How Humidity Affects Your Indoor Comfort
People who live in the southeastern United States know how humidity affects comfort during the summer months. As humidity increases, evaporation decreases. When evaporation decreases, the human body is less able to expel heat, which increases the perception of heat.
This difference between perceived and real temperatures is called the heat index. As humidity increases, the heat index also increases. At 85 degrees F and 40% humidity, the heat index temperature is 84 F. At 85 degrees F and 80% humidity, the heat index temperature is 97 F.
Heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems regulate humidity as well as temperature. If rooms feel clammy, or if the unit cycles on and off frequently, your system is not performing efficiently. The result is higher utility bills, reduced comfort and strain on equipment.
What Is Short Cycling?
Air conditioners must run long enough to reach the set temperature and regulate humidity. When a unit short cycles, it runs for a short time to reach the desired temperature but does not remove enough moisture for comfort. It should run long enough so that moisture collects on the coil, runs through the condensate system and exits the building. If the unit shuts down too quickly, this moisture is reabsorbed into the air. The result is too much humidity for comfort.
Reasons for Short Cycling
Short cycling occurs for several reasons. Oversized units cool quickly and shut down before removing enough moisture from the air. Your contractor should follow industry standards to properly size the unit.
Poor upkeep causes many problems. Dirty air filters allow contaminants into the system. Dust on coils affects heat exchange, which may cause overheating and a quick shut down or longer run times. Improper refrigerant charge can also affect run times.
How To Reduce Humidity and Stay Comfortable
If you are looking for ways to combat humidity, the professionals at AC Southeast can help. We understand how HVAC equipment performs during muggy summer months. We may recommend equipment that reduces humidity levels, such as dehumidifiers, variable speed systems and whole house ventilators.
To optimize comfort, keep your HVAC unit in excellent working order with regular maintenance. If you need a new system, one of our AC Southeast contractors will perform a load analysis to properly size the unit. The result is optimum comfort, reduced energy bills and the knowledge that your indoor comfort is in capable hands.
For more information about maintaining indoor comfort throughout the year, call the certified, licensed professionals at AC Southeast.