Does air conditioning lower humidity levels?

Summers in New England can be surprisingly humid. As a homeowner, you may be asking yourself how to lower humidity levels in your home to create a drier, more comfortable living space.

An AC system may do the trick, but there are other ways to keep humidity at a comfortable level.

Does Air Conditioning Reduce Humidity?

HumidifierThe effects of AC systems are twofold: they circulate cool air throughout your home and remove heat and humidity. When it comes to lowering humidity, refrigerant is key. Refrigerant in AC systems is a chemical compound that works by fluctuating from liquid to gas and back again, allowing it to absorb heat.

The AC system's evaporator coil also plays a role in removing humidity. The evaporator coil – also known as an evaporator core – is a copper, aluminum or steel tube that condenses water vapor in the air. When the evaporator coil gets cold, it pulls the moisture from the indoor air and removes it from your home. You can even see the condensation leaving your home – the water travels out of your home through a PVC pipe that's either located in your attic or a condensation pump in your basement.

Ways to Lower Humidity in Your Home

If you're cranking your AC system and are still experiencing high humidity levels, there are some things that can help:

  • Add a dehumidification system. AC systems naturally remove humidity, as we outlined – but there's a way to expedite that process: you can purchase an add-on dehumidification system that connects to your existing AC ductwork. Some whole-house dehumidifiers manufacturers include Aprilaire, Trane, and Honeywell. Whole-house dehumidifiers provide a lot of other benefits, too. They protect against allergies and mold. Plus, when a dehumidifier works in conjunction with your AC system, your AC system doesn't have to work as hard – which increases the efficiency of your AC unit.
  • Set your AC system to 'AUTO,' not 'ON.' There are a few different thermostat settings on a central AC system. With the AUTO setting initiated, the fan kicks on only when the condenser does, resulting in cool air. The ON setting means that the fan is constantly blowing air, which means that it doesn't always blow cold air. This can result in higher humidity levels in your home.
  • Tune up your AC system. If you've exhausted all options and your house is still humid, then it's a good idea to tune up your AC. Ideally, you should tune up your air conditioning system on an annual basis to keep it working at peak condition. A tune-up could do the trick to make sure your house is staying cool as well as dry.

Interested in installing a new AC or whole house dehumidifier? Or do you need an AC tune-up to get your AC running properly? Schedule an installation by calling the experts at HomeWiz at (207) 506-2232 today or by filling our our online form!