Photo By Maryviolet at istock
Anyone who has lived through a Dallas, TX summer knows the importance of annual air conditioning service because you do not want to go without during any day of the summer. Compounding the high temperatures is the equally high humidity rates that can make it almost unbearable to be outside for too long. Ideally, you don’t want any humidity in your home, but on occasion, humidity can slip inside which is a sign that it is time for air conditioning service in Dallas, TX. If you are noticing humidity while inside then something is wrong with your HVAC system that needs to be addressed.
Every homeowner should pay special attention to managing the indoor humidity rates of their home since it plays a large role in how comfortable you are inside of your home. Given the current pandemic, all homeowners are spending more time at home than ever before, so it makes sense to want to be comfortable. Sometimes all it takes is an air conditioning service call, sometimes you can fix the problem on your own with a few adjustments. Here is a general overview on humidity, humidity in your home, and possible resolutions to high humidity rates.
Breaking Down Relative Humidity
Before jumping into when to call an air conditioning service for help controlling humidity rates, it helps to understand the basics of humidity. One term you need to know is relative humidity. This measures how much water vapor is in the air at any given time. When temperatures rise or fall the amount of capacity the air has to hold moisture changes as well. You want to have some moisture in your home, but you don’t want to have too much. It’s a very delicate balancing act which is why some customers prefer to let an air conditioning service balance their humidity levels for them.
During the summer months, you want to aim for a humidity rate of between 30-45%, but at the very least it should be less than 50%. On the other hand, during the winter you want the mark to stay below at least 40% so that your windows don’t start to condensate and rot out your wood. This is just one of the many problems that can occur when humidity rates are not correct within your home, so paying attention to the humidity in your home is very important.
Believe it or not, improper humidity levels can actually cause respiratory issues in your family and make it uncomfortable to live in your home. It can also result in damage to your property. For example, basements with high humidity rates are prone to mold and mildew which can grow on your furniture or items you have in storage. There is nothing more shocking than opening a box to discover its contents have grown mold or rotted away due to humidity. If nothing else, that provides the impetus for a lot of our clients to seek out air conditioning service to correct the problem and prevent it from occurring again.
How You Can Help Out Your Air Conditioning System
It is your air conditioner’s job to remove humidity from your home, but if it is not functioning properly or regularly receiving air conditioning service it may not be able to. In addition, it cannot handle the task completely on its own even if you book an annual air conditioning service. Your HVAC unit is only one aspect of humidity control. You have to make good decisions and help it out during the winter and summer months if you want to be comfortable within your own home.
During the summer months, you should turn off any home humidifiers because you don’t want to contribute to the problem and instead rely on the air conditioning system to remove any excess moisture that is sitting around indoors. You can also help reduce how much humidity is sitting in your home by pulling out moisture-rich air in areas like the kitchen or the bathroom with exhaust fans. A lot of people have exhaust fans in their home that sit untouched, make it practice to use your exhaust fan every time you shower or cook particularly during the summer months. Keep in mind also that in the spring months preceding the summer months you should go ahead and book your annual air conditioning service so that your unit is ready to go before the tough months kick in.
During the winter months, you can help combat the winter dryness by utilizing a portable room humidifier. Buying a portable unit allows you to add moisture to rooms as they need it. Turn it on when readings are low and then turn it off once things level off at a comfortable level. Sometimes just a little help is all that is needed to make your home a bit more comfortable. You can also consider adding live houseplants to your home. Not only will they help with humidity, but they are a natural way to improve the air quality within your home. Finally, if you have large humidity issues during the winter months in Dallas, TX you can consider purchasing a whole house humidifier to combat the problem once and for all. At your next heating and air conditioning service, you can talk to your technician to see if he or she thinks a whole house humidifier is worth it for your home.
Signs of High Humidity In Your Home
If you are more concerned with high humidity, you may want to keep your eyes out for signs that the air is already wreaking havoc on your home. If you notice any of these signs you need to get an air conditioning service technician out to your home and possibly another trained professional in a few of these cases. Common signs include unexplained mold growth, rot on woodwork, a general muggy feeling indoors even with the air conditioner on, discomfort sleeping at night, and wet areas of insulation.
How to Decrease Humidity in Your Home
High humidity will decrease your indoor air quality and can cause respiratory issues including triggering latent asthma. The best way to reduce high levels of humidity is by investing in dehumidifiers. In addition, if your HVAC system is underperforming it may be because the filter needs to be changed. If an HVAC filter is clogged it will not allow as much cool air to pass through which will raise the humidity levels in your home. As a side note, clogged filters are the number one reason that HVAC systems breakdown, and our clients require air conditioning repair in Dallas, TX. Therefore, it is highly vital for a number of reasons that you remember to change your air filters every several months.
The seasonal climate of Dallas can make it harder to manage humidity levels, but not impossible with regular air conditioning service and possibly the addition of both a humidifier and a dehumidifier within your home. You will need to use the dehumidifier during the summer months to help reduce the amount of moisture that stays in the air and reduce the risk of damage to your home or personal belongings. In Texas temperatures get very hot, so this is even more important to manage properly.
Signs of Low Humidity in Your Home
High humidity is not the only thing you need to worry about, although low humidity in your home is less likely to require an air conditioning repair. When there is a lack of moisture in the air it tends to feel crisp and dry. You may notice more static electricity when you get dressed or brush your hair and experience itchy, dry skin. Other people find that low humidity makes them more likely to get colds or experience respiratory issues. If the humidity is affecting your health then it is time to talk to your heating and air conditioning service about a whole-home humidifier as this is a significant issue. As if this isn’t enough, other common signs include splitting furniture, damaged floors, chipping paint, and damaged electronics.
How to Increase Humidity in Your Home
Low humidity is more likely to be a problem in your Dallas, TX home during the winter months. While Dallas has mild winters compared to the rest of the US, it is enough to cause changes in the humidity in the air. A simple portable humidifier can be a great way to open up your sinuses and add some moisture to the air. Many parents already know this, as a baby humidifier has literally saved their lives during cold and flu season. You don’t have to be a baby to enjoy the benefits of running a humidifier when the air is crisp. Both your nasal passages and your skin will thank you for it.
If low humidity is a large issue in your home you may want to think about installing a whole-house humidifier. This is something you can talk over with a technician during your next heating and air conditioning service. There are a lot of benefits to doing so including reducing the time it takes you to heal from infections, reducing the risk of infection in the first place, softening your skin, providing relief from snoring, and an overall improvement in sleep.
Finding That Perfect Balance
While buying extra equipment to add to your HVAC system like a humidifier or dehumidifier during your next heating and air conditioning service can help you control the humidity all over your home during the season that you struggle the most, but ensuring your HVAC system is working correctly can also help you find the perfect humidity balance in your home.
During the winter months, it is recommended that homeowners keep their furnace set to about 68. This will help leave some humidity in the air and when used in conjunction with a humidifier in your home should help improve the overall air quality for everyone.
During the summer months, you need to rely on your A/C more heavily to do its job and remove humidity. This is why it is so vital to get an air conditioning service before the summer months begin. A properly working, efficient air conditioner will go a long way towards winning the humidity battle in your home.
Systems that are properly sized to fit the needs of your home are the best defense against uneven humidity levels in your home. Proper cycling is the other key since systems that are running too much can suck the moisture out of the air while systems that don’t cycle enough will not pull out enough. A custom HVAC solution is always the best for this very reason. If you suspect that our HVAC system is older and struggling to meet the full needs of the air in your home, it may be time to upgrade.
Don’t let just anyone install a new HVAC system, however. You need to hire a reputable air conditioning service and installation company that has a great deal of experience installing new systems. There are a number of factors that go into gauging the best HVAC system for each home. Given you are replacing the old model to improve your air quality, you want to make sure you choose a model that is actually equipped to enhance energy efficiency and performance within your home.
Whether you need help with the humidity issues in your home or want to have your current HVAC system evaluated, One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Dallas is the best choice. In addition to air conditioning service, we offer a full array of HVAC repairs and installation to ensure your system is always functioning at its best.