How Humidity Affects HVAC Energy Efficiency

Cooling and heating costs comprise a significant chunk of your household electricity bill. That’s why it’s important for homeowners to have a basic understanding of the different factors that can affect their HVAC system’s energy efficiency. One such factor is humidity, which not only lowers your HVAC system’s energy efficiency, but also reduces indoor comfort in the summer and winter.

Stone Heating and Air, a trusted HVAC maintenance company, further elaborates below.

HVAC Energy Efficiency

High Indoor Humidity & High Cooling Costs in the Summer

High indoor humidity is the usual culprit behind a muggy smell inside your home and a thick, heavy feeling in the air. Turning on the air conditioner can help reduce indoor humidity. Initially, the air conditioner will have to work harder to get indoor humidity levels under control. However, if it doesn’t have enough capacity or is too inefficient, your home might feel warmer than usual thanks to the excess moisture left in the air. And since not all of the excess moisture is removed, your AC will need to continuously work harder, increasing wear and tear on its sensitive components.

Low Indoor Humidity & High Heating Costs in the Winter

In the winter, you encounter the opposite problem: low indoor humidity, which can dry out your skin and sinuses. It also produces the same problem: a spike in household electricity consumption. Only this time, it’s caused by higher heating costs.

Keeping Indoor Humidity at Optimal Levels 

Indoor humidity levels can’t be too low or too high. In the summer, humidity levels should be below 50%—ideally 30% to 45%—and around 40% in the winter. Here are some tips on keeping indoor humidity at optimal levels:

  • Lowering indoor humidity – Turn on the air conditioner and exhaust fans.

  • Increasing indoor humidity – Install a humidifier and bring some houseplants into your house.

If none of these work, you should have a home heating repair technician inspect your AC or HVAC system. Faulty components might be to blame for lower indoor comfort.

Are you looking for HVAC contractors near you?

Stone Heating and Air offers a wide range of professional HVAC services, including HVAC repair and duct cleaning. To schedule an appointment, call us at (541) 855-5521 or fill out this form.

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