‘Tis the season for rain and thunderstorms – and, in turn, humidity. An air conditioning unit can take excess moisture from the air to help you feel more comfortable but on those no-so-steamy days you may find your AC unit turning off before it gets a chance to dehumidify your home all the way. That can be bad for your air and your comfort according to Keith Hill, manager of technical support at Minnesota Air. Here are some signs you need to use a dehumidifier.
You Notice Mold Or A Musty Smell
“When the AC is simply is not running enough to take the humidity out of the air … is when the moisture in the home may climb to 50% or higher, which not only feels uncomfortable (cool and clammy), but allows mold and mildew growth,” Keith notes.
He says that many people think that you need liquid moisture – like flooding or a leaky pipe – for mold to grow, but humidity in the air at 50% or more will allow mold growth on a dry surface.
“In Minnesota we have the extremes of the arctic in the winter and the occasional heat and humidity of the deep south,” he says. “A dehumidifier is a good thing for every Minnesota home to have. There are central units that can be installed and ducted into your HVAC system, just call a pro to see what your options are.”
You See Condensation
If you notice that your windows get foggy or there are little drops of water on it when it hasn’t been raining, you may have a humidity issue – too much of it! A room with too much moisture and condensation pooling in the corners can start to eat away at your wooden window, rotting it or building up mold on the surface and in the cracks.
Listen To Your Body
One of the easiest ways to know when to use a dehumidifier is to use your body as a barometer. Do you feel cold and clammy? Have you been having trouble with sneezing? Does it feel like your allergies are flaring up inside your home? If so, you may want to use a dehumidifier.
If your air conditioner alone isn’t cutting it, try getting a portable or a whole house dehumidifier. But if you are in the market for an AC upgrade, Keith says a variable speed AC unit may solve all your problems.
“It modulates to match the load on the house. Since it runs very long, near continuous cycles, it knocks down the humidity to very low levels and keeps it there,” he says.
The ENERGY STAR website has a list of some of the conditions you’ll see in a house that has humidity issues that you can check out here, and for more information on what you can do to battle humidity in your home, talk to one of our local experts at StayComfyMinnesota.com.