Have you found yourself checking the thermostat at your home and thinking it’s got to be lying? It’s not comfortable in your home, it feels warm, yet the thermostat shows everything is how you set it to be. How so, well there is more to air conditioning than just temperature, in fact your comfort largely weighs on the humidity level of the home. When humidity is high it seems warmer than the true temperature. So why isn’t your AC controlling the humidity? That’s a good question and we have some answers.
When an air conditioner operates properly it not only provides cooler air through the vents in your home, but it removes humidity while doing so. How? Let’s talk about the parts of the system and how they work to provide you cooling. Your air conditioning system is made of several parts; the air conditioning condenser (outside unit), evaporator or indoor coil (above furnace) and the furnace fan. When your thermostat calls for cooling the air conditioner pumps refrigerant back and forth from the condenser to the inside coil. When the refrigerant comes into your home it’s cool, but as the fan blows the air from your home across the coil it picks up the heat of your home. Also during this process the humidity in the air of your home from your return air vents condenses into water when it comes in contact with the cool coil. It drips off the coil and typically down a tube to a floor drain in your utility room. The refrigerant picks up the warmth from your home and takes it outside to when the outdoor unit releases it to again bring back in cooling. So why does this matter? Because without the thermostat calling for cooling it’s hard to bring your home’s humidity level down to a nice 40-50% humidity.
All too often we get calls from homeowners asking for a quick quote on a larger unit. There is a reason we cringe when taking that call and it’s because it’s likely a person that will end up with an uncomfortable home if they, or their contractor, is not careful. If an air conditioner with too much capacity is installed into a home it will cool the house too fast. Cooling cycles will be shortened, which as we just explained means less time for humidity to be pulled out of the air. Sure, there will be less run time on the unit, but instead or cost savings, a homeowner will more likely be very uncomfortable. It’s actually more likely there won’t be any cost savings realized because of the way the system is running.
With a properly sized air conditioning system cooling cycle will be fairly long to allow the humidity to be pulled out of the air. By having long cooling cycles your system will also be able to make you feel more comfortable because it’s moving and conditioning the air throughout that call. Over-sized systems find you feeling your comfort level go up and down with the system frequently turning on and off.
Earlier this summer was not like an usual summer. Up until the middle of June air conditioner weren’t working as we are used to. At that point we had only two, yes two, 90 or 90+ days according to www.weather.gov/oax/monthly_climate_records. One on May 16th and one on June 5th. How many times does that happen? Our temps in Lincoln had been hovering around the upper 70s and low 80s for most of the season. With a lot of rainy days mixed in, now that sounds a little more like spring than summer. When the temperatures outdoors are close to the temperature of your thermostat cooling settings an air conditioners won’t have a reason to run as much, meaning there time for it to deal with the humidity in your home. Unfortunately we’ve experienced not just a unusually cool summer, but a very moist and humid summer. Now that temps have begun to reach more typical range if your AC is still not controlling the humidity levels it may be a sign of issues to investigate.
You may have heard us talk about staging heating and cooling equipment before. Now is one of the seasons where with a staging air conditioner you would see the comfort difference. By having the ability to have different levels of cooling capacity a staging air conditioner could cooling slowly making little change in the temps in the home, but making a large difference in comfort as it continues to wring the humidity out of the air.
Along with staging equipment there are thermostats that offer humidity control, allowing the homeowner to input considerations into the settings allowing the thermostat to extend cooling calls when humidity is still high after the temperature setting has been reached. Each thermostat does this slightly differently with selections of humidity levels and cooling allowances.
Bryant’s Evolution line pairs both staging and humidity allowance through the thermostat to provide you the most comfortable home possible. With Evolution 5-speed and fully variable air conditioners and heat pumps, you’ll experience extreme comfort while you see the money you’ve saved daily through its reporting capability.
Bryant Air Conditioning, Heating, Electrical & Plumbing offers free estimates for air conditioning and heating replacement and installation. Their estimators are very knowledgeable with the Bryant Heating & Cooling products and how your home comfort can be improved. To schedule a free estimate complete our contact form.