Here in West Palm Beach, the humidity can really slow you down. You can usually cope with high humidity by walking into an air conditioned room, but how do you help your air conditioner deal with the effects of humidity, too?
Air conditioners help dehumidify the air as they cool. As the temperature of the air is reduced in the indoor evaporator unit of your AC, condensation forms on the evaporator coil and is released through a condensate drain line. If your home is very humid, there will be more moisture in the air, which means more condensation will form.
If the humidity is too high, however, your air conditioning system may use so much effort removing moisture from the air that it cannot properly cool your home. This is particularly true if your system is older or if it was sized improperly for your home. Older systems often simply cannot perform as well as newer AC units, while over-sized systems run for short periods of time, which means they cannot run long enough to remove humidity. Your best option in this case may be to replace the entire system.
There are a few things you can do on your own to help your AC unit cope with high humidity:
- On a humid day, keep the doors and windows shut to prevent increased humidity levels. Ventilating your home during the hottest part of the day will only allow more moisture into the air, which means your air conditioner will have to work harder to keep you cool.
- Use exhaust fans in your home when you take a shower, cook, or do any other activities that may produce excess moisture in the air. This allows the moisture to exhaust outdoors so your AC won’t have to deal with it.
- Schedule regular maintenance so that an AC technician can inspect your indoor evaporator unit and your condensate line to ensure nothing is decreasing the performance of your system.