High Humidity Can Damage Your AC

Summers in Oregon are invariably hot, but even worse than the high temperatures are high humidity levels that can turn our homes into steam baths. Air conditioners can deal with the problem somewhat, but they aren’t built to lower the humidity, only the temperature. Furthermore, high humidity can damage your AC as it tries to deal with the issue, as well as leaving your home muggy and uncomfortable in the extreme. That’s the bad news. The good news is that there’s an effective way to deal with it: whole-house dehumidifiers.

Why Is High Humidity a Problem?

High humidity generally means a relative humidity level that stands higher than 50%: the point at which our discomfort becomes apparent. Human beings keep cool by sweating, and more specifically by allowing the sweat to evaporate off of our skin in the breeze. When humidity levels get too high, there’s too much ambient moisture in the air to let that happen. As a result, our bodies stay heated and the sweat stays on our skin, leading to that gross sweaty feeling when the air is muggy. High humidity also fosters the growth of mold and bacteria, which no household wants to see.

How Does That Affect My Air Conditioner?

The best way to lower the humidity in the air is to lower the temperature, which causes the ambient moisture to coalesce into droplets. (It’s the same principle that creates dew in the early hours of the morning.) That means that air conditioners can serve as dehumidifiers by default. However, there are some problems with that issue.

For starters, air conditioners can’t control the humidity levels in any real way: they remove the moisture in the air haphazardly at best, and you have no say in how much that might be. Furthermore, high humidity forces the air conditioner to work harder at its primary job: cooling the air. Since the air feels hotter when humidity levels are high, the AC needs to do more, which will raise both your monthly bills and the possibility of a breakdown in the future. Over time, high humidity levels every summer could shorten the lifespan of your system considerably Finally, because the air conditioner isn’t set up to handle excess moisture, it might be overwhelmed by high humidity. Most systems have a drain pan to collect condensate, but excess humidity could overflow the pan and create a shutdown.

The solution is to install a whole-house dehumidifier in your home, allowing you to deal with excess mugginess properly. Dehumidifiers are set up to allow precise control over the relative humidity levels, allowing you to set the level you like. They can better dispose of excess humidity than air conditioners, and most importantly, they can ease the strain on your AC, allowing you to keep your home comfortable without wasting money on unnecessarily high bills. Summer is the ideal time to schedule an installation, allowing you to benefit from your new dehumidifier for the remainder of the season.

For quality dehumidifier installation and servicing in Wilsonville, OR, call The Clean Air Act today!

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