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Control Humidity With Fan Management When Running Your AC System

High humidity levels are damaging to homes and make your air conditioning unit work harder to keep you and your home cool. So, what can you do to combat high humidity in your home when running the AC? Manage your fans. Here's what you should know.

Humidity Has Many Sources

Moist air is a fact of life along the Gulf Coast. The average relative humidity on a Mississippi morning is 87.3 percent. The humidity drops to 66.7 percent later in the day. The optimum humidity levels for human comfort is between 40 and 60 percent. 

When the ambient air is loaded with moisture, any additional moisture only adds to the problem. If moisture is not able to evaporate out of your home, then you face mold, mildew, and pest problems.

Excess moisture can come from:
  • Showers
  • Shaving
  • Cooking foods
  • Plants
If you have exhaust fans in your bathrooms, then use them. The fans draw out steam and vapor and direct the moisture outdoors. Oven-vent hoods do the same thing over the stovetop and oven. The more moisture these fans pull from indoors, the less humidity can affect your home and make you uncomfortable.

Evaporator Coils in AC Units Condense Moisture Droplets

Once the air is fully saturated with water, it can't hold anymore. When air reaches its maximum water-holding capacity, we call this state the dew point. This is when droplets form because the air can't contain the moisture.

Cold air can't hold as much moisture as warm air. So, your air conditioner helps cut humidity levels if you manage the fan correctly.

Your air conditioner works by blowing warm air over evaporative coils. The coils are filled with cold refrigerant. When fan-forced air blows over the coils, the air temperature is lowered as the coils capture water droplets from the air.

On really humid days, the dew-point temperature is higher. Droplets can form on coils at much higher temperatures than in low-humidity conditions. The droplets on your coils can be so abundant, the AC fan actually blows the moisture right into your home.

Adjust Fan Settings for More Evaporation

A fast breeze will send more water droplets flying, while a slow breeze helps droplets evaporate where they are. If your fan has a variable speed setting, set it too low to remove more moisture from the coils. 

Some AC units are designed to run after the compressor shuts off. This is bad practice in humid conditions since the extra fan time only adds more moisture to your home from the increased condensation on the coils. The water droplets don't drop to the drain pan but are evaporated by the fan air and enter your indoor space. 

If possible, then program your AC unit so that the fan only runs while the compressor is running. Never run your fan continuously, as this only keeps a constant flow of humidity in your AC system.

Some high-efficiency systems are made with more coils. These coils can add even more moisture to your home. One way to combat this, according to experts, is to run a high-efficiency unit at a lower temperature. 

When the evaporative coils are 21 to 26 degrees below the room temperature, your high-efficiency unit can manage humidity very well. Your heating and air conditioning expert can check your coil temperatures for you and recommend the optimum settings for humidity control.
Contact Carter's Air Conditioning Service to have your home humidity levels checked out. We can adjust your AC system or install a new AC system that has dehumidifiers and variable speed fans built into the design. Give us a call to learn more about our services. 

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