Sunday, July 18, 2010

My Air Conditioner Doesn't Seem To Work Well On Humid Days

Humidity refers to the moisture that has evaporated into the air and exists as an invisible gas.
When trying to determine if an air conditioner is cooling properly you need to take into consideration the amount of moisture in the air.
As the heat is removed from air passing over the evaporator coils, moisture condenses out of it. We know this moisture as condensation and provide a drain line for its disposal.
When the humidity is high there is more moisture in the air and more condensation will be formed. There is a price to be paid for extracting this moisture from the air and we pay in the form of BTU’s. For every pound (1 gallon equals 8 pounds) of condensate water that we produce 970 BTU’s are consumed. (12,000 btu’s equals 1 ton of air conditioning)
These BTU’s are busy removing moisture from the air, so they are not available to help actually cool down the interior of the home. This is why an air conditioner doesn’t seem to be working very well on a really humid day when in fact it is operating perfectly. With so many BTU’s being used to remove moisture there are simply not enough left to do the job of cooling the home.

Here are a few tips to get the most out of your air conditioning system when it’s really hot and humid outside.
1. Close up the house and get your air conditioner turned on early in the morning so it can get the moisture out of your home and get a head start on the cooling process. ( a rule of thumb - it can keep up… but it can’t catch up…)
2. Make sure to use the bathroom exhaust fan when showering to exhaust the extra humidity outside instead of adding it to the air conditioners work load.
3. Pull the shades on any windows that have direct sunlight beaming thru them. This radiant heat will add to the amount of work your air conditioner has to do.
4. When cooking, turn on the exhaust vent to keep the heat added to your home to a minimum