Humidity is a reoccurring issue that begins with your system. Most modern AC Systems are capable of regulating humidity. Your HVAC System has an evaporator coil that condenses water vapor from the air, in a process that you may have seen when condensation appears on the outside of a glass containing a cold beverage.
This process occurs when hot, moist air in your home comes in contact with the cold evaporator coil. The liquid is then condensed out of the air, making your home less humid. The moisture collected by the evaporator coil goes to a drain and then it is sent outside, away from your home.
What causes humidity?
Bathrooms are notorious for high humidity, but a lot of the cause can be eliminated by opening a window or operating a ventilation fan during showers and baths. Caulking around windows, tubs and shower stalls will reduce drafts and moisture.
It may sound strange, but having too many indoor plants can cause the humidity to increase. A few plants promote a healthy environment, but turning the home into a tropical environment will (surprise!) increase the moisture in the air and reduce the effectiveness of your HVAC system.
The roof and basement are common sources of humidity in the home. Even a minor roof leak can collect and hold moisture for long periods of time. Similarly, an improperly sealed basement or poorly fitted flooring are also major sources for moisture entering the home.
A dirty or blocked condenser coil will prevent your HVAC unit from removing water from the air. Keeping the unit clean and operating efficiently is a recognized method for reducing illnesses and allergies─ therefore promoting better health.
Now that you know some of the causes, what now?
The first step is making sure that your HVAC system is running effectively for the environment in your home. A good, properly installed system will naturally take care of the humidity levels. However, you can take a few steps to ensure a higher comfort level.
- Check for leaking pipes – Fix any leaks so there is no moisture coming in that way. This includes condensation from hot or cold water pipes.
Replace Furnace/AC Filters – If it’s clogged, it will slow down air flow.
Ventilate – Proper ventilation is key and will increase air flow and help to reduce humidity.
Indoor home comfort is an important consideration in all seasons, but especially when extreme weather sets in during the summer or winter months. Understanding how humidity contributes to your comfort will help you decide on a system to manage the humidity in your environment.