Humidity in Your Home

It isn’t the heat, it’s the humidity. We hear this phrase all too often in the St. Louis area, and that’s why air conditioning is so important. Midwest humidity is notorious for sweltering  summers. Your A/C should keep you cool, but there are situations where your house is still very humid despite the A/C running.

A properly running air conditioner should both bring in cold air and remove humidity.

But there are times when your air conditioner may be on, but your home is still humid.

A common cause for a humid home is an over-sized air conditioner.

How can your A/C be over-sized?

Air conditioning units come in different sizes that should be matched according to your home’s square footage, insulation levels, direction in relation to the sun, number of windows, and other factors. s

Many homes in our area have an over-sized unit because they weren’t properly sized when the home was constructed or sold from the previous owners.

If your air conditioner is too big for your home, it will short cycle. Short cycling means your A/C turns on and off too quickly for it to cool down your house. You may of been visiting at a neighbor’s or friend’s house with their A/C constantly coming on and off. That’s short cycling and it can kill your A/C. It can also cause humid conditions in your home. 

Your air conditioner needs to run for a consistent amount of time, else it can’t properly remove humidity. Short cycling can also cause early wear and tear because it has to work harder to turn on and off. This can lead to breakdowns and a shorter overall lifespan.

How Can I Fix a Humid House? 

If you’re going to need a new air conditioner soon, hire a company that does the right calculations to see what size you need for your home. Do not trust a company that blindly throws out an A/C size based on your square footage. There are very important factors in what size A/C you need besides your house including:

  • Levels of current insulation
  • Amount and condition of duct work
  • Windows and doors
  • Direction of house in relation to the sun

This detailed calculation determines how much heat is lost or gained in your home under certain circumstances. This is called Manual J load calculations, and this is the only approved method of the Air Conditioning Contractor’s Association (ACCA).

Despite its importance, it is not an industry or legal requirement to use Manual J.

Most other contractors don’t spend the time doing these calculations. So they are guessing or going by a “rule of thumb”.  New air conditioners are a major investment. Do you want to take this gamble with your money or do you want the job done right?

The right sized air conditioner will run:

  • More Efficiently
  • Quieter
  • Smoother

If your current A/C is not very old, you can still take steps to balance out the humidity level in your home. You can have a whole house dehumidifier installed that removes extra moisture.

You should also look into having your home insulated and air sealed. Is Insulation is important in the summer? Yes! Insulation acts like a barrier to help keep warm air outside and cool air inside. Air sealing can also help prevent warm, moist air from creeping inside.

Do you think you’re close to replacing your A/C or might need insulation? Call Energy Stars Heating & Cooling Co for a free Home Energy Analysis to see how we can make your home more comfortable and energy efficient all year round.