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Can a Dehumidifier Help Your HVAC System?

A heating/cooling vent register on the wall of a home, with open/close leverLet’s put it this way—excess moisture can certainly hurt your Spokane Valley, WA HVAC system, therefore, a whole-house dehumidifier can, in fact, help it.

Consider the facts—humidity is the excess moisture that comes along with our higher summer temperatures that we’re all very familiar with. This excessive humidity makes us uncomfortable, and the only way to relieve this moisture is by lowering the temperature. So, this would likely lead you to turn your air conditioner to the lowest possible setting, right?

Well, unfortunately this makes your air conditioning system work harder, straining it and causing it to accumulate wear and tear faster than it otherwise would have. Plus, it doesn’t do anything to effectively remove the humidity in the air, so you’ll still be uncomfortable anyway.

More Facts about High Humidity

Humidity is considered “too high” when the relative humidity level in your living space is greater than 50%. It’s worth mentioning that humidity that’s too low is problematic too—anything below 30% requires a humidifier to restore your health and the health of your property.

But a relative humidity level above 50% is when most people notice discomfort. After all, the way we stay cool is by sweating, and more specifically having that sweat evaporate off of us, which it can’t do if there is too much ambient moisture.

Therefore, we stay heated and sweat stays on our skin. Uncomfortable, right? And you’re not the only one suffering—so is your property. After all, high humidity encourages the development of mold and bacteria, which can rot away at your home and also make you and your family ill.

“What Does All of This Mean for My AC?”

As we stated above, the best way to lower humidity levels is by lowering the temperature. This causes moisture to coalesce into droplets (such as dew you notice in the early morning hours much of the time) and then evaporate. So by default, your air conditioner does serve as a dehumidifier to an extent.

But the problem is that your air conditioner was not designed to lower the humidity. Yes, just by operation it removes some moisture in the air, however it is not a significant amount, and you really have no control over how much moisture is actually being removed.

Excess humidity in the air forces your cooling system to work too hard just to cool the air. And since the air feels warmer when humidity levels are too high, you can easily find yourself setting the thermostat lower and lower, affecting your air conditioner and your subsequent cooling bills.

Install a Whole-House Dehumidifier

Throughout the years, high humidity can wear down on your air conditioner so much that it may break down completely long before its time. But a whole-house dehumidifier, installed directly into the ductwork of your air conditioner, is designed to remove this excess moisture from your home, without impacting your air conditioner.

Most air conditioners have a drain pan in order to collect condensation, but when  humidity is too high, this pan can overflow and cause other problems as a result, like mold growth or even fire risk if that moisture reaches electrical components or wiring.

ACI Northwest is here to help with your home comfort needs or concerns. Please do not hesitate to contact us for helpful advice.

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