We’ve all heard the saying: “It’s not just the heat–it’s the humidity.” Humid air doesn’t just feel sticky and uncomfortable. It also retains heat and can make your air conditioner run longer to reach your desired temperature. If your home is excessively muggy, even when your AC is running, it could lead to mold, poor indoor air quality, and higher energy bills.
Below, we’ll discuss some common issues that cause homes to feel hot and humid.
Thermostat Set to “On” Instead of “Auto”
Your air conditioner helps your home in two ways: it removes both heat and humidity from your indoor air. However, it only does this when the thermostat is set to “auto.” If you’ve set your thermostat to “on,” your AC’s fan will run, but the system won’t actively remove heat and humidity from the air circulating through it.
If your ductwork has tears or gaps, moisture could be entering it through your home’s attic or crawl space. As a result, the air traveling through the ductwork will pick up that moisture and make your home more humid. An HVAC contractor can help you with this issue by sealing, repairing, or replacing your air ducts.
Your air conditioner needs an adequate refrigerant level to remove heat from your home’s air. If the refrigerant is leaking or the installer did not properly charge the refrigerant initially, your AC will struggle to remove your indoor air’s heat and humidity. Mishandled refrigerant is toxic and harmful to the environment, so these are not issues you should handle on a DIY basis. Enlist the help of a trained HVAC technician.
Overuse of Heated Seatings on Appliances
Many people are surprised to learn how much humidity their washing machines and dishwashers produce. When you run these appliances using hot or warm water cycles, they can make your home feel a lot muggier, especially if you’re running them during the afternoon, when the day reaches its peak temperatures. Use your dishwasher’s no-heat dry cycle, and save hot water cycles only for laundering bedding to kill dust mites.
Underuse of Exhaust Fans
Daily tasks like cooking, showering, and bathing can release a lot of moisture into the air. You can reduce this humidity by running your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans during these activities. If you don’t have a bathroom fan, crack a window to let the steam out.