A/C Overwhelmed by Humidity? Here’s What to Do

It can be a real struggle to keep comfortable in California when the humidity spikes. Humidity makes air feel warmer without changing the actual temperature, which is what leads to those sticky days that make you argue with the thermostat. In addition to discomfort, excess humidity can also cause damage to your home and its surfaces over time, so it’s best to keep the humidity level indoors somewhere between 30% to 50%. An air conditioner automatically takes some humidity out of the air as it operates, so here are on tips on how you can get the most out of an A/C overwhelmed by humidity.

  • Make sure the fan is set to automatic. If the fan keeps blowing while the compressor is off, it can blow moisture back into the room from the wet compressor coils, giving the A/C even more humidity to overcome when it turns back on.
  • Use the exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen to make sure any excess moisture from cooking or showering is vented outside and not into your home.
  • Make sure your dryer is properly vented to the outdoors, so its heat and moisture is not accumulating in your home.
  • If it’s time to replace the A/C, think about getting one that has a two-stage compressor to allow greater humidity control.
  • Shut the house up tight and make sure you don’t have air leaks in your home that are allowing humid air back in. This usually happens around windows and doors and can be fixed with weatherstripping, or caulk.
  • Start the A/C early in the morning, so it has more time to take moisture out of the air before the hotter parts of the day put more strain on its cooling capabilities.
  • If you’ve tried all of the above, and it’s still not helping, consider getting a separate whole-house dehumidifier. It is specifically designed to take care of humidity, but will need to be used in tandem with a cooling solution.
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