Along with providing a refreshing and cool atmosphere when the outdoor temperatures are high, your A/C unit also helps dehumidify your home environment (decrease water vapor in the air). In our region, where high humidity is a given, homeowners may note humidity in a house’s interior in excess of 45 or 50 percent. Under those conditions, the body’s ability to cool off by sweating is inhibited, as moisture on our skin does not evaporate as well.
An air conditioner effectively decreases humidity by condensing moisture on the evaporator coil as warm air is drawn into the air handler. The moisture is sent through a drain and out of the house. However, in circumstances of high humidity, more dehumidification is needed than the air conditioner can provide. If you find yourself in any of the following situations, consider a dehumidifier for humidity control in the home:
- If the air conditioning runs continuously and the home’s occupants still feel uncomfortable, you may want to check the relative humidity.
- When relative humidity is over 50 percent in the house (which can be determined by using a calibrated hygrometer) you may need a dehumidifier for humidity control.
- If you tend to open windows in the home for ventilation during the warm months of they year, moisture will enter and cause the home to be less comfortable for the occupants.
- When the home has no air conditioning, a dehumidifier would be especially important as relative humidity could be much higher than 50 percent, and cause mildew, mold and a proliferation of dust mites.
Ultimately, an air conditioner is designed for cooling, and just helps dehumidify as a kind of byproduct of the cooling process. An A/C is not a dehumidifier per se. A dehumidifier, which contains a pan or drain that collects excessive moisture, and which, if it is a portable model, must be emptied, is the most effective means of removing excess moisture from a home’s environment.
For more information on keeping humidity at a comfortable level in your New Orleans area home, contact the professionals at Bryans United Air Conditioning.
Written by Zach Mouton