As outside humidity levels surge, it’s tough to stay comfortable. Coming in from an active day of work or play can provide welcome relief, but it may be tough to keep your indoor humidity at optimum levels if your HVAC equipment isn’t working correctly.
Ideal Indoor Humidity
Recommended relative humidity for your home ranges from 30 to 50 percent. Adjusting your RH may be the bigger concern. How do you keep that level from creeping up when you live in a climate that is already saturated with moisture? A hygrometer can help you monitor conditions in your home, but it won’t help in controlling those conditions.
Your air conditioner is the first line of defense in lowering the humidity and improving indoor air quality. The system acts as a dehumidifier, causing moisture to condense and drain out of the house. Your unit’s refrigerant gets extremely cold in the expansion coils, facilitating the condensation necessary to achieve better RH levels. However, if the cycles aren’t long enough, then the dehumidification effects can be limited.
When temperatures aren’t extremely hot, your AC may not run as much. If cycles are shorter than 15 minutes at a time, then you can expect limited improvement in indoor RH. In this case, many residents of the Chicago area benefit from supplemental dehumidification equipment. Additionally, dirty coils and system components can inhibit condensation. A seasonal AC tune-up ensures optimum system performance.
Advanced AC Design and Air Quality Products
It’s helpful to recognize that some of the latest innovations in the HVAC industry include air conditioning systems with variable speed technologies that enhance humidity control. With a very low fan speed, the condensation effects of the system can take place without an entire home being cooled. Air movement is sufficient to keep coils from freezing. Coordinating system controls monitor humidity levels, directing the action of the system to address changes as needed.
In areas that reach such high levels of humidity, these variable speed systems are ideal for home HVAC upgrades. In addition to improving comfort levels, they can also limit damage to interior structure and decor by impeding mold and mildew growth. This provides a secondary benefit of better indoor air quality.
Additional air quality products to consider in light of local humidity levels include:
- UV lamp – UV lighting can kill mold and bacteria at the indoor coils and ducts, keeping it from spreading
- Air cleaner – a purification system with capture and kill technology can help with gases and particles that taint the airstream in a home
- Ventilator – moisture can make the indoor environment feel stuffy, but fresh air can improve conditions; a paper core can dehumidify incoming air
Work with a Pro
Gartner Heating & Cooling provides comprehensive air quality services to our customers. From consultations to taking samples, we can work to pinpoint issues in your home that may be contributing to poor comfort or tainted air. Recognized as a Bryant Factory Authorized Dealer, we provide top quality products for those who need to upgrade or supplement existing systems. Call our team to discuss options for keeping your indoor moisture levels more comfortable.