When the weather starts to heat up in the climb toward another New Jersey summer, you can also expect the humidity to climb as well. Nobody wants to deal with a day that’s both hot and humid! When relative humidity rises above 60%, it can make a warm day feel 8°F to 10°F hotter. In your home, this often means the difference in whether you turn on your AC or keep it off.
“Doesn’t the air conditioner take care of humidity?” you ask. The answer is: “Not really.” An air conditioner does have some natural dehumidification properties because as it absorbs heat through the evaporator coil, it also collects moisture along the coil, drawing it from the air. But this is a side-effect of how the AC works, not its purpose. Unless an air conditioner is designed with dehumidifier controls, it isn’t enough to handle balancing a home’s relative humidity in the comfortable zone around 45%.
The Problem with High Humidity
You know that a hot day feels worse when the humidity is high. Why is that? The reason is that the high moisture content in the air slows down the body’s ability to release heat through perspiration. This traps more heat in the body, which is why the air temperature feels warmer than it is. Lowering humidity to the comfortable zone (you don’t want it to be too dry, which creates a different set of problems) can help you not only feel cooler on hot days, it can help you lower your reliance on your air conditioner, saving money on your utility bills.
The Whole-House Dehumidifier
The way to properly dehumidify a home is to have HVAC specialists install a whole-house dehumidifier into the ventilation system. This dehumidifier acts similar to an air conditioner: it circulates refrigerant along a coil to draw moisture from the air through evaporation. However, the dehumidifier doesn’t affect the temperature, since it re-heats the air. This makes sure there is no interference with the operation of the AC.
The dehumidifier is controlled through a panel called a humidistat. A humidistat is often integrated into a standard thermostat so humidity and temperature can be controlled from the same location.
There are portable dehumidifiers available, but we don’t recommend customers use them. Not only are they less effective and more difficult to control, but they can also create fire hazards. Stay safe and stay comfortable with a professionally installed whole-house dehumidifier.
Other Dehumidifier Benefits
Along with better comfort and lower AC bills, a dehumidifier can help a home in other ways. Keeping moisture levels down indoors prevents water damage on surfaces and also controls mold and mildew growth that may negatively affect health. Towels and other objects in the house will dry off quicker because of the lower moisture level. A dehumidifier can also stop problems like wood rot that cause damage to the roof and other parts of the house.
We’re a local Cherry Hill, NJ, HVAC contractor who handles both dehumidifier and humidifier services. Set up an appointment with us and we’ll help you enjoy the most comfortable conditions in your house.
Gibson Heating & Cooling: Serving the greater Cherry Hill, NJ area.