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Air Conditioning and Dehumidification: How an A/C Handles Moisture

Posted on: August 21st, 2013 by

Air Conditioning and Dehumidification: How an A/C Handles MoistureQuality air conditioning not only helps keep your home comfortable by circulating cool air, it also helps reduce humidity, which is a potentially bigger nuisance than high temperature.

Why is high humidity a problem?
When “relative humidity” is at 100 percent, it means the moisture in the air has peaked—the air is holding as much moisture as it can at a particular temperature. This keeps our sweat from evaporating, causing that sticky, muggy, hot feeling. This is why 90-degree weather around the Fort Worth area feels hotter than 90-degree weather in, say, Las Vegas, which experiences mostly dry heat.

A/C and dehumidifiers work in tandem
Air conditioning systems and dehumidifiers both condense moisture out of the air, and hence perform similar tasks at one level. After this condensation process, air conditioners (whether they are window units or central-air systems) dump the resulting warm air outdoors, whereas dehumidifiers recirculate this air back into the room it is servicing. During certain times of the year, namely spring and fall, it’s likely you will only need to run one system or the other: Run the A/C if humidity is moderately high but your house is hot, and run the dehumidifier if the humidity is high but you are otherwise comfortable. In muggy summers, however, the systems can bolster each other.

Portable vs. whole-home dehumidifiers
Portable dehumidifiers—small, single units that plug into the wall—can be useful if there is just one particular room in your otherwise comfortable home that attracts a lot of moisture. Many people keep one in their basement for this reason. But if the rest of your house feels humid—or measures highly on a digital humidity tester—think twice before adding more units, which can eat up the energy bill.

A whole-home dehumidifier can be attached to your air conditioning system and control moisture levels in all of your living spaces. Whole-home systems don’t require as much maintenance as portable ones, as they don’t need to be emptied regularly, and many models automatically operate by monitoring your home’s humidity level.

For more options on keeping your Texas home comfortable, please contact us at AirRite Air Conditioning Company, Inc.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Fort Worth and Arlington, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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