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The Effects of Humidity on Your AC Unit

AC UnitAir conditioning is one of the modern conveniences that makes life more pleasant in areas where summer heat and humidity create hot, sticky discomfort. Air conditioning in Alpharetta makes life during the summer months livable, as it provides a cool oasis from the glaring sun and blanketing humidity present in the southern United States. For the most part, your air conditioner does its job reliably, cooling air in your home and removing humidity from it in the process. However, there are times that the weather is so unbearable that even your air conditioner has a hard time keeping up with the demand for cool air.

While most air conditioning systems can handle high heat, humidity puts a great deal of stress on your home’s HVAC system. Many people don’t realize it, but humidity strains you air conditioner and causes it to run less efficiently. A less efficient air conditioner means you won’t be as comfortable, and it can also mean that you may require air conditioner replacement in Alpharetta much sooner than expected. Keep reading to learn more about the ways that humidity can impact your air conditioning unit.

How Your AC Removes Humidity?

Before you can understand the impact of humidity on your air conditioner, you need to know a little about how your AC regulates humidity in your indoor environment. Many people think the AC simply cools air and distributes it around your building. It does that, of course, by using a supercooled refrigerant in a metal tube-like coil called the evaporator. Warm air from the home blows over the coil, which cools it. Also, because the metal surface of the coil is cooler than the air around it, it pulls moisture form the air, which condenses on the coil then drips into a condensate pan located beneath your unit. The result is not only cooler air, but less humid air.

Humidity Makes Cooling Take Longer

Because of the way that humidity is removed from the air by your air conditioner’s evaporator coil, it stands to reason that the process would take longer during times of high humidity. As the warm air blows over the coil containing the cooling refrigerant, the refrigerant warms up, expands into a gas, and must be returned to a liquid state by the unit’s compressor. More humidity means that the entire process of cooling the air and removing humidity from it will take longer. With higher humidity, there’s more condensate covering your coil. That means the coil’s surface will be covered with condensate and as a result, the unit will run less efficiently.

Humidity Degrades AC Performance

High humidity also makes it more difficult for your AC to perform at the levels attainable during periods of lower humidity. Because of the additional moisture in the air, it takes longer for your AC to remove it. That results in warmer temperatures and increased humidity in your interior air, which in turn leads your AC unit to run for longer and cycle on more frequently. During periods of high humidity, your air conditioner will struggle to hold the temperature set on the thermostat and the air will feel more humid even when the AC is running non-stop.

Humidity Reduces AC Energy Efficiency

Most modern air conditioners are energy efficient to reduce operating costs and environmental impacts. However, during times of high humidity, the AC simply cannot run as efficiently as when the humidity is low. With more condensate on the coil, air cannot be cooled as efficiently. That means that your unit will cycle on more often and run longer just to maintain temperature. More frequent cycling and longer run times will cost you money on your energy bills.

Humidity Shortens Service Life

AC High humidity will also shorten the service life of your AC system and its components. For example, an evaporator coil that stays wet constantly is at increased risk of corrosion that could lead to replacement. Also, the more often your unit cycles on and runs, the more stress is put on your system, which means it could wear out prematurely. High humidity can also lead to an increase in the frequency of repairs, which can be costly over time.

If you live in an area where high humidity is a common factor, you should understand its impact on your HVAC unit. To learn more about the ways that humidity can affect your air conditioning, visit Cool Air Mechanical at

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