During the summer months in Illinois, humid air can creep into homes. The natural reaction for most people is to turn on an air conditioner, which is normally an effective way to cool down a home. However, some homes have extremely high humidity which, over time, can lead to problems with the air conditioner itself.
While modern AC units do have the ability to remove humidity from indoor air, excessive humidity levels can still overload these units and lead to problems throughout a home. For this reason, you should be aware of the following problems that can arise with high humidity levels.
One major effect humidity has on your air conditioner is that it can cause it to work harder. This is because humid air often feels hotter to people due to excess moisture in the air that holds in heat. Leaving your air conditioner at its usual temperature setting isn’t going to work as well as it normally would at cooling you down. As a result, you’ll either have to lower your air conditioner’s temperature to feel the same effect you normally would or use it more frequently, both of which can cause more wear and tear on a unit over time.
Evaporator Coil Problems
The condensate pan, which is commonly referred to as a “drip pan,” is where condensation and moisture end up in an air conditioning unit after the cooling process. When an air conditioner is working overtime because of water particles found in humid air, this means that your drip pan and all the parts connected to it are working hard as well.
If the drip pan overflows, it can create problems within the evaporator coil system in many units. This can prevent your air conditioner from cooling air, and, in some cases, it can even cause the unit to shut down or break.
Uneven Room Temperatures
Another obvious effect on your air conditioner is the fact that air simply won’t be as cool as it should be at certain temperatures. You may notice that one side of the room is hotter than the other (usually the side farthest away from your AC unit). This is simply because your AC unit can’t cool the entire room quickly enough before the ambient humidity expands.
High humidity is any humidity level over 60%, which is when most people generally start to become aware of it. This amount of humidity becomes apparent in the form of body sweat. While sweating is a natural biological process, most people don’t notice it in normal temperatures because it evaporates.
When an air conditioner isn’t efficiently removing the humidity in a room, this evaporation process is hampered. Then, sweat builds up on your skin, and some people have described this as a feeling of being clammy or moist.
For many homeowners, the first sign of humidity in their homes may be in the form of foggy windows. Glass windows that are difficult to see through or that have become non-transparent are a classic tell-tale sign of high humidity levels in a home.
Humidity is essentially water that has become vaporized in the environment. Because this vaporized water has nowhere to go within an enclosed home, it becomes fairly obvious that it’s in excess when you see it sticking to windows. This should serve as a prompt to homeowners to protect both the air conditioner and the home from humidity.
Mold, Fungus, and Dust Mites
Humidity can also create a thriving environment for mold, fungus, and mites. After having high humidity for only a few days, fungus spores begin to grow. Mold can also begin to emerge throughout your home as it uses the moisture within humid air and the air current from your air conditioner to spread on walls, in damp crevices, and even behind kitchen appliances.
Dust mites, which are tiny mites commonly found in homes, can create allergens when they shed their skins or when they defecate all over your home. They can be an invisible nightmare for anyone who suffers from severe allergies.
We’re Here to Help
If you suspect that your home may have harmful humidity levels, contact IBBOTSON Heating & Air Conditioning Co. today. We can test the humidity levels in your home, and, if needed, we offer high-quality humidifiers that can restore indoor air to its correct levels. Located in Arlington Heights and servicing all nearby areas, we also provide maintenance, installation, and repairs of both air conditioners and furnaces.