Learn Why Humidity Hits in the Summer Months and How to Prevent it
It never fails, every summer we get hit hard with humidity during the months of June through September. But this year, the extra rain and moisture has been even more challenging for Central Iowa – and your home probably let you know it. Hot, sticky temperatures, clothes and bath towels taking longer to dry, damp carpets and bedding are all signs that your home is holding more moisture than normal. This can be detrimental, causing increased potential for mold growth and damp spots in your home.
At Wyckoff Heating & Cooling, we can help you understand why you’ve been dealing with humidity this season and how to get a head start on prevention for next year.
Air Leaks: Next to rain, air leaks through walls, roofs and floors can have the biggest effect on the durability and indoor air quality of a home. Uncontrolled air leaks not only carry moisture into framing cavities causing mold and rot, but can account for a huge portion of a home’s energy use and cause air quality problems. Keep in mind, though tight houses are preferred, ventilation systems are just as important. Energy efficiency requires a sealed home, indoor air quality requires fresh outdoor air.
Air Flow: Warm air can hold a lot of moisture, which is why we have more issues with humidity during the summer months. Controlling airflow in your home is an important component to keep moisture in check. If moist indoor air contacts a cold surface, condensation can result. Consider air barriers to prevent cold surfaces from being connected with humid indoor air.
Ventilation: Though you can expect additional mugginess in your home during the summer months, if you are experiencing more moisture than usual, you may consider ventilating your home. A great solution is an Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV), which ventilates by using thermal energy from stale air to partially cool incoming air before it reaches the system. This aids in reducing the cost of bringing hot air to a comfortable temperature.
Failure to Dehumidify: Your air conditioner functions like a dehumidifier as it cools. As warm indoor air interacts with the liquid refrigerant in the evaporator coil, some of the water vapor in the air condenses and drips into the condensate drain pipe. If your refrigerant is low or the evaporator coil is frozen, the natural dehumidification process will not function properly.
Remember, your air conditioner is not a dehumidifier. If you need additional support, take advantage of a whole-home dehumidifier.
Evaporator Coils: Check for frost on your evaporator coils, which prohibit them from functioning correctly. Adequately operating evaporators accept liquid refrigerant from the outdoor unit, use it to cool the warm air extracted from your home and return the cool air to you. Coils covered in frost cannot do their job, which in turn, can cause your home to feel humid.
Dirt, Dust and Debris: Your air conditioning system should be kept clean at all times. You can take precaution by changing your HVAC system’s air filter on a monthly basis, but from time to time the system should be cleaned professionally. This includes outdoor condenser coils subject to extreme changes in weather.
Now that you know a few causes of the additional humidity in your home this summer, you can still find a solution this year. That way, you and your family can be prepared and dry before next year rolls around.
To learn more or to have us come out and let you know how we can help contact us today.