How to Tell if Your AC is Controlling Indoor Humidity Levels
Hot, sweltering, sticky air is typical for Central Florida summers, but what happens when the outdoor heat and humidity seep in? When not properly controlled, indoor humidity can be extremely uncomfortable and cause a major strain on your AC unit! If indoor humidity levels are making your home feel more like a house – or a sauna – it may be time for an AC inspection! Check out these signs that your AC is failing at indoor humidity control.
Signs of Low and High Indoor Humidity Levels
Imbalanced humidity levels can mean either having too much or too little humidity in your indoor environment. Both of these scenarios have serious consequences for your health and home. So what’s an ideal indoor humidity level?
Energy Star ranks a safe and comfortable indoor humidity level, or ideal relative humidity, between 30% – 50%.
However, this can change depending on the season. In colder weather, when the heater is in use, humidity levels should range from 30% – 40% to reduce condensation.
Most modern AC systems and humidifiers have a built-in humidity monitor that enables you to quickly check your humidity levels. But even without a newer AC unit, there are also some pretty obvious – and sometimes painful – ways of knowing whether or not your AC is properly controlling your indoor humidity.
Effects of High Indoor Humidity Levels
High indoor humidity levels can cause new or make pre-existing health problems worse. It can also damage your furniture and even cause structural damage to your home! The common signs of high indoor humidity include:
- Constant sweating.
- Difficulty breathing even for healthy people, and worse symptoms for people living with asthma and other pulmonary conditions.
- Poor sleep quality, tossing and turning almost every night as your body struggles to stay cool.
- Frequent allergy triggers due to mold, fungi, and dust mites that thrive in high humidity.
- Moisture damage on walls, floors, and ceilings. This could appear as peeling paint or crumbling molding.
- Foggy windows.
- Mildew or mold forming around windows or doors – or even on walls.
- Warped furniture.
Effects of Low Indoor Humidity Levels
When indoor humidity levels are too low, your health and home can also suffer. Not only can your eyes, skin, and nasal passages dry out, but your home furnishings like wood floors, door frames, or furniture can warp. Cupping and crowning are two telltale signs that your indoor humidity levels are out of line. Some signs of low humidity levels are:
- Cold, dry, and chapped skin.
- Itchy, dry eyes.
- Frequent headaches due to decreased circulation in the home.
- Cracked or shrinking door frames and molding.
- Creaking wooden floors as they dry out due to low humidity.
How To Check If Your AC Is Working Properly
If you are suffering from any of these symptoms of imbalanced indoor humidity levels, it’s time to check your AC. Before you decide whether you should repair or replace your AC unit, take these simple steps:
- Check the air filter, which is usually inside your AC unit near the thermostat. Either refer to your AC manual on how to clean or replace your air filter, or contact an HVAC professional to have them perform an AC inspection.
- Check the thermostat’s batteries. There should be a low battery indicator to alert you when it is time for a change.
- Use another high-quality thermometer to cross-reference the accuracy of your AC’s thermostat. If the thermometer registers a lower or higher temperature than you expect, it may be time for maintenance or a new AC unit.
- Check for pools of water around the AC. This may indicate a blockage in the unit’s drainage system, causing the unit to run hotter than usual.
- Check for other factors like insulation, air leakage around doors and windows, and seals around your ductwork. All of these could contribute to higher indoor humidity.
Tips For Managing Humidity Levels in Your Home
- Use a system with a humidity monitor.
- Add a vent fan in your bathrooms and kitchen to clear out the excess moisture in these spaces.
- Make use of your ceiling fans to improve airflow between humid and drier rooms.
- Improve the drainage around the foundation of your home.
- Ensure that clothes dryers are vented to an outdoor area.
- For low indoor humidity levels, consult a professional as to whether or not you may benefit from a humidifier.
- Let an expert conduct regular maintenance checks on your AC and ductwork to catch the early signs that you may need a new AC unit.
Indoor humidity can cause problems if not properly controlled – and your AC should be working to maintain a healthy and safe atmosphere. There are ways to increase or decrease home humidity, but the first step is identifying the issue.
If you spot the signs that your AC is not cooling correctly, it is time to call in an expert. A thorough assessment from Scott’s Heating & Air Conditioning will ensure that your AC unit is in great shape – or that it may be time to invest in a new AC unit. Get in touch today.
Scott’s Heating & Air Conditioning is a full-service heating and air conditioning company and a Bryant® Factory Authorized Dealer in Central Florida. Whether you need repair, maintenance, or installation of a new heating or cooling system, we provide efficient, cost-effective, and professional service. When it’s hot, call Scott!Tags: ac, AC maintenance, humidity, humidity control, humidity levels, HVAC maintenance, indoor air quality, indoor allergens, mold, mold growth, relative humidity
Categorised in: Air Conditioning, Indoor Air Quality, Thing You Should Know