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The Right HVAC Unit for Your Home

A couple of months ago, the HVAC unit in my home started malfunctioning. The temperature inside my home soared to over eighty degrees Fahrenheit, even though my air conditioning system ran nonstop. After inspecting my air conditioning unit, my knowledgeable HVAC contractor recommended I purchase a new system. He discussed the pros and cons of installing different sizes of HVAC units with me. After considering my HVAC contractor’s advice, I decided to purchase a three and a half ton HVAC unit. Shortly after my HVAC contractor installed my new air conditioning unit, my house started feeling more comfortable. On this blog, I hope you will discover how an HVAC contractor can help you select the right air conditioning unit for your home. Enjoy!


The Right HVAC Unit for Your Home

Humidity and HVAC Performance: Don't Let Moisture Hold You Back

by Jamie Shaw

Some people think the key to comfortable indoor living is having a working air conditioner to keep the temperature cool during blazing summer months. However, there's a frequently overlooked factor that makes a major difference for indoor comfort: humidity. Because the moisture in your indoor air can have a great effect on the efficiency and overall performance of your HVAC system, here are a few things you need to know. 

1. Indoor humidity makes cooling more difficult. 

Moist air holds more water. Water has an exceptionally high heat capacity; this is one of the reasons why coastal regions enjoy temperate climates. It will take longer to cool moist air than dry air, and the air will feel less cool than it actually is. It's hard for humans to feel cool in humid environments because they sweat to cool themselves, allowing drier air to evaporate the perspiration. The bottom line is that a home with drier air will feel cooler than one with moist air at the same temperature. With the use of a dehumidifier, you can actually raise your thermostat a few degrees and save yourself money on your cooling bill. 

2. Older AC units may be better at controlling indoor humidity.

Some older units might cost more to run, but they are also more effective at keeping humidity at bay. If you've recently replaced an older, gas-guzzling unit with a newer one that is more energy efficient, you may also need to invest in a dehumidifier. Some HVAC systems can have a dehumidifier built in, but don't assume that yours does, especially if you notice that you feel "sticky" inside even though the thermostat readings indicate a comfortable inside temperature. Check with an AC repair technician if you have troubles with humidity after a compressor replacement. 

3. Indoor humidity can contribute to common AC problems. 

Moist air can also lead to common complaints with air conditioners. For example, many people attribute allergies to dirty ducts or indoor dust, but humidity can also be part of the problem. Humid air running through your ducts can lead to mold and mildew growth, which in turn increases basic allergy symptoms like runny noses or irritated throats. Dust mites also thrive in wetter conditions, and they can make people with respiratory conditions feel even more ill. 

4. Bigger is not always better.

The best AC units work on the two most important aspects of cooling: lowering the temperature and removing the moisture. However, investing in a unit that is too large for your house can backfire. It will quickly cool the entire house but then will shut off to conserve energy. The right size unit runs long enough to cool the air and remove the water. Units that are too big may shut off before the job is done. However, an air conditioner that is too small will also struggle—it will not be able to dehumidify fast enough, so the air will continue to feel muggy. 

5. Removing moisture is not a one-man job.

You can't just depend on your AC or dehumidifiers to make life less sticky. Each homeowner can take basic strides to decrease indoor humidity, therefore reducing the workload placed on the cooling system. For example, running the bathroom fan, properly venting dryer exhaust, and using a fume hood when boiling water can all have an effect on decreasing indoor moisture levels. These practices are especially important in areas where summer humidity is extremely high. 

Moisture in your home can drastically affect your HVAC system's efficacy. For more information on cooling your home more effectively, contact an air-conditioning technician in your area.