humidityHumidity is often considered the enemy of comfort, and when it comes to keeping your HVAC system working properly, humidity control is extremely important. Cates Heating and Cooling in Lenexa, Kansas, is here to help people in the Kansas City Metro Area better understand humidity’s role in keeping your house comfortable.

Both heating and air conditioning are affected by the humidity in the air, so you need to know just how to deal with that humidity instead of letting it create problems for your HVAC system.

Humidity’s Effect on Air Conditioning Systems

Air conditioners help remove humidity in the air, which helps make your home more comfortable. If the humidity level is too high, your air conditioner has to work harder to cool your home, and an old or inefficient air conditioning system may not be able to properly handle the amount of humidity in the air, which will leave your home feeling too warm.

The increased effort your air conditioner will be putting into cooling your home can cause wear and tear on the system, and your utility bill may be higher than normal as well.

Central air conditioning systems should leave your home feeling comfortable, but if it still feels hot even when the air is running, humidity could be your problem. Some signs that the humidity is too much for your air conditioning system are:

  • The air in your house feels moist
  • Parts of your home smell musty or damp
  • The windows in your home are foggy
  • Mold is growing in your home

Dehumidification to Help Air Conditioning Systems

Cates Heating and Cooling advises that you deal with potential humidity problems before the hot, humid months arise in Kansas and Missouri. During the summer, your home’s humidity level should be below 60 percent to keep you and your family comfortable. One way to ensure that humidity isn’t a problem is to have a dehumidifier installed in your home.

Dehumidifiers pull the excess moisture out of the air in your home before it reaches the air conditioning system and bogs it down. Not only will this prevent any discomfort during the summer, but it will also prevent unnecessary damage to your air conditioning system.

The professionals at Cates Heating and Cooling are experts at installing dehumidifiers, and they can help you select the system that will give you the best results in your home.

Humidity’s Effect on Heating Systems

When winter arrives, the problem with humidity becomes that there isn’t enough of it. Since cold air can’t hold as much moisture as warm air, during the winter, the air often feels colder in your home, especially when you have already been running your heater for a few weeks.

In addition to making your home feel colder, dry air can cause other problems for those in your home. Dry skin and nasal passages can make you extremely uncomfortable in your home. People are also likely to have irritated eyes and sinuses. Your furniture and flooring could also sustain damage from the extremely dry nature of the air in your home during the winter months. Low humidity can even damage electronics.

Your heating system will also be working harder to heat your home and use more energy than necessary, and you may not even feel warm.

Humidification to Help Heating Systems

The lack of moisture in the air during the winter months in Kansas and Missouri can be fixed with a humidifier. A humidifier will add moisture to the air in your home before it reaches your heating system, which prevents the additional strain on the system. During the winter, the humidity level in your home should be between 30 and 40 percent, which can easily be achieved with a humidifier.

Humidifiers can be installed into your home to prevent your air from becoming too dry. The HVAC technicians at Cates Heating and Cooling are experts at installing humidifiers. Cates recommends installing a humidifier during the warmer months to prevent having any issues during winter.

Humidity’s Effect on Outdoor Equipment

Outdoor HVAC equipment is susceptible to damage from humidity and heat. Humid air is more likely to carry dust, dirt, and debris, which can settle into the coils and fins of your HVAC unit. When dirt and debris settle into your HVAC system, it can cause the system to be less efficient and raise utility bills. Cleaning your system with a hose and coil cleaner can help the system be more efficient.

Proper cleaning of your condenser unit is essential, however, so make sure you speak to a professional about how to clean your equipment before you tackle the task yourself. A technician from Cates Heating and Cooling can instruct you on the proper way to clean your condenser unit.

Other Tips to Control Humidity

While humidifiers and dehumidifiers are great solutions to humidity problems, there may be times when installing one of these systems is unnecessary and a few minor changes in your home could prevent the need for one. Here are a few other ways that you can control the humidity level in your home:

  • Use the exhaust fans in your bathroom and above your stove to remove steam from the air when showering or cooking.
  • When it is humid outside, regardless of the temperature, don’t open all your windows, because it allows the humid air to come into your home and makes your air conditioning unit work harder. The same is true for dry air in the winter months.
  • Avoid using the “Fan” setting on your thermostat. Allow the fan to kick on and off automatically when the system runs. Using the “Fan” setting keeps the fan running constantly and could keep humidity in the air of your home, which reduces the effectiveness of your air conditioner.
  • If you have a full, finished basement, consider a separate humidifier or dehumidifier for that space to allow for more control over the moisture in the air of your home.

If you are looking to have either a dehumidifier or a humidifier (or both) installed in your home to quell any issues with moisture in the air, Cates Heating and Cooling can help. A qualified technician is here to help you select the correct system and install it for you. If your existing humidifier or dehumidifier needs repair, a Cates technician can help with that, too.

Call Cates Heating and Cooling today at 913-888-4470 for a quote for any HVAC installation or repair service that you need. Cates services homes all over the Kansas City area, including towns in both Kansas and Missouri.