conditioner have the ability to control humidity level and what happens to it if humidity is high?
In the case that the humidity is too high indoors, your air conditioning system is going to get affected. It will have to work extra hard to make you and the home space comfortable.
If you’re thinking of turning the temperature of the thermostat down to relieve yourself from the humidity, know that this will not help as you will only be pushing the unit to work harder meaning that it will run inefficiently and need more maintenance as a result.
The unit will deteriorate faster, meaning an increase in your electricity bills since the unit is working overtime to keep cooling but ineffectively so.
If you think that an air conditioner can possibly control humidity in your house, you are wrong. An air conditioner is inhibited by a thermostat that picks up on the temperature around the home, and not the humidity as you might have thought.
When the temperature increases to a certain amount, the thermostat will work to alert the air conditioner to start cooling. While the air conditioner is running, moisture will be drawn out from the air, but this does not mean that the air conditioner will be controlling the humidity as it is not designed to function that way.
They cannot handle the levels of water vapour in the air at times. So, also turning your unit’s thermostat low will not help the unit to eliminate humidity from the air.
The normal humidity levels in a home with an air conditioner are meant to be between 30 and 60 percent.