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Summer Humidity vs. Your Air Conditioner

air-conditioning-condensers-on-risersIn our last blog post, we looked at the ways summer heat puts strain on your air conditioner and how this leads to needing to call us for repairs.

But as you know as a resident of Louisiana, heat is only half the story during summer. The other half: HUMIDITY. The scary eight letters! Our air conditioning systems in Shreveport, LA face special challenges because the moisture in the air is especially high. This not only means needing to run air conditioners for longer (putting more strain on their components), it also means the moisture causing wear to the AC.

The Threat of Humidity When It Meets Your Cooling System

How does humidity actually give your air conditioner—and you—summer time headaches? Here are some of the ways…

Dirty Sock Syndrome

Whoa, that doesn’t sound pleasant! Unless you like the scent of a pile of dirty socks waiting to go into the laundry machine, it isn’t pleasant. This syndrome is a result of excess moisture developing along the evaporator coil of the air conditioner, which occurs often when humidity is high. The moisture provides mold an easy place to grow. Mold across the evaporator coil means the moldy smell spreads through the entire ventilation system—and that doesn’t smell nice! But this isn’t just the scent of dirty socks souring up your household. Mold on the coil restricts the AC from properly removing heat from the air, and that affects performance.

Corrosion

You probably thought of this already: any time you have metal meeting water, corrosion is something that might happen. In the case of air conditioning systems, the major danger of corrosion occurs with the electrical connections. This is why checking the electrical connections is an important part of regular maintenance; our technicians know how fast the humidity here can weaken electrical components.

Clogged condensate drain

We mentioned this in the previous post, but it needs to be repeated because it’s common in our weather conditions. Algal growths can easily start in the drain and create clogs. The condensate pan will then overflow, triggering the air conditioner to shut off. Oh, and you’ll have water damage too.

Protecting the AC and Fixing Humidity Troubles

Guarding your air conditioner from the ravages of humidity isn’t easy. You can’t “seal up” the air conditioner to the outside air after all, that’s how the system works! But you can help prevent troubles from humidity with spring air conditioning maintenance. This gives out technicians a chance to catch where moisture is creating problems: we can clean coils, unclog drains, fix electrical connections, etc. Simply giving the unit a professional cleaning is a good start.

We also strongly recommend installation of two key additions to your HVAC system: a dehumidifier and a UV air purifier. A whole-house dehumidifier is a general good idea for any home here in Louisiana. Aside from protecting the AC, it means a more comfortable home and less time running the cooling system. A UV air purifier defends your house from mold spores, germs, bacteria, and more—and it’s specifically targeted at the evaporator coil, removing the mold from the coil and stopping dirty sock syndrome. We offer both these installations, so contact us to find out more, as well as to sign up for regular maintenance.

Call the Doctor of Home Comfort: Hall’s Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration!

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