What Are the Symptoms of High Humidity in Your Home?

With the summer heat comes high humidity. Your home can trap humidity inside, making the heat feel worse. Even if you have a central air conditioning system, there can still be too much indoor humidity. Excess humidity doesn’t just make the environment uncomfortable, it can also cause damage in your home if not addressed.

In our most recent blog, the HVAC technicians at Novak Heating and Cooling discuss Symptoms of High Humidity In The Home and offer up some solutions as to how you can address this issue and restore proper humidity levels.

Novak Heating and Cooling is Hiawatha, Iowa’s best bet for all of your air conditioning needs. Don’t suffer in the heat; call Novak Heating and Cooling right away if your air conditioner stops working this summer. 

Symptoms of High Relative Humidity in the Home

Ideally, the humidity levels in your home should be between 30-50%. You can find out how humid your home is with a humidity meter, also called a hygrometer. This is a great idea to do first, especially if you notice signs of high indoor humidity levels. 

Window Condensation

If your home is too humid, you will frequently notice condensation buildup on windows and toilet tanks. The buildup of moisture on a window sill can eventually rot wooden casings, and that wetness can allow mold to grow. If you notice excess moisture, wipe it away immediately. Following a shower, be sure to run the fan for a prolonged period of time to help remove the humidity from the room to prevent moisture buildup. 

Mold on Ceilings and Corners of Walls

Bathrooms that continuously have mold spots on walls, floors, ceilings, and around showers are symptoms of too much humidity. You can clean the mold spots with bleach, or repaint these areas with a paint that is formulated to resist mildew. Mold growth can cause air pollutants that set off allergies to members of your family. 

Musty Smell or Odor

If certain areas of your home such as closets and crawl spaces have a musty smell to them, it’s likely from the presence of mold and mildew growing in these areas. These areas are commonly damp and humid. 

Dampness in Basement

If your basement walls look damp every spring, it’s probably from groundwater dampness. Basements are especially vulnerable to humidity issues. If your basement has a dirt floor, it’s a good idea to seal it to prevent excessive moisture from coming into your basement from the earth into your home. 

High Humidity Solutions

Don’t suffer from excessive humidity. Novak Heating and Cooling has many solutions to help you control humidity levels. 

Dehumidifier

Dehumidifiers work a lot like air conditioners. They both take in the air and then extract the moisture from it, allowing the moisture to drain from the unit. With a dehumidifier, the moisture will drain into a drain bucket that has a float that will trigger a shut-off to prevent overflowing. The final result of a dehumidifier is that water is removed from the air and less humid air is returned into the room. It’s a good idea to have dehumidifiers in rooms without windows such as closets, basements, and bathrooms. 

Desiccants

Desiccants are moisture-absorbing products like baking soda or washed charcoal that absorb unwanted moisture. You may have seen products that hang from closets and collect water. Desiccants also remove unwanted odors and purify the air. Using a desiccant in a closet is a good way to prevent your clothes from smelling musty in a particularly humid closet. 

Ventilation and Fans

Rooms without windows tend to be the most humid rooms. These rooms are usually closets, kitchens, and bathrooms. With no windows, these rooms lack airflow, which makes the air feel stale and heavy. Consider installing ceiling fans in particularly humid rooms to keep the air moving. Make sure to clean exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms to keep moisture from building up in these areas. 

Call Novak Heating and Cooling for More Humidity Solutions

If your home seems particularly humid no matter what you do, trust the professionals at Novak Heating and Air. Having your air ducts cleaned and repaired can also help the airflow in your home and reduce humidity. Call to request a free quote.

How to Clean Dirty Condenser Coils in Your Air Conditioner

A clean air conditioner is an efficient air conditioner. Cleaning your air conditioner regularly will make it last longer and help your house feel cool during the hottest days of summer. It’s a great idea to have your air conditioning system cleaned and inspected annually by the professionals at Novak Heating and Cooling to ensure it’s working properly and has enough refrigerant. However, if your appointment can’t come soon enough, here’s How To Clean Dirty Condenser Coils in your air conditioner to keep it running smoothly.

Forgot to schedule your annual air conditioning inspection this year? Never miss regular maintenance by signing up for Novak’s Worry-Free Maintenance plan. Our maintenance contracts provide you with priority scheduling and reduced rates on spring air conditioning cleanings and fall furnace cleanings. Call us today to learn more. 

How to Clean Dirty Condenser Coils

To clean your air conditioner condenser coils, you’ll need the following tools:

  • Hose with a sprayer attachment
  • Vacuum with a soft brush attachment
  • Air Conditioner condenser coil cleaner
  • Work clothes, gloves, and eye protection

1 – Turn Off the Air Conditioner and Thermostat

First, turn off your air conditioner at the thermostat. Once you’re outside, find the electrical disconnect near your condenser unit and either turn it to the “off” position or unplug it. 

2 – Inspect and Clear the Unit

Make sure there are no visible signs of damage to the unit. If there are, call Novak Heating and Cooling right away. Remove any grass, sticks, or debris around the unit.

3 – Use a Knife to Straighten Fins

Use a butter knife or a cooling fin comb to straighten any bent fins. Don’t insert a knife more than half an inch. 

4 – Remove the Top of the Air Conditioner

You may need a screwdriver to remove the fan and the top of the air conditioner. Be careful of the electrical wires. Carefully set the top of the air conditioner aside. 

5 – Clean Inside the Air Conditioner

Use a vacuum with a soft brush attachment to clean the outside and inside of the air conditioner. Be careful not to bend any fins. You can also use a damp cloth to clean other surfaces of the unit. 

6 – Spray Air Conditioner Unit with a Hose

Grab your hose with a sprayer attachment and spray the fins from the inside and outside. Once you’ve rinsed out the air conditioner, spray the air conditioner with a coil cleaner. You will need to find a specific coil cleaner that is compatible with your air conditioner. Consult your owner’s manual or search your air conditioner’s manufacturer website for recommendations.  Let the cleaner sit for 10-15 minutes before rinsing it off again with the hose. Avoid spraying the fan motor. 

7 – Check Refrigerant Pressure

Check your refrigerant levels before and after cleaning your air conditioner. In many cases, the pressure will be higher than it’s supposed to be for a given size and type of air conditioner before you start cleaning. After the cleaning, the pressure should be lower and more in line with factory specs. This means the cleaning was effective and the air conditioner will run more efficiently. 

8 – Reassemble the Air Conditioner 

Reattach the top of the air conditioner, and plug it back in. 

9 – Replace the Air Filter

Although this isn’t inside your outdoor unit, it’s always a great idea to replace your air filter every 90 days to ensure proper airflow to your air conditioner.

Turn the power on, and if your air conditioner starts running again without making strange noises, then you cleaned your condenser coils properly!

Call Novak Heating and Cooling to Clean Dirty AC Condenser Coils

If you’re uncomfortable with any of these cleaning steps, then don’t attempt to clean your condenser coils yourself. Call the professional air conditioning technicians at Novak Heating and Cooling to ensure a proper cleaning every season.