The first definition and main goal of air conditioning has to do with humidity control. The indoor recommended humidity conditions are roughly 60% relative humidity maximum at 78 degrees F. When the moisture level in the home becomes more than that, problems with mold growth begin. Health and comfort concerns also become issues that need to be addressed.
Even though you can see the collection of the humid air by the water that drains away, the current day air conditioning system is only able to cool the air. The dehumidification of the air is purely a side-effect. And while we may think most of the dehumidification process happens at the hot times of the year when the air conditioner is running a lot, it actually is at its peak during the mild times of the year when the air conditioner seldom runs.
What can the homeowner do to help dehumidify their home?
- Purchase a stand-alone dehumidifier.
- Do not keep the thermostat at the “fan on” position. At this setting, the fan constantly blows air even if the cooling system is not running. The moisture the system just took out of the air will then be circulated right back into the house before it can be drained.
- Use exhaust fans during activities related to increased humidity. Cooking, bathing, and washing produce quite a bit of moisture inside the home. A fan that directs the moisture outside will help.
- Don’t line dry clothes indoors. Use a clothes dryer that is exhausted directly outdoors.
- Keep the windows closed when the humidity levels outside are high.