If you are spending too much time this summer hopelessly sticking to your faux leather couch, you might have too much humidity in your home. Before you purchase a portable dehumidifier for every room in the house (not recommended, by the way!) to rectify the situation, it will help to understand why your home is too humid in the first place.
It’s not the heat; it’s the AC
The most obvious answer is your climate. Some areas of the country, like the Southeast, are more prone to hot and humid conditions. Other factors, like cooking, taking a shower, and running your clothes dryer, can all contribute to moisture issues, especially if those areas are not properly ventilated. Water leaks, either from inside sources or from the outside, can add another layer as well, according to the EPA.
Let’s assume that you have vent fans in your kitchen and bathrooms, your clothes dryer is properly vented to the outside, and interior/exterior leaks are under control. That leaves us with… your air conditioning system.
Controlling humidity through central air conditioning
A properly sized and installed central air conditioning system, by design, acts as a dehumidifier for your home. However, even with central air, you may find that your home is still too humid. Here’s why:
Reasons why your home may be too humid:
Your AC system may be oversized: it will quickly cool your home then shut off, not allowing it enough “cycle time” to dehumidify properly.
Your AC system may be undersized: it will run and run and run, never able to keep up with cooling or humidity control on a hot, humid day.
Your AC system is not properly charged/leaking refrigerant: if your AC system is low on refrigerant either due to a leak or improper charging/installation, it won’t be able to keep up with cooling or humidity control.
System or airflow is set too high: if the airflow is too high going through the indoor unit, the air is not in contact with the cold indoor coil long enough to remove moisture from the air.