Indoor air quality is so much more than the dust and debris that may be floating through your air. Humidity also plays a role in how healthy the air in your home is to breathe. Humidity can also contribute to a number of other problems in your home, including mold and mildew growth, drywall or wood rot and plenty of other issues. That means having full control over your humidity is important for homeowners. But how do you take this control without installing an expensive dehumidifier?
The answer may be easier than you think—your air conditioner! Believe it or not, your cooling system on which you depend throughout the year is perhaps your greatest ally when it comes to reducing your indoor humidity levels and keeping your home free from the problems associated with them. And it does this through an entirely natural process known as condensation.
What Is Condensation?
Have you ever left a glass of ice water on the table and come back several minutes later to find the outside of the glass covered in water droplets? No, your glass isn’t leaking—this is the natural result of a process known as condensation,
where water vapor in the air returns to liquid form when it makes contact with a cold surface. This same thing happens in your air conditioner as well, turning water vapor into liquid water as a natural byproduct of the process which cools the air in your home. Through this process, your air conditioner removes humidity from the air, making it feel both drier and more comfortable for everyone in your home.
When air is pulled in through your return vent, it passes through an air filter to remove the dirt and debris before it is forced over your evaporator coil. Your evaporator coil is a long tube full of extremely cold refrigerant, a liquid that is responsible for absorbing heat from the air which passes over it. This is how your air conditioner cools the air.
However, there’s another effect that happens through this process. Air contains humidity, which is water in its gas form. When these water molecules come in contact with the extremely cold metal surface of your evaporator coil, they almost instantly revert back to their liquid form and stick to the surface. While these molecules may be invisible or almost unnoticeable at first, more and more of them accumulate as air continues to pass over the coil.
Eventually enough of these water molecules stick to the surface to the point where they form a vapor-like fog on the surface. The fog then continues to grow into droplets, and then full-fledged water drops. These water drops will eventually become so heavy they fall from your coil down into the drain pan at the bottom of your air conditioner. This explains why it’s so important to have an air conditioner condensation drain line that’s clear of obstructions—without it, your drain pan could overflow and cause water damage to your home.
What to Do If Your Indoor Humidity Is Still Too High
Does it seem like your indoor humidity levels are still too high, even when running your air conditioner? While your system is a huge ally in your fight against high humidity levels, it can only do so much. Running your air conditioner is expensive and continually running it can lead to issues like freezing.
Indoor humidity problems can be caused by things like plumbing leaks, standing water or other sources of moisture. In some cases, you may not even know these issues exist, which makes them even harder to detect. However, if it seems like you’re constantly struggling with humidity, you may want to give your home a thorough inspection. If there doesn’t appear to be another problem, then you may benefit from installing a de-humidifier in your home, particularly in the most-impacted rooms like an upstairs bedrooms that receive a lot of extra sunlight.
Make sure your air conditioner is ready to handle the months of use ahead by calling our San Jose air conditioning experts at Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Solar at (408) 868-5500 today!
Elsewhere on Our Blog
This month at Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Solar, we’ve also taken a closer look at some common electrical trends we tend to see at the start of summer months. First, we often receive calls in the summer about circuit breakers that are constantly tripping. A tripped circuit breaker can be annoying—it shuts down all of the devices in a particular area and forces you to reset them all, which is time-consuming and tedious. However, if you find that one particular breaker in your home seems to trip all the time, then you probably have a different and larger issue and warm temperatures of summer tend to bring the problem out to an even greater degree. Our blog took a closer look at a few of the reasons why this happens and how to fix it.
Summer can mean scorching temperatures and the need to stay cool in your home. However, with energy prices surging and seemingly no end to the pattern in sight, homeowners everywhere are looking for ways to stay cool without the devastating consequences to their energy bill. One of the most popular answers is also one of the simplest: ceiling fans! Ceiling fans help your home feel cooler and more comfortable by creating a constant cycle of moving air, and doing so while using only a small fraction of the energy your central air conditioner would.
Read about these topics and more on our blog today!