How Does Humidity Affect HVAC Units?

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Everyone has felt the effects of excessive humidity in the summertime, and how it can make hot weather seem even hotter. It’s not too hard to understand them, how high humidity can have a really significant impact on your air-conditioning system. But did you know that humidity can also affect your heating system just as significantly? That’s why the most modern HVAC systems usually include humidifiers and dehumidifiers, which serve to manage the level of relative humidity in your home.

Humidity and Your Air Conditioner

All air-conditioner function by extracting heat and moisture from the air inside your home, and when humidity levels are extremely high, it forces them to work much harder at their job. If your air conditioner lacks the capacity to sufficiently cool your home, it may not be able to handle the high level of humidity, which means the occupants inside the home will probably always feel somewhat uncomfortable.

For the most part, your air-conditioning system can handle normal humidity, but when the humidity gets really high, the vast majority of systems simply can’t manage it. That level of humidity literally negates the cooling effect that your air conditioner would otherwise provide, and the net result to home residents will be that the air feels warmer than it really is. In effect, your air-conditioning unit will be working harder but providing far less comfort.

Humidity and Your Heating System

As mentioned above, humidity impacts your heating system just as much as it does your cooling system – but in the opposite way. Typically during the wintertime, humidity levels get extremely low, and that low relative humidity is felt inside the home, making the air seem cooler than it really is. Your furnace or heat pump will have to work a lot harder than it should, but it still may not make you feel warm and cozy inside the house. When humidity falls below 50%, the temperature as it is felt by household occupants, will almost always feel much lower than it actually is.

Humidity and Humidifiers/Dehumidifiers

The most effective method for dealing with low humidity in the wintertime is to install a humidifier, which can be coupled right to your HVAC system to add moisture before it is circulated throughout the home. In the summertime, a dehumidifier can be very effective at extracting excess moisture from the air, and can also be coupled directly to your HVAC system. When either a humidifier or dehumidifier is attached to your HVAC system, they can make your unit much more effective at maintaining indoor air quality, and reduce stress on the HVAC system itself.

Local Air Quality

Anyone residing in the region around Scottsdale, Phoenix, Gilbert, Mesa or Chandler is probably aware of the high-temperature potential in the warm season, and when that’s accompanied by high humidity, it can really put a strain on your air conditioner. To find out if your heating and cooling systems might benefit by the addition of a humidifier or dehumidifier, or if the HVAC systems themselves might be ready for an upgrade. contact your local heating and cooling specialists at Bruce’s Air Conditioning and Heating.