Summer conditions can create serious health problems for people from all walks of life. While the very young and the elderly are primarily susceptible to the effects of extreme heat & humidity, nobody is immune. Whether you are experiencing a significant weather event or just trying to address air quality challenges in your home, it’s helpful to understand how these conditions are related and why they affect your structure.
The Role of Moisture in Air Quality and Comfort
Our humid climate can make a hot day seem miserable. Your skin normally keeps you cool through the evaporation of sweat, but when conditions are extremely humid already, the evaporative effect is limited. It’s harder to stay comfortable. This can be true indoors or outdoors. In your home, too much moisture makes your house feel hotter than it is.
Moisture also affects your air quality because it promotes mold growth. Those with allergy problems or respiratory challenges can really be affected. While visible mold can be dealt with through cleaning, it’s the hidden presence that you need to worry about. Mold and mildew can often be found in AC coils, ductwork and in unseen structural areas of your home.
Controlling Moisture in Your Home
Your air conditioner helps keep indoor humidity in check. The refrigerant that provides the cool air also causes moisture in the air to condense. It’s not much different than watching your glass of iced tea sweat on a hot day. However, if there is excessive moisture in your home, the condensation may not be enough to achieve ideal conditions. Recommended indoor humidity levels should be between 30 and 50 percent. You can invest in a hygrometer to monitor the levels. There are also HVAC controls that can do this for you.
Some households may find that a dehumidification system will provide better moisture management. This is ideal for milder months of the year during which ongoing AC use isn’t really needed. Some modern AC systems include additional dehumidification settings.
Additional Heat and Air Quality Issues
Indoor air quality can also be affected by unseen gases and particles. Leaks in your home can provide a pathway for outdoor pollutants to infiltrate. Urban development can particularly be a problem because of the lack of open land and vegetation. If you live in a highly developed setting, this heat island effect may create issues like elevated emissions and greenhouse gases in your area.
While you can’t change the overall composition of your community, you can take steps to better protect your home’s airstream. Home sealing can help limit the introduction of pollutants into your house. Installation of a carbon monoxide monitor provides a warning system for the deadly gas. Use of a whole-home air cleaner can keep dangerous pollutants limited. Some of the most effective air cleaners purify the circulating air as often as eight times per hour.
At Air Conditioning by Luquire, we can provide you with precise information about your home’s air quality. We can take samples from your Prattville, AL home for analysis in order to determine specific pollutants and issues that you may want to address. You can contact our team to discuss your concerns.