Rising temperatures outside will have us retreating to our homes. As children, we would run around in the sprinklers or jump in a pool to cool off. Water is a great way to cool off unless, for some, the water is in the air. When the temperatures rise, so do humidity levels. Humidity refers to the amount of moisture, or water vapor, in the air and while it doesn’t affect the temperature, it sure can make the air feel a lot warmer than it is. When this happens inside out homes, it might be the reason that the air conditioning and heating bills are on the rise.
Humidity Affects Comfort Levels
Humidity levels between 30% and 50% is where people feel most comfortable. When the levels get higher than this, our bodies will begin to feel warmer, regardless of the temperature on the thermostat. Our bodies cool off through the sweating process. As the sweat evaporates from our skin, we will feel cooler and when moisture levels in the air are high, sweat cannot evaporate as easily. The vapor will have little space to move and this is why you will feel much warmer when it’s not a dry heat.
Air Conditioners & Furnaces Affect Humidity
Your furnace & the evaporator coil in your air conditioning unit can help control the humidity in the air. The evaporator coil is where refrigerant evaporates and absorbs heat that moves through the units inside and outside your home. The coil cools off immensely and moisture in the air condenses on the coil. This will lead to less moisture in the air blowing back into your home. When you use your air conditioner, humidity levels can drop but it will cost because we all know that running our air conditioner isn’t cheap. When it works to dehumidify, it needs to run for longer and will use more energy because it’s working overtime to dehumidify and cool the home. In the winter, your furnace does the opposite.
Adding a Humidifier in Winter or a Dehumidifier in Summer
Air conditioners aren’t always the best way to dehumidify your home and furnaces aren’t the best way to humidify your home either. You always have the option to add a dehumidifier or humidifier. Dehumidifiers added to your HVAC system will lower the moisture levels in the air, allowing you to be more comfortable while humidifiers add moisture to the air. There are other benefits to adding a dehumidifier or humidifier installed too.
1. Save money – you will need to pay upfront to have a dehumidifier or humidifier installed but when you have one, you may be able to turn the AC or furnace off or at least lower the temperature and save some money!
2. Prolong the life of your cooling or heating equipment – we don’t want to replace our HVAC system before we have to. When you add a dehumidifier or humidifier to your HVAC system it can help lower the wear and tear on the unit and keep it running longer.
3. Increased indoor air quality- when humidity levels in the home are decreased in the summer and increased in the winter, it will help prevent or reduce mold growth.
HVAC Services in Springfield, Granby, Holyoke, Chicopee & Agawam Massachusetts
It doesn’t matter where you live, the levels of humidity in the air will affect the comfort of your home, not to mention the proper functioning of your heating and air conditioning unit. Taking care of humidity levels in your home should be a priority. Talk with professionals to determine the needs of your home. Contact Ambient Heating & Air Conditioning to have our home comfortable this summer.