Our last two blogs dealt with topics about rough summer conditions: humidity in your home and how heat affects your air conditioning system. Today we’re going to combine these two and examine how humidity specifically affects an air conditioning system. With the high humidity we experience here in the Twin Cities (we can thank all the lakes for that), air conditioners face some unusual problems. Let’s examine some of the more common ways high moisture levels in the air can make it necessary for you to call for air conditioning services in Plymouth, MN.
Humidity Troubles for an Air Conditioner
- Dirty Sock Syndrome: The name explains one of the results of this syndrome, an unpleasant and moldy odor similar to a pile of socks ready to be washed. Why does this happen? Moisture develops along the evaporator coil and then drips down into a condensate pan; excess moisture, as on a humid day, remains on the coil and creates the perfect environment for mold growth. Mold along the coil is the source of the dirty sock smell. It also restricts the coil’s heat transference ability and may even send toxic spores into your home’s air.
- Clogged condensate drain: The drain and pump that remove the water from the condensate pan can handle most water moisture levels. But during humid days, algal growths can start in the drain, which can make it drain slowly or clog up entirely. This not only means water spilling out of the condensate pan (which is shallow, only about an inch deep), it will also cause the AC to switch off.
- Corrosion: This is what people think of whenever there’s water in contact with metal—and high humidity certainly creates those conditions! The components inside an air conditioner that are most likely to corrode are the electrical connections. This is why we make checking all electrical connections an important part of any air conditioning inspection. Loose connections can lead to fans and a compressor that don’t work at all.
- Moldy air filter: Changing the air filter regularly (every 1 to 3 months) is an key maintenance task you can do on your own. One of the reasons it needs to be done is that humidity can allow for mold to develop inside the filter—especially permanent filters. (We don’t recommend permanent filters, by the way, and this is one reason why.)
HVAC Professionals Helping You Deal with Humidity
Regular maintenance is an essential tool for preventing humidity from rapidly damaging your AC. Sign up for our Freedom Club and we’ll see you have the routine inspections, cleaning, and adjustments your air conditioner needs each year. One of our friendly staff will be glad to explain the club and its many benefits.
We also recommend installation of a whole-house dehumidifier. The principle advantage of this is to improve home comfort and reduce reliance on the AC. But lowering humidity helps protect the air conditioner from humidity troubles as well.
Finally, if dirty sock syndrome is a problem, we can install a special type of air purifier that uses UV lights directed onto the evaporator coil. This kills the current mold and prevents it from returning.
Freedom Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.—Serving Minneapolis, St. Paul and the surrounding areas.