Air Conditioning | Understanding Humidity & How It Affects Your Air-Conditioning System

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Humidity, not just heat, is what really drove the invention of the air-conditioner. Most people can stand heat, but a hot and humid day is enough to cause medical problems, dehydration and uneasiness. Air conditioning has been the solution.

Humidity refers to the water vapor in air that is invisible because it is a gas. The higher the humidity is, the less effective the body is in cooling itself. Sweating is the body’s way of cooling down and humidity causes the body to sweat less because it decreases the rate of moisture evaporation from the skin.

In short, humidity is what makes you feel uncomfortable while indoors. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor humidity should be controlled because it can cause problems like growth of bacteria, molds, fungi, viruses, and dust mites. If the humidity level is low, you can get skin irritation, respiratory problems, nosebleeds, and static electricity. It also warps wood furniture, ruins collectibles like stamps, photos, and artwork, and causes the cork of wine bottles to crack allowing the wine to leak out.

The ideal level of humidity for indoor air is between 25 to 55% RH. You can install a hygrometer or temperature monitor to control the humidity levels.

The US Geological Survey has said that the planet has around 326 million cubic miles of water but only 3,100 cubic miles of water can be found in the air as water vapor or precipitation. This would explain why during rains, it feels cooler; the humidity level are less than 100%.

How Air-Conditioning Systems Help

With an efficient air-conditioning system in the house, you can dehumidify indoor as an incidental effect of the main job of an a/c unit to control indoor temperature. If you want an a/c system that can control both temperature and humidity, all you need to do is talk to your local professional.

There is new technology that makes it possible to enjoy enhanced dehumidification, or if you would rather keep your old system, you can refer to them about the best dehumidifier appliance for your indoor space.

Other Ways to Dehumidify

There are other ways to dehumidify that will not require major expense. For instance, you can try the following:

  • Avoid setting the thermostat to “fan” mode because it will suck out all the moisture from the room and then blow it back again into the room.
  • Keep windows closed when using the air-conditioner
  • Avoid using a separate cooling system like an electric fan when the humidity outside is high
  • Install exhaust fans in areas where you do a lot of washing, bathing, and drying of wet items on indoor clothes lines. If you have a dryer, make sure that its exhaust fan is positioned properly.

Finally, check your indoor plants and find out if they are the kind that need a lot of moisture to survive. These plants will help improve indoor air. A few examples are the peace lily, ficus benjamina, dragon tree, and the Chinese evergreen.

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