In sunshiny Florida, it’s not just the heat that makes you miserable in the summer. The humidity is also a factor, and there are days when it feels like you could cut the air with a knife. Part of keeping comfortable inside your home involves removing this humidity, and that’s what your air conditioner does. Dehumidifier installation may help your air conditioner work more efficiently, too.
What Does a Dehumidifier Do?
A dehumidifier is a piece of equipment that removes moisture from the air. There are several types of dehumidifiers; some are designed to remove moisture from only one room, but others can dehumidify your entire home. These machines work much like air conditioners do. Warm, moist air passes over refrigerant-cooled coils, which causes the moisture in the air to condense. As it continues to work, a pan or collection bin holds all the water it collects from the air.
Understanding Relative Humidity
Dehumidifier installation is important for reducing the relative humidity in your home. The term “relative humidity” describes the amount of water vapor in the air as compared to the amount of water vapor air at any specific temperature can hold. To put this in layman’s terms, remember that air can hold different amounts of water vapor based on its temperature. Warmer air can hold far more moisture than cooler air. If your home’s relative humidity is 40%, this means that the air in your home is holding 40% of its capacity. When relative humidity reaches 100%, condensation occurs. This is what causes dew on the ground in the early morning, as well.
Dehumidification and Your Comfort
The relative humidity inside your home feels comfortable at levels between 30% and 50%. Anything lower than 30% makes the air too dry, which can cause dry skin, sinus problems, and more. Anything higher than 50% causes a “sticky” feeling, which makes the air feel warmer than it is. When a weatherperson uses the term “heat index”, this is what he or she is referring to. It may be 85 degrees outside, but if the humidity is high, it may feel more like 100 degrees – all because of humidity. With that in mind, if you can lower the humidity inside your home, you’ll feel much cooler at the same actual temperature.
How Dehumidifier Installation Can Help
Dehumidifier installation doesn’t magically boost your air conditioner’s cooling capacity, but it certainly can change how often and how long it must run to keep you cool. For example, if your home’s relative humidity is 60%, you’ll feel much warmer when it’s 72 degrees than if the humidity was at 40%. As such, dehumidifier installation can reduce the humidity, which allows you to turn your thermostat up a few degrees and still feel quite comfortable. It can and does save homeowners money, though it will take some time to get a full return on your initial investment.
Whole-home and room dehumidifier installation is a great way to feel more comfortable in your home, even at higher temperatures. When there’s less humidity in the air, your air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard to remove heat. Over time, this can save you thousands of dollars in cooling costs.