South Florida is known for experiencing high temperatures and humidity during the summer. Many residents seek to escape the humidity by leaving on week-long vacations, but they may or may not be aware that turning off their air conditioners completely during this time away can put their homes at risk.
In order to understand why this is a problem, let's start with a brief rundown on how air conditioners work.
How Air Conditioners Remove Humidity from the Air
Air conditioners draw in air and pass it over an evaporator coil. Refrigerant then absorbs heat from the warm indoor air, and your system pumps the cooled air back into your home. The byproduct of this process is all of the moisture from that warm air ("condensation"), which is then drained from your unit into the condensate pan and away via the condensate drain line.
When you go away on vacation, it may make logical sense to turn off your air conditioner. After all, why would you want to spend money cooling an empty house? The problem, though, is that if your AC isn't running, there's nothing to remove humidity from the air, and all that moisture can quickly reach problematic levels. Excessive indoor humidity can cause all sorts of problems, including damage to walls, paintings, hardwood flooring, wood furniture, and musical instruments like pianos. Worst of all, it can cause mold and mildew growth inside of your home, which can be both hazardous to your health and expensive to remedy.
So what's the solution? Simple: install a dehumidistat.
What is a Dehumidistat?
A dehumidistat (sometimes also called simply a humidistat) is a handy device that you hook up to your AC system that helps control humidity in the air independent of temperature. While your thermostat is responsible for measuring how warm or cool your indoor air is, the dehumidistat monitors how much moisture is in the air and automatically corrects it by signaling your AC to turn on just long enough to bring it back to within a normal range. So if it’s very warm in your home, but the humidity level is normal, your AC won’t turn on. This allows you to keep humidity levels in check without having to set your empty home at a certain temperature while you are away. Not only will you be able to enjoy your vacation time without having to worry about the state of your home, you’ll also reap the added benefit of a lower energy bill.
Setting Your AC & Dehumidistat While You Are Away
Make sure to have your air conditioner temperature set to 80 degrees and ensure that it’s set on “Auto-fan” and “Cool”. Your dehumidistat should be set between 60% and 75%. Any lower than that is not necessary, as it will just increase your electricity bill.
Professional Dehumidistat Installation in South Florida
Interested in adding a dehumidistat to your air conditioning system? Cousin's Air proudly serves customers throughout South Florida, including Broward County, Palm Beach County, Martin County, and Southern St. Lucie County. Give us a call now at (954) 228-5965 or click the button below to request service!