How Humid Climates Affect Indoor Air Quality and Comfort

Regional climate plays a large role in Indoor Air Quality and comfort.  Regional climate characteristics are determined by geographic location and long term weather conditions.  Two of the most important factors that affect an areas climate are temperature and precipitation.

What makes Humid Climates Uncomfortable?

Humid climates have a high amount of water vapor in the air.  When it’s hot, high humidity makes people feel hotter because it reduces the ability to evaporate moisture from the skin.  In humid climates, becoming comfortable means going into a conditioned space.

Potential for Mold Growth

While mold spores are in every region and every climate, mold growth is highly dependent on the amount of humidity.  Mold growth typically occurs when an environment reaches a relative humidity of 60 percent or greater in a 72 hour span.  If mold is found within your home or workplace remediate the problem immediately, mold spores can be distributed throughout the home or building through the HVAC system impacting indoor air quality.

Air Conditioning in Humid Climates

Air conditioning coils serve a very important role in regulating temperature and humidity in humid climates.  As air passes through the evaporative coil of the air conditioner, heat and moisture are removed from the air.  To a degree, the lower the humidity level, the more comfortable you will feel at a given temperature.

Air Duct Cleaning and HVAC Maintenance

Overtime foreign debris is drawn into the evaporative coils and fan blower of the air conditioning system, gradually decreasing air flow and energy efficiency.  Maintaining HVAC system, will keep your cooling and heating components operation at peak energy efficiency, and prevent potential indoor air quality problems.  Yearly air conditioner inspections and routine air duct cleaning with assure maximum efficiency.

Planning for Air Conditioning Installation

If you are planning on installing an air conditioner before the weather heats up, it is important to have the air ducts cleaned before the air conditioner is installed.  Having the air ducts cleaned before the air conditioning is installed will prevent numerous avoidable problems from occurring.

Prevent a Dust Out

When central air conditioners are installed, numerous modifications are made to the furnace cabinet and supply trunk line.  Trunk lines are the main intake and distribution lines of an HVAC system.  Because of the volume of air that is circulated through trunk lines, they are often the dirtiest points of a ventilation system.  Modifications to the trunk lines disrupt and loosen debris on the walls of the trunk lines.  If the air duct are not cleaned prior to installation there is a high probability of drawing debris into your newly installed HVAC components or blowing the loosened dust and debris within your home.

Prevent Fouled Air Conditioning Coils

Home central air conditioning systems draw air from the return air vents; and blow the air through evaporative coils located above the furnace to chill the air.  To a large degree, the energy efficiency of an air conditioner is dependent on the cleanliness of the evaporative coil. When evaporative coils become fouled, they cause a number of problems:

  • Decrease heat transfer: Evaporative coils are made of tiny fins designed to absorb the heat from the air, when dirt or debris enters the coil fins, it acts as an insulator preventing efficient heat transfer.
  • Decrease airflow: Debris can build within the coil face preventing air to freely flow through the coil.  Fouled air conditioning coils negatively affect your HVAC system during the heating season as well.
  • Clogged drain pans: As evaporative air conditioner coils absorb heat from the air, they condensate moisture which flows from the air conditioning system through a drain pan.  Moisture and debris clogs the drain of the air conditioner.
  • Coil Freeze: Loosened debris within the air ducts causes air filters to load prematurely, and fouls evaporative air conditioner coils. Coils typically freeze and fail due to low air flow.

Plan and Prepare

When planning your air conditioner installation, budget air duct cleaning in your installation cost.  Coordinate the air duct cleaning to be performed before the installation of the air conditioner.  Clean air ducts will provide numerous long term benefits.