During certain times of the year, outdoor temperatures are very “comfortable,” but our homes often feel very stuffy. What most people don’t realize is that the temperature listed on your thermostat or on the weather channel is only one part of the picture. The relative humidity is just as important to your comfort as the temperature is.
Temperature + Humidity = Comfort
Average human comfort (for most people) is a 75-degree temperature and 50% relative humidity. This combination is the perfect recipe for comfort. During the spring and fall in Houston, the temperature sits within a range of 60 to 75 degrees. So it should be the most comfortable weather, right?
While this is the best time of year for Houston weather, our homes can still feel pretty uncomfortable, even stuffy. If you hadn’t already guessed that humidity plays a role, now you know: the reason for the stuffiness is the moisture in the indoor air.
Humidity and Air Conditioning
Air Conditioning systems are natural dehumidifiers. They pull moisture from the air as they cool down your home. However, your AC doesn’t have much work to do during the spring and fall, requiring only short cooling cycles to meet your temperature needs. This reduced running time means that it spends less time pulling humidity from the air, leaving your indoor air much more humid than usual and making you uncomfortable in your stuffy home.
There are really only three ways to get through this stuffiness.
1. Do nothing. Endure your sticky house, and it should pass… until next season. At least it’s free.
2. Invest in two-stage or variable speed equipment AC equipment. Most systems are single stage, meaning they only run at maximum speed. Imagine having a car that would only run with the gas pedal full to the floor or slamming the brakes! Two-stage and variable speed inverter systems can basically act like smaller or larger systems depending on the need of the home. This promotes a longer run time and better dehumidification in your home. It does not perfectly perform the task of dialing in your home’s humidity, but it is much better than single-stage equipment.
3. Get a whole-house dehumidifier. Having a dedicated system for dehumidification is the only way to truly dial in the humidity for your house. Honeywell and Ultra-Aire have decent products in this category. These are units that supplement your HVAC system to remove moisture from the air in your house. They need to be matched to the size of your home. Installed prices range from $2500-$5,000.
If you’re interested in fighting back against humidity, contact Mission AC today. We’ll help you get your air’s moisture under control.