High humidity is a major problem for comfort in Louisiana. When relative humidity rises above 60%, as it often does during the summer days, the heat starts to seem much worse. This is not because the temperature rises, but because high humidity traps heat in our bodies and makes it harder for us to keep cool. We need our air conditioning systems more than ever on days with both high temperatures and high humidity.
Does your home’s air conditioning system work to dehumidify the air? Yes, it does. But is your air conditioner a dehumidifier? No, it’s not. We’ll explain more below and offer you a way to get real dehumidification power in your house when you need it.
The AC and Humidity
An air conditioner doesn’t create cooling, because cooling isn’t a form of energy. What an air conditioner does is remove heat from the air and exhaust it outside. This lowers the temperature of the indoor air. The AC pulls heat from the air by evaporating cold refrigerant along its indoor evaporator coil. As the refrigerant evaporates, it causes moisture in the air to condense along its surface. It’s the same phenomenon as when you take a cold beverage out of the refrigerator: as it warms up, moisture condenses in droplets along the outside. The moisture along the air conditioner’s coil drips down into a pan where it is then pumped out of the house.
So in this way, the air conditioner dehumidifies the air. That’s simply part of how the air conditioner provides cooling. However, because an air conditioner isn’t designed specifically to dehumidify a house, it doesn’t draw enough moisture from the air to have a noticeable effect on a humid day.
What can you do about high humidity then? You can run the air conditioner for longer to combat the extra heat people feel, but this is expensive. When high humidity is making an 88°F day feel like it’s 96°F, an air conditioner must stay on much longer to get the temperature down low enough for people to feel comfortable.
The way to solve this problem is to have a whole-house dehumidifier installed. Dehumidifiers work similarly to air conditioners: they also evaporate refrigerant to remove moisture from the air. However, they’re designed specifically to remove moisture rather than cool the air, so they can handle much higher amounts of moisture. Because a dehumidifier removes some heat from the air as it runs, it reheats this air so it won’t interfere with the air conditioner and accidentally make the house too cold.
A dehumidifier not only makes it easier to deal with the heat in your house and save money on AC bills, it also helps stop some of the other damaging effects of high humidity: mold and mildew growth, water damage, and odors.
To find out more about installing a whole-house dehumidifier in Shreveport, LA, talk to our team today.
Moon’s Air has provided whole-home comfort since 1971. Call us for service today—it’s good to be Mooned!