A very common question we get in the air conditioning business, especially here in Florida is: “Why does my house feel so muggy?” We understand your frustration. That feeling we call “muggy” is also known as relative humidity, which measures the humidity that is relative to the temperature.
But Why is My Air Conditioned House Muggy?
Why your house feels muggy if your air conditioner is working is a valid concern. It’s a common occurrence in Tampa Bay, Florida to feel uncomfortable in your home when humidity is high, even with a working air conditioner. Why am I sweating at night? Why is it so uncomfortable in here? Do I have to keep lowering the thermostat? All valid questions.
Hotter air holds more moisture than cold air. But once the hot air cools, it becomes even more humid. All of these problems are caused by excessive indoor humidity. Of course we want you to call us anytime at 813-609-5015 to inspect your home and solve the problem. But we also want to help you understand why your house feels muggy.
The first step to fixing the problem of why your house feels muggy is identifying what’s causing it. One reason could be that your air conditioning system is not equipped to control indoor humidity. People often forget that an AC system’s job is more than just cooling a home. It’s supposed to improve indoor air quality and increase comfort. So just because it’s cooling doesn’t mean it’s doing its job. And when indoor humidity levels are higher than normal, our skin doesn’t evaporate moisture like it should.
An air conditioning system that works properly combats mugginess by cooling the air as well as dehumidifying it. But even if the air conditioner is doing its job properly, other factors can contribute to excess humidity in a home. One reason your house feels muggy could simply be that you have too many people in your home. Too many warm bodies in a house can contribute to excess moisture through perspiration.
Cooking might also add to excess humidity in a home. All that water evaporating from your stove into the air will do it, which is why most ovens have ventilation fans above them. Even bathing can contribute to that muggy feeling, as moisture and steam is released into the air from the shower. At the risk of sounding redundant, this is also why bathrooms often come standard with ventilation fans.
And of course, if it’s muggy outside, it’s not uncommon for it to be muggy inside! We’re no strangers to thunderstorms here in Tampa Bay. There’s a reason our local hockey team is the Tampa Bay Lightning! Thunderstorms on a hot day will create a ton of moisture in the air. And the more moisture there is outside, the more relative humidity will come into your home when a door or window is opened. Even if you don’t open any windows or doors, your house will still experience increased moisture on a muggy day.
It’s Too Old
If your house feels muggy, another reason could be that your AC system is too old. Like any other machine, as it ages, wear-and-tear will eventually cause your old AC to not remove humidity properly. This is especially true if your AC system has not received regular maintenance. And it might bring you to a repair vs replace situation, in which you may have to decide whether the cost of getting your old AC system replaced outweighs the cost of investing in a new one.
So now that you know a few reasons why your home can get muggy inside, here are some ways to combat excess moisture in the air:
Keep the AC running
One of the best ways to dehumidify your home is to keep the AC running at all times. Yeah we know, it doesn’t sound cost effective. But when you’re not running it, it’s not doing its job of dehumidifying your home. Yes, duh. Thank you Captain Obvious! So let’s say it’s raining outside and your AC is set on Auto. It will shut off once the rain has cooled the house down, but if it’s muggy outside, it will eventually get that way inside too. And while the temperature inside might be fine, it’s still going to get muggy due to the excess moisture in the air. Keeping your AC running all day during muggy weather might not sound like the ideal solution when it comes to energy efficiency, but it helps.
Get a Proper Sized AC Unit
Size always matters when it comes to air conditioning. An improperly sized AC unit will not only fail at cooling your home efficiently, but will also fail at dehumidifying it. You should never have an AC system that is too large or too small for your home. An oversized AC system’s powerful compressor will turn on and off frequently. So the system will never run long enough to remove humidity from the air. And it’s recommended to have an AC system installed with variable speed control to help offset humidity.
Properly sizing an AC unit is done through what’s called load calculation. So always make sure to consult with a licensed and qualified HVAC technician who knows how to do load calculations and can handle the installation of a new system properly. Call Super Heat and Air at 813-609-5015 if you need a new AC installed the right way!
Add a Dehumidifier to Your AC System
Sometimes even the best AC systems can’t keep a house comfortable during muggy weather. Not ready to buy a new AC yet? We understand. But did you know you can add a separate dehumidifier to your AC system for humidity control? Some air conditioners have advanced humidity controls for moisture removal, some don’t. So if your system is not one of them, consider getting a dehumidifier added to it. A dehumidifier is exactly what it sounds like. It removes excess moisture from the air before it flows through your ductwork. Call us at 813-609-5015 and ask about high efficiency dehumidifiers to supplement your air conditioning system.
Get Your Ductwork Inspected
Excessive air leaks from your ductwork could also be a culprit for that feeling of mugginess in your home. So it’s a good idea to have your ductwork inspected to find such leaks. The primary source of moisture in your home could simply be outdoor air leaking into your home. And (you know what’s coming) of course we’ll be happy to inspect your ductwork to ensure that muggy feeling isn’t just a matter of leaky ducts. So call us at 813-609-5015 and schedule an appointment for a ductwork inspection today!
We put enough calls to action aka “shameless plugs” in this post already. So we’ll leave you with this: if your AC is cooling but your house feels muggy, don’t ignore it!
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