On a hot and humid day, sometimes there is nothing more refreshing than walking into an air conditioned home. If, however, the air conditioner is not maintaining adequate humidity levels, the air still might feel muggy. This is a sign that your air conditioner unit may not be functioning properly, or it may need a bit of help to do its job.
Humidity is the term used to describe the amount of moisture in the air. A hygrometer is used to measure humidity, and, in general, a home that has a relative humidity level between 30 and 50 percent is considered most comfortable, according to the "USA Today" resources website. During the summer, your home may be a little more humid than this, and in the winter it may be a tad bit drier. This is usually OK.
Air conditioners typically reduce the relative humidity to acceptable levels. It is part of the cooling process and helps you feel comfortable. When the air conditioner is running, relative humidity levels indoors between 25 and 55 percent is considered normal, according to the University of Georgia website.
If the air conditioning is not sufficiently lowering the humidity below 55 percent, or you want your home a littler drier, a service call may be necessary. You can also replace the filter to see if that helps. However, if you live in an extremely humid climate, such as in the Southeast, humidity higher than 55 percent can be normal and not a cause for concern. In those areas, you can run a dehumidifier in your home, which also takes the moisture out of the air. By using both the air conditioner and a dehumidifier, the moisture levels will drop to acceptable levels and your home will feel cooler. Another option is to have a dehumidifying heat pump installed into your air conditioner unit. This option uses less energy than running both a dehumidifier and air conditioner.
Benefits of Proper Humidity
When you get the humidity under control in your home while running the air conditioner, you reap the benefits. Lower humidity levels reduce mold and mildew in the home. They also reduce dust mite population as well as bacteria growth in the home. You'll also reduce condensation on the windows, moisture on walls and the likelihood of peeling paint.
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