Heat and humidity are the dual foes of comfort during a
summer in the Tampa Bay area. We’re a popular vacation spot thanks to the
beaches and warm weather, but putting together water and heat means serious
discomfort when humidity rises above 80% on many days.
But you have your air conditioning system! It keeps your
home cool and keeps the humidity down.
Or does it?
Yes, the AC cools down the air inside your house (if it’s working
correctly). But when it comes to humidity, the story is a bit different.
ACs Have Dehumidifying Properties—But Rarely Enough
You may have heard about air conditioning systems drying out
the air inside homes. This is often a problem in drier desert climates, where
there’s rarely much moisture in the air on the hottest days. An air conditioner
does contribute to drawing this moisture from the air as it runs. This is because
an AC removes heat from the air inside a building by evaporating ice-cold refrigerant
along its indoor coils. Evaporation also causes moisture in the air to condense
along the coil as the refrigerant absorbs the heat. So technically, an
air conditioner can dehumidify air. But it’s still not a dehumidifier.
Here’s the problem, which is pronounced in Florida’s humid
climate. Because an air conditioning system isn’t designed to deal with extreme
levels of humidity, it can rarely put even a dent in a muggy day. The air
conditioner is built to get rid of the extra moisture that’s a side-effect of
cooling: when you hear water dripping inside the AC, it’s water droplets along the
refrigerant coil dripping down into a pan where the water can be drawn out of
the house. It’s just a small trickle—hardly enough to make your home feel less
humid. An air conditioner can easily be overwhelmed with excess humidity, which
can lead to moisture build-up inside the AC and mold and mildew growth.
(Regular professional maintenance will help avoid this.)
The Dehumidifying Solution
How can you get control over humid conditions in your house? You have two options. If you’re planning an air conditioning installation in West Palm Beach, FL in the near future, ask our installers for an air conditioning system with humidity controls. This type of AC has a full dehumidifier capable of lowering the air moisture levels in your home, and you can control humidity levels from the thermostat.
The other option is to leave your current air conditioning
system in place and arrange for the installation of a whole-house dehumidifier.
Our technicians can integrate this device into the HVAC system so it will work
in tandem with the AC so your house won’t become too dry. They’ll install a
special humidistat where you can change humidity levels. (We recommend 45% as
the ideal comfort zone.)
When you have humidity levels at the perfect median, you’ll
find hot days much easier to deal with—and that means you’ll run your AC less
and not have to deal with mold and mildew and other side effects of high
At First Response Air Conditioning & Refrigeration, We Have the Coolest Customers in Town! Let us keep you cool.