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A humid home is more likely to experience mold and mildew problems that negatively impact your health. Plus, the humidity is detrimental to items within your home. Books that sit in a high-humidity area may develop an unpleasant musty odor. The same goes for furniture, curtains, bedding, clothing, etc. 

There’s another issue with a home that has high humidity. If there is a leaking pipe that’s increasing the humidity, cockroaches will find it. A leaking pipe drips onto the ground or into wood or sheetrock, and cockroaches look for dark moist areas. You end up with a host of other problems.

When you live in a humid area, your HVAC system is key to keeping you cool and dry. But, it’s also a system that you must keep maintained to avoid unexpected breakdowns. 

What Is an Ideal Humidity Within the Home?

When it rains outside, humidity levels increase. When you and your pets breathe, your respirations add to the air’s humidity. Humidity increases when you take a bath or shower, wash dishes, or cook meals on the stove. 

You cannot avoid humidity within your home, and you need some humidity to avoid problems like static electricity. However, you have to keep it balanced. The ideal humidity level in a South Florida home is 45% to 55%. Anything over 55% is too high and can lead to mold and mildew issues. Below 45% dries out your skin and getting zapped or zapping others is never any fun.

Many indoor thermometers have settings that also measure the indoor and outdoor humidity levels. It’s easy to track indoor humidity that way. If you notice humidity is too high, you know it’s time to lower the humidity.

Keeping Your Humidity Levels Balanced

Your humidity is too high, what do you do? The first thing is to check your thermostat. Is it set higher than usual? Drop the temperature a couple of degrees and see if that resolves the issue. Air circulation is also important. Run ceiling fans to ensure the air is circulating the home. 

If you are cooking something steamy, such as pasta, run the kitchen vent if you have one. If not, crack a window if you can. A floor fan also helps circulate the humid air to keep it from building up in one room.

How are your fan settings set? Automatic is better to ensure you’re not running them too much. When you run the AC system’s fans constantly, it can draw in humidity from outside. Always choose “auto.”

Check your home for any possible leaks. If there is a leaking pipe or tap, fix it or hire a plumber for the repair. You also want to check the condensate pan on your central AC system to ensure it isn’t overflowing. If it is, check the condensate pipe for a clog that is preventing your AC system’s condensate pan from draining properly.

You may need to run a dehumidifier as a backup during very wet weather. With the water it collects, you can use that to water your houseplants. When it’s drier, put the dehumidifier away until you need it again.

How Does Your HVAC System Control Humidity?

Your HVAC system does a lot of the work in keeping your humidity levels regulated. It does more than keep the indoor temperature at your chosen level.

The process behind your HVAC helping maintain healthy humidity levels relies on how a central AC system works. Explore a basic breakdown of the AC system’s function.

The warm, humid air is drawn from inside your home into the ducts where it travels to the evaporator coil. The coil is filled with refrigerant that absorbs the heat from that air. The air’s temperature drops.

At the same time, the moisture in the air condenses as it hits the cold coil, it falls into a condensate drain pan where it’s pumped to the ground outside your home.

The now warmed refrigerant travels to the outdoor coils where the heat is released into the air. The refrigerant travels back into the home to repeat the process.

The air that’s been cooled and dehumidified is blown back into the ducts using fans to ensure the cool air circulates throughout the rooms. Adding a ceiling fan helps with circulation. The more the air circulates, the easier it is for your HVAC system to remove the extra humidity.

Keep Up With Routine Central Air Conditioner Maintenance 

Don’t overlook the value of routine AC maintenance. At a bare minimum, you need to do these things throughout the life of your HVAC system.

Air Filter Changes

In South Florida, it’s a good idea to change your air filter every couple of months. If you have extra pets or lots of people in your house, monthly changes might be required. You should be able to tell how dirty the filter is just by looking at it. Can you see light through it? If not, it’s time to change it.

Vent and Register Cover Cleanings

You should take a vacuum with an upholstery brush attachment to your registers and vents each week. Remove as much hair, fur, and dust as you can to keep them from getting drawn into the ducts.

Keep the Coils and Outdoor Unit Clean

When the time changes, clean the outdoor cover to ensure there are no grass clippings, leaves, or branches covering the air vents. If you see shrubs or plants growing too close, cut them back. 

You should also clean the coils if they’re covered in grime. A hose should be enough to clean the outdoor coils. Ask your AC technician about recommended products for cleaning the coils.

Hire a Miami AC Technician for Yearly Cleanings and Inspections

Others should be performed each year. Once a year, it’s a good idea to hire a South Florida AC specialist to clean your coils and inspect your system. A technician will look at the electrical connections, listen for squeals and noises that can indicate something isn’t working correctly, and address any issues. 

Have Your Ducts Cleaned and Repaired as Needed

Every three to five years, you might need to have your ducts cleaned. Again, it depends a lot on how many people are in your home and how many pets you have. If there are visible signs of damage that you’ve noticed, call an AC repair company to have your ducts repaired, cleaned, or restored.

Work With a Licensed, Insured AC Installation and Maintenance Company

Try to be there when a cleaning takes place. Ask for honest advice on your system’s remaining lifespan. In Miami, it’s not unheard of to have your system only make it for 10 to 15 years, even with care. The hours of heavy use wear it out faster.

If it is time for a new HVAC system, current instant rebates and federal tax incentives help you save money. New systems are also more efficient, which helps keep your energy bills down. All Year Cooling is fully insured and a Florida Power & Light qualified installer, so you’ll qualify for the instant rebate when we install a new system and attic insulation for you.

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