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3 Tips to Manage Indoor Humidity This Summer

High indoor humidity causes more problems than simply making your home uncomfortable. Humid air in your home will promote mold and mildew growth and make it easier for contaminants to stay in the air, which could lead to allergy flare-ups or respiratory illness. Fortunately, you can tune up your central air conditioner to keep the humidity in your home lower this summer.

1. Install a Whole-House Dehumidifier

A whole-house dehumidifier is the most important component of any HVAC system for removing moisture from the air. If your central heating and air doesn’t already have a dehumidifier, this simple add-on could be all you need to keep your home’s air cool and dry. You can choose from different types of humidifiers, so you should consider your options before purchasing one for your home.

Whole-house dehumidifiers can be classified into two categories: compressor dehumidifiers and desiccant dehumidifiers. Compressor dehumidifiers work similarly to air conditioners, as they remove moisture from the air through refrigeration. Desiccant variants remove moisture by pulling it out of the air with an absorbent drum or pad.

Desiccant dehumidifiers are recommended if the part of your house where it will be installed stays cool because compressor models must be colder than the surrounding air to run. Desiccant dehumidifiers also operate more quietly than compressor models. The main advantage of compressor dehumidifiers is that they use less energy. Talk to a professional to learn which is right for you.

2. Keep Your AC Evaporator Coils Clean

The evaporator coils are installed above the furnace and air handler in most central heating and air systems. These coils circulate refrigerant to cool the air that the air handler blows over them, but they also play a part in dehumidifying your home. When moist air contacts the cold coils, moisture in the air condenses onto the coils and drips into a drain pan below them.

If your evaporator coils are dirty, they will have trouble both cooling and dehumidifying the air. Cleaning the evaporator coils is as simple as spraying them down with compressed air or scrubbing them with a stiff bristle brush in most cases. If your coils have corroded or are caked with stubborn dust and debris, you can purchase a commercial coil cleaner.

The fewer contaminants that are in the air that flows over the coils, the cleaner the coils will be. Maintain your furnace filter to ensure the longest operating life for your coils between each cleaning. You should clean or replace the furnace filter at least once a month to prevent dust from stealing efficiency from your evaporator coils.

3. Get the Refrigerant Charged

Even if your evaporator coils are clean, they won’t be able to do their job if there isn’t enough refrigerant circulating through them. While you can’t charge your air conditioner refrigerant yourself, you should look for common issues. Evaporator coils that are low on refrigerant won’t suck moisture out of the air, so that moisture will make its way into the rooms in your home.

Low refrigerant might also cause your unit to blog warm air. If the air from your vents isn’t cold after running the AC for 15 to 20 minutes, you can guess that low refrigerant is keeping the air from getting cool.

Another obvious sign of a low refrigerant charge is ice buildup on the outdoor condenser. Ice will build up around any spots where refrigerant may be leaking from your system, such as the coolant tank connectors or refrigerant lines. Hire a pro to ensure you have enough refrigerant in your system to avoid high humidity.

High indoor humidity isn’t a problem you have to put up with, no matter how humid the air is where you live. Keep these tips in mind if your indoor air is too humid, and contact us at Advanced Heating & Cooling so our experienced technicians can help make your home’s air comfortable again.