7 Ways Summer Humidity Can Harm Your Norfolk, Virginia, HVAC System

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High summer humidity can reduce energy efficiency and interfere with effective HVAC performance. It can cause serious harm to your home and your cooling equipment. It can adversely affect your health, and it can make you feel uncomfortable no matter where you set the thermostat. Here are seven things that can happen when indoor summer humidity is too high.

1. Air Conditioner Overload

If your air conditioner can’t remove excess moisture from the air, it can’t effectively cool your house. If your AC is an older model or hasn’t been properly serviced, it might be struggling to keep up. Servicing the unit may solve the problem.

2. Air Conditioner Overwork

The extra effort required to dehumidify indoor air can take a severe toll on aging and poorly maintained AC systems. The harder a stressed-out air conditioner works, the higher your energy costs will be. The unit will wear out faster, and you might need AC replacement sooner than you think.

3. Oversized AC System

If your AC is too big, it won’t run long enough to dehumidify your air. It will cycle on at full blast, reach the desired temperature, and shut down before getting the job done.

4. Mold, Mildew and More

Indoor summer humidity should not exceed 50 percent. Ideal readings should be between 40 and 50 percent. If humidity is too high, the moisture in the air can cause problems such as these:

  • Musty smells
  • Mold growth in your HVAC system
  • Mildew
  • Window condensation
  • Dust mites
  • Wood rot
  • Poor indoor air quality

5. Grit on the Outdoor Unit

The outdoor unit of your HVAC can suffer from high summer humidity as well. Moist air carries a lot of dust, dirt and debris that can invade the unit and coat the coils and fins. This crud blocks airflow and makes the unit overwork to stay in the game.

Keep the area around the outdoor unit free of debris. Rinse the unit periodically with water and wipe dry. That can keep your equipment free of dirty buildup between seasonal HVAC maintenance visits. Tune-ups include a thorough equipment cleaning inside and out.

6. Blocked Condensate Drain

The condensate line is where moisture extracted from indoor air exits the system. If this line gets clogged with mold and algae, backed-up water can flood your air conditioner. Slimy water collecting in the drain pan can foster mold growth. Water overflowing into your home can damage wood floors and cause ceiling leaks, structural damage or even a fire. A thorough HVAC cleaning during tune-ups removes accumulated gunk from the entire unit including the condensate line.

7. Stagnant Air

Indoor humidity can be especially troublesome when your home has poor airflow and insufficient ventilation. The more air circulates, the more moisture can be removed. The more moisture that’s removed, the more comfortable you’ll feel. A single-stage air conditioner may not run long enough to control humidity on, especially muggy days. Variable-speed air conditioners have long and slow running times. This technology provides excellent air circulation and epic humidity control.

Solving the Summer Humidity Problem

The easiest solution to an overly humid home is to install a dehumidifier. It removes moisture from the air and reduces the workload on your air conditioner while keeping indoor humidity balanced. Another easy solution is to schedule AC maintenance. An air conditioner that’s primed for efficient operation will remove more indoor humidity than a grungy, sluggish system with poor airflow.

At Climatemakers of VA, we can determine what’s causing high summer humidity in your Norfolk home. We perform dehumidifier installations and offer the latest variable speed air conditioning technology. We also perform seasonal tune-ups. Visit us online or call us directly to learn more.