Jun 24, 2021

Let’s get the Muggy Meter!

When it is hot outside, and it is raining, chances are, you will feel the humidity. Before you let the moisture inside, consider if you want it inside.

The ideal indoor humidity level ranges between 30 to 50 percent. An excess of humidity can cause many problems in your home, such as visible water stains, mold growth, musty odors, peeling paint or wallpaper. We all want healthy air quality in our homes, so it is essential to have the right level of humidity.

One of the great things about air conditioning is that it cools your home and regulates indoor humidity.

Air Conditioner 101

The indoor air goes through the vents and registers in your home and reaches your air conditioner’s evaporator coil. The coil contains a cooling agent called a refrigerant that circles through your AC unit, changing between its liquid and gaseous form. When air blows over the evaporator coil, the refrigerant absorbs the heat from the warm indoor air, and cool air blows into your home.

So technically, your AC does not work by just supplying cool air. It removes the warmth and moisture from the indoor air. After the refrigerant absorbs the moisture and warmth from the indoor air, excess condensation drains out of your unit through the condensate pan underneath the evaporator coil. Just like that – your air conditioner removes humidity!

Excessive moisture can be damaging inside and outside. It can damage wood, paint, insulation, and siding. It is highly susceptible to allergens and pollutants like dust mites, mold, and mildew. All of those things can cause severe problems for your lungs, even more so if you suffer from allergies, asthma, and existing pulmonary ailments.

A HUMID HOUSE

Several factors contribute to the humidity levels within a home, such as the design, construction and materials, vapor retarder use, insulation, and how airtight the property is. Of course, the surrounding climate and temperature also have a direct effect on humidity.

In hotter climates, such as in the south, a home can also be more humid because of an oversized air conditioner. When an AC unit’s capacity is much too large for a home, it cools too quickly and in short, ineffective cycles. This causes it to turn on and off frequently, allowing humidity to take hold. The evaporator coil inside the AC helps act as a dehumidifier by pulling moisture from the air. For that to happen, the air passing through the unit needs to have enough time. If your system is turning on and off too often, then nothing is done for the humidity of the air entering your home.

You can tell if your AC is too large by how often it runs and for how long. It will only run for about 10 to 15 minutes per cycle on the hottest of days before turning off.

HOW TO DECREASE HUMIDITY IN YOUR HOUSE

Air Conditioning units do not just cool down the air inside a home; they also remove moisture and humidity. Just make sure the unit you have installed is the appropriate size for the square footage of your property.

There are many tools and strategies you can use to reduce the humidity in your home. You will want to know how to reduce humidity in the house in the summer and the winter.

Dehumidifiers

Dehumidifiers are usually placed in basements most of the time. You can get entire home or small space dehumidifiers. They work best when a room or area is sealed off, including all windows and doors. They remove moisture from the air but must remain away from walls and objects to allow for proper airflow.

Proper Ventilation

You want to ensure that areas, where moisture is present, are adequately ventilated, such as the kitchen and bathrooms. Turn vent fans on and leave them on when there is moisture in the room. Get extra fans if you believe moisture is causing issues. If you do not have any exhaust fans, you can crack a window or two.

Humidity Monitors

You can buy humidity monitors at a local hardware store or online to check moisture levels inside your home.

Weatherstripping

Weatherstripping around the doors and windows of your home creates an airtight seal to prevent cool or warm air from escaping and excess humidity from seeping inside. They are essential for warmer climates where it is humid outdoors.

Caulking

Caulking works the same way as weatherstripping. It is used to line surfaces and materials that may come into contact with moisture, such as faucets, sinks, toilets, tubs, and more. Caulking is also used around windows and in seams.

Insulation

As you know, insulation is used to retain heat and keep excess particles from entering a home. If the walls of a home are properly insulated and they are not already moist, they will prevent cool and warm air from escaping or entering through gaps in the walls.

Interior Adjustments

You can make several changes to the interior of your home, which include installing ceiling fans, regularly cleaning your AC ducts and filters.

Lifestyle Changes

Set the fan on your AC or HVAC unit to Auto instead of On. Also, try not to run the AC often if you notice it is powering on and off for short bursts. Also, be sure to use the exhaust fan in bathrooms when you are showering, in addition to keeping the door open if you can.

The Muggy Meter measures the dew points in the coming days. The dew point is a direct measurement of moisture in the atmosphere. Basically, the higher the dew point, the higher the humidity or muggy feel to the day. A dew point temperature of 50° or less is considered dry and comfy, while 62°+ is considered humid. If we have dew points over 70°, that is considered very humid and oppressive.

When the meteorologist tells you that the Muggy Meter is predicting a hot one, listen up and turn that AC On!

If you suspect the humidity in your home may be too high for your liking — or your health — contact Clarksville Heating & Air today. We can help assess your home and offer the best solutions available. We will ensure that the humidity and comfort levels in your home are to your liking and that no damage has come to your property!

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