Air conditioners on top of a downtown condo

Living in the South we all know what humidity is and how it feels. Thanks to air conditioning we can find relief from the summer heat indoors. The beauty of air conditioners is that they not only lower the temperature but also control and remove humidity.

Air conditioners tackle two types of heat. The first is sensible heat which is temperature based. Sensible heat relates to how much cooling is needed to lower the temperature. The second type of heat is latent heat, and this is humidity based. Latent heat is a very important factor in the southeast where the humidity can reach high levels in the summer. Southwest regions in Arizona have little humidity so latent heat removal is not as important in that part of the country.

Since typical thermostats only show temperature, humidity can be harder to control. Have you ever seen a thermostat shows a temperature that just feels warmer than it shows? It could mean that while the temperature is maintained properly (sensible heat), the humidity could be above normal comfort levels. Ideal humidity levels are between 45-55% and it’s best to keep it below 60% to be comfortable.

If you are having issues with comfort and the thermostat is showing otherwise, you may have a humidity problem and need to have it investigated further by an HVAC professional.

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