It’s been another hot summer here in the Inland Empire, and it’s also been a surprisingly muggy one. High humidity isn’t unknown in our part of the world, but it’s gotten significantly worse in the last few years, and while a good air conditioner can address the problem in a crude fashion, that’s not the best way to get the job done. A whole-house dehumidifier makes an excellent addition to your HVAC system: helping your air conditioner as well as your home in general. Here’s a quick breakdown on how it all works.
High Humidity Means Discomfort
We measure humidity in terms of relative humidity, which gauges the ambient moisture in the air as a percentage. The higher the percentage, the more moisture vapor is found in the air. Human beings start to get uncomfortable at about 50%, when the humidity begins to affect our body’s natural means of keeping cool. We naturally cool off by sweating, or more specifically when the sweat evaporates off of our skin. But if the humidity levels are too high, there’s too much ambient moisture in the air for that to happen. Our internal temperature stays high and the sweat stays on our body, leading to that gross sweaty feeling on muggy days
The best way to lower the ambient moisture in the air is to cool it off, so that the water vapors in the air coalesce into droplets. (That’s why you get dew on the ground in the cool early hours of the morning.) Air conditioners can do that, in a rough sort of way. The problem is that they’re not set up to handle humidity – they’re designed for temperature control – and forcing them to deal with muggy air means that they use a lot more energy than they should.
Furthermore, they don’t provide an accurate means of controlling the humidity, so the process works fitfully at best. Finally, while air conditioners come with a drip pan and drain line to catch condensate in the are, they’re not set up for such activity, and high humidity levels can easily overwhelm them.
Dehumidifiers Do the Job Right
Dehumidifiers, on the other hand, are specifically set up to handle excess moisture. While they use the same basic principles as air conditioners, they’re often much simpler (they don’t need to vent hot air, for instance) and their components allow them to handle much more ambient moisture than air conditioners do.
Furthermore, they allow you to tailor the amount of humidity in your air to suit your taste, ensuring that your home is comfortable as well as free from excess mugginess. That will cut down on mold and bacteria growth, helping your family to feel healthier in the process. Perhaps most importantly, it will ease the strain on your air conditioner, helping it do its job without using so much energy and even extending its lifespan if applied over time.
If you’d like a dehumidifier installed in your Corona, CA home, call the friendly professionals at Avis Plumbing-Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. today!