How HVAC Systems Lower Your Home’s Humidity and Mold Risk

How HVAC Systems Lower Your Home’s Humidity and Mold Risk

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Mold and moisture are two issues every Atlanta area homeowner would like to avoid, as they can cause discomfort and health issues among your family members as well as significant damage to your home. Luckily, your home's heating and cooling system provides some protection in this area, working to decrease mold and humidity as it operates. In our most recent blog, Estes Services fills you in on the right equipment that will help you manage these unwelcome air quality issues.

Cooling and Dehumidification from Your AC

Air conditioners don't just cool your air, they also help to dehumidify it! To understand how this occurs, you need to know how the cooling process works. Air conditioners cool the home's air by removing heat - warm indoor air passes over evaporator coils filled with refrigerant that absorb heat from the air. The removal of heat lowers air temperature, which also causes water vapor in the air to condense. The moisture is too heavy to remain suspended in the air, so it falls onto the coils and drains out of the system, leaving indoor air with less humidity.

In relatively dry climates, an air conditioner may be able to decrease mold and humidity risks sufficiently, without any extra help. However, in an environment that is warm and humid almost all year, air conditioners just can't provide enough dehumidification to decrease mold and humidity, as the relative humidity level indoors is just too high.

Unfortunately, Atlanta is one of those places. If you rely on just your home's air conditioner to decrease mold and humidity risks, you probably aren't doing enough. With more humidity remaining in the air, moisture buildup can damage finishes and items throughout the house, and create environments that are ideal for the mold growth.

Dehumidifiers Decrease Mold and Humidity Risks

For hot, moist climates like the Atlanta area, dehumidifiers really pay off when you need help to decrease mold and humidity risks inside your home. Whole home dehumidifiers are installed alongside the home's air conditioning system within the ducts.

  • As warm air cycles back through the system for cooling, it first passes into the dehumidifier.
  • Inside the dehumidifier, air is chilled to a low temperature which causes water vapor to condense and fall out of suspension - just like an air conditioner does, but with a specific focus on dehumidification instead of cooling.
  • Dehumidified air exits the dehumidifier and flows over the evaporator coils for cooling, then into the home.

Dehumidifiers run as needed to keep relative humidity levels in your home within an appropriate range to decrease mold and humidity risks. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, keeping relative humidity balanced between 30 and 50 percent indoors will help decrease humidity problems. When relative humidity levels reach 60 percent and higher, moisture and mold issues are most likely to occur. Less humidity in the air also reduces allergen concentrations for better indoor air quality, as mold as well as dust mites thrive in humid conditions.

Because the whole home dehumidifier pretreats air for humidity issues prior to cooling, its use can save you money and help your air conditioner run more efficiently. The dehumidifier takes the dehumidification burden off your cooling system so that it can conserve energy and focus on cooling, which lowers your electric bills and prevents excess wear and tear to the air conditioning unit.

More Signs You Need a Dehumidifier to Decrease Mold and Humidity

Installation of a dehumidifier will be helpful to remove moisture from the air to decrease mold and humidity. Contact Estes if you notice any of the following conditions inside your home:

  • Continual condensation on windowpanes and glass doors
  • Water spots on walls and/or ceilings
  • Odors that are musty or smell like mildew
  • Highly humid rooms that lack adequate ventilation
  • Black mold spore spots growing in areas with high humidity or on walls

Solve Mold and Humidity Issues with Estes Services

Prevent mold growth and humidity risks in your Atlanta home with help from Estes Services. Call us today to learn more about whole house dehumidifier installation and request an estimate from our team. For all of your HVAC system or indoor air quality needs, don't hesitate to contact Estes!