How to Use AC to Control Humidity

Controlling the humidity level in the home is important. Too much humidity causes problems like mold, but not enough humidity can cause annoyances like static electricity. Air conditioners do more than just cool the air; they also circulate, filter and pull moisture from it. An appropriately sized and maintained air conditioner can reduce humidity levels in your home; it's just a matter of monitoring relative humidity so you know when to run the system.

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Monitor relative humidity in your home with an indoor humidity monitor. The EPA recommends 30 to 60 percent relative humidity to reduce mold growth. Find a level that is comfortable for you within that range.

Check the AC filter, located behind the front panel on single room units. On central air systems, the filter is located on the inside unit, usually behind or near where the duct work connects to the air conditioning unit. Some filter panels can be removed by hand, but you may need a screwdriver to access the filter on central air systems.

Clean or replace the filter if it is clogged with dirt or other debris. A clogged filter reduces the system's overall performance.

Run your system to pull moisture out of the air when the humidity level rises above your comfort level.

Tips & Warnings

  • If using a room unit, don't not use it in a room larger than it was designed to cool.
  • If using a central air system, you can hire an HVAC contractor to check the AC and duct work to ensure it is installed and functioning properly.
  • An air conditioning system may not be able to control humidity levels by itself, especially when the outside temperature is cold and it would be uncomfortable to run the system. If you continue to have humidity problems, you should use your air conditioning system in conjunction with a humidifier and/or dehumidifier.


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