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How Does Humidity Affect Your Energy Bills?


When the temperature starts to rise in the summer, you’ll feel the unwelcoming discomfort of humidity. But along with the uncomfortable temperatures and feelings that come with humidity, your air conditioner can also begin to affect your comfort levels.

So, does high humidity affect air conditioning systems? Your AC has to work extra hard when it’s humid, and that’s not great. Understanding how humidity affects air conditioners in the summer is important for keeping your place cool.

How Does Humidity Affect Air Conditioning?

Air conditioners cool homes by removing heat and moisture from the air. When humidity levels are excessive, they need to work a lot harder to make you feel comfortable. If the equipment doesn’t have sufficient cooling capacity, it may be unable to cope with extreme humidity. As a result, the home may never feel truly comfortable.

A few common signs of high indoor humidity include:

  • Moist Air: If the air in your home feels damp and sticky, it’s a sign of high humidity. Excess moisture in the air can make it uncomfortable and contribute to other issues.
  • Foggy Windows: When windows are frequently fogged up, it indicates high humidity levels in your home. The condensation on the windows occurs when warm, moist air meets cooler surfaces.
  • Musty Odor: A musty smell can be a clear indicator of high humidity. High levels of moisture can result in mildew and mold growth, producing a distinct and unpleasant odor in your living space.

Does Humidity Make AC Work Harder?

An air conditioning system should be able to remove moisture from the air. When humidity levels spike, most air conditioning systems can’t keep up with the added pressure. Humidity affects air conditioning negatively because it cancels out the cooling effect.

When the humidity is too high, your home will feel warmer than it actually is. You’ll have to keep your air conditioning system running, but it won’t really be that effective. Yes, it will be running, but even when turned to a really cool temperature, you’ll just be increasing your energy bills while humidity is entering your home.

Air Conditioners and Cooling Capacity

People often assume that the larger and more powerful an air conditioner is, the more effectively it can cool a home. That’s not necessarily true. If your air conditioner’s capacity is much larger than needed, it won’t be able to remove moisture as effectively, meaning your humidity levels will remain high.

This is because more powerful air conditioners don’t need to run as much, so they don’t get a chance to remove high amounts of moisture from the air. This is why it’s crucial to buy an air conditioner that suits your home’s size and layout.

Nowadays, air conditioners are being made with humidifiers and dehumidifiers to help keep your home’s humidity levels in check. If you’re looking for an air conditioning replacement, it’s best to speak to a technician who can help you find a reliable model that meets your home’s needs.

Will a Dehumidifier Lower My Electric Bill?

The single best way to contend with humidity when trying to cool a home is by having a dehumidifier installed on your HVAC system. But how does a dehumidifier work when it’s installed with an AC unit?

This simple appliance will pull moisture from the air before it is forced through the ducts in your home. This will effectively relieve you of unwanted moisture in your home and keep your temperature setting consistent.

When humidity levels begin to drop inside your home during the summer, air conditioners are able to do their jobs much more effectively. You will notice that your home feels cooler and more refreshed under these conditions.

As an added bonus, you should begin to lower those high energy bills that come with the humidity. That’s because your air conditioner won’t have to work as hard, but it will still cool your home properly. To remain cool and financially conscious, the thermostat in a home should be set between 71 and 77 degrees during the summer months.

Fight Off High Humidity With an Air Conditioner & Dehumidifier

Don’t sit uncomfortably in your home with the high humidity levels and energy bills. Installing a whole-house dehumidifier with your air conditioner will make your unit run more efficiently and save you money every month.

When you need help with any air conditioning service in Montgomery County, Frederick County, or Howard County, Maryland, reach out to our HVAC professionals at GAC Services. We’ll test your home’s indoor air quality and help you come up with a solution that will make your home more comfortable.

Contact us today or call us at (301) 591-6143 to schedule an appointment with our team of experts. Whether you need air conditioning repairs or a new dehumidifier, we’re here to help.

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