With summer temperatures in San Antonio regularly reaching the upper 90s or even into the triple digits, air conditioning is definitely a must-have. Not only does a properly functioning AC system ensure your home stays cool, but it also helps to remove excess humidity from inside the building. Still, there are numerous times when we get calls from customers complaining that their home still feels extremely humid even with the air conditioning on. In light of this, here are some of the most common reasons why this issue occurs and what you can do about it.
Your AC Isn’t Functioning Properly and Needs Repairing or Replacement
The most common reason that your home will feel humid or muggy even when the AC is turned on is that the system isn’t functioning properly. Annual air conditioning maintenance is the best way to ensure that your cooling system is working properly and free of any issues.
There is a wide range of potential issues that can cause your AC system to be unable to properly remove excess moisture from inside your home. In some cases, it is something as seemingly minor as a clogged air filter. If the air filter gets too dirty and becomes clogged, it drastically restricts airflow in the HVAC system and can make it nearly impossible for your air conditioning to work properly.
Dirty evaporator coils are another common problem that can lead to excess humidity. The evaporator coils contain extremely cold refrigerant that absorbs heat from the air to cool your home. As part of this process, the excess moisture in the air condenses on the evaporator coil. If the coils are too dirty, they simply cannot do their job properly, which will lead to higher humidity levels and hotter temperatures. This is one area where annual maintenance can be a huge help as it includes a full cleaning of the evaporator coil.
Similar issues can also occur if the system has a refrigerant leak. In this case, there won’t be enough refrigerant for the evaporator coil to function properly.
High humidity can also occur because of an issue with the condensate drain. If the drain or drain lines get clogged, it will cause the excess water dripping off the evaporator coil to collect inside the drain pan and drain lines. Over time, this water will evaporate and increase the humidity inside the home.
It may also be that your air conditioner is simply too old and no longer works properly. AC units typically have a maximum lifespan of around 15 years and often much less in hotter, more humid climates. This means that if your AC is 10 or more years old and you start to notice your home is more humid than it used to be, it is probably time to start thinking about AC replacement.
Your AC Unit Is Undersized
Another issue that is much more common than you might think is that the air conditioner is too small for the size of the home. This is especially common in situations where people have put an addition onto their home without also upgrading to a larger AC unit. If the air conditioner is undersized, it simply won’t be able to keep up and properly cool the home. As a result, the system will run much more often and for longer while also not being able to fully remove excess humidity from the home. Unfortunately, the only solution to this issue is to either replace your AC with one that is appropriately sized or add supplementary cooling such as a window or portable air conditioners.
You’re Not Running Your AC Often Enough
Many people shut off their air conditioning at night in an attempt to reduce their energy bills. However, this is definitely not recommended. For one reason, it won’t have as big of an effect on your energy costs as you might think since approximately two-thirds of an air conditioner’s total energy use occurs between noon and midnight.
The other issue is that shutting off your AC at night can quickly cause the humidity level inside your home to skyrocket. When this happens, the system is often not able to keep up. In many cases, the humidity level will still be much higher even after the AC has cooled the house off to the set temperature. The easiest way to avoid this problem is to simply keep your AC set to “on” and your windows closed throughout the entire summer.
Your Home Doesn’t Have Adequate Ventilation
Many newer homes tend to suffer from issues with high humidity. Older homes are usually able to “breathe” as the building has enough air leaks to provide proper ventilation. More modern homes, on the other hand, are built in a way to minimize air leaks in order to dramatically improve energy efficiency. Unfortunately, this also means that newer homes tend to have far less ventilation. In this case, you may need to install a mechanical ventilation system to allow the air inside your home to escape and also to ensure a steady supply of fresh air from outside.
You Need a Whole-home Dehumidifier
Because of Texas’ hot, humid climate, air conditioning alone often isn’t enough to overcome high humidity issues. This is why more and more people are choosing to upgrade their HVAC systems with a whole-home dehumidifier. These units work in conjunction with your existing HVAC system to draw excess moisture out of the air and are one of the easiest and most effective ways to overcome issues with high indoor humidity. They are also extremely low maintenance and use very little energy. In fact, many times, a whole-home dehumidifier will actually reduce your overall cooling costs by lessening the load on your AC system and ensuring it doesn’t have to run as often or for as long.
Other Issues That Can Cause High Humidity
Cooking inside the home is a major contributor to high humidity levels because of all of the steam and heat that it produces. Still, this doesn’t mean that you should simply stop cooking indoors during the summer. Instead, all you need to do is make sure to run your exhaust fan whenever cooking to ventilate all of that heat and humidity outside the home. The same is also true of running the exhaust fan in your bathroom every time you shower or take a bath since these also produce lots of steam and moisture.
Having too many people inside the home is also a common cause of excess indoor humidity. People give off much more heat and moisture than you might think, and the more people you have in the home, the hotter and more humid it will be. This can result in your air conditioner struggling to keep up.
Expert Cooling and Heating Services
If you’re struggling with high humidity levels inside your home, the expert technicians at Beyer Air Conditioning & Heating are always on-hand to troubleshoot and repair whatever issues you may be experiencing. We are a full-service HVAC company, and we provide customers throughout the San Antonio area with a wide range of professional heating and cooling services. We also specialize in whole-home humidifiers, dehumidifiers, and a range of indoor air quality equipment and services. Don’t struggle with high indoor humidity a day longer. Instead, give the team at Beyer Air Conditioning & Heating a call today so that you can enjoy the cool, comfortable home that you and your family deserve.