Outside temperatures can vary greatly over the seasons. Just when you’ve found the ideal indoor temperature in the summer, you need to adjust your thermostat and find the ideal conditions for the fall. If the relative humidity in your home is consistently too low, it becomes even more difficult to feel comfortable.
Finding both the ideal humidity and temperature in your home is difficult. If you are suffering from dry air in your home, you may be wondering, “Can I use my air conditioner and humidifier together?” This article explains how air conditioners and humidifiers work and whether or not you should use them at the same time.
Carrano Air HVAC Contractors Inc. offers reliable air conditioning replacement and installation in South Brunswick, NJ to improve indoor air quality and keep you comfortable even when temperatures rise.
Your Home’s Air Conditioner
When your air conditioner is working properly, it creates a comfortable temperature by removing heat from the air and returning cool air to your home. During the cooling cycle, your air conditioner also removes moisture from the air, which can help your home feel more comfortable.
Fresh air feels good, but you may soon notice that you start coughing and rubbing your eyes. This is because your air conditioner may be removing more moisture than it should when cooling your home. For this reason, you probably want to run your humidifier at the same time.
Low relative humidity can reduce the risk of mold growing in your home, which can lead to serious health problems. However, if the humidity drops too much, you will notice dry, itchy skin and other annoying symptoms. It can also affect the structure of your home, as low humidity can cause cracks in wooden components.
How a Humidifier Works To Improve Air Quality
Many people suffer from breathing air that is too dry. This can cause dehydration, make your cough worse, and make your skin feel dry and cracked. A humidifier can increase the relative humidity in your home and relieve symptoms that are causing you discomfort.
Humidifiers have a water tank that the device uses to increase the humidity in your home. There are portable humidifiers and whole-house humidifiers that can help improve indoor air quality. In dry regions or during the winter months, increasing the humidity in your home can increase your well-being and reduce respiratory problems.
Types of Humidifiers
As with any other device, there are several types to choose from. Some increase the humidity in a single room, while others maintain even humidity throughout the home. A qualified HVAC technician can help you decide which type is best for your needs.
Let’s look at the different types of humidifiers so you can figure out which one you need most.
A portable humidifier can be easily transported from one room to another. It’s good for increasing the humidity in one room of your home, but it can’t provide consistent humidity throughout the entire building. A portable humidifier is ideal when someone, such as a child or a sick person, needs to breathe in moist air.
As the name suggests, a whole house humidifier works with your HVAC unit to create consistent humidity in every room of your home. It can detect low humidity and turn on when necessary to avoid unnecessary power consumption. If your current HVAC unit does not have a humidifier, a professional HVAC technician can walk you through the options available.
An ultrasonic humidifier uses a high frequency of vibration to break water droplets into vapor. It then releases steam, which increases the relative humidity in your home. They are inexpensive compared to other types of humidifiers and operate quietly despite vibrations.
Anyone with health problems should be careful: an ultrasonic humidifier not only distributes evaporated water into the air, but could also release excess minerals and even bacteria into the air if they are present in the water.
You probably already know the turbine humidifier, even if you don’t know the name. This is the most common type of portable humidifier. Using a rotating disk, they create tiny droplets of water that are released into the air.
Turbine humidifiers produce a cool mist that is safe for homes with pets and small children.
A steam humidifier costs more but increases humidity better than any other type of humidifier. You can choose between a portable steam humidifier or a whole-house device. A whole-house steam humidifier connects to your HVAC system and uses heated water to create moist air. You don’t need an oven, so you can use a steam humidifier all year round.
Not everyone benefits from using a steam humidifier. People with asthma may benefit more from a different type of humidifier.
Cool Mist Humidifier
Cool mist humidifiers can help people suffering from acute illnesses such as bronchitis. It’s safe to use a cool mist humidifier in the winter, and because it doesn’t produce heat, there’s no risk of burns if you get too close. Cool humidity can be helpful if you have recently had an illness and can’t get rid of a persistent cough while sleeping.
Using an Air Conditioner and a Humidifier Simultaneously
If necessary, you can use your air conditioner and humidifier at the same time. Your air conditioner may be removing too much moisture from the air. Low humidity can dry out your skin and cause chapped lips and irritated eyes.
Low humidity can also cause window frames and other wood areas to shrink, potentially leading to cracks and requiring professional repair. Your home and your body require a certain level of humidity to stay in good condition.
However, if you live in an area with high summer temperatures, you may not need a humidifier. High humidity in the summer months provides more than enough humidity to keep you comfortable and reduce damage to your home, even as your air conditioner removes moisture from the air.
In the winter months the air is quite dry, and running your heater will only make the air drier. You may need a humidifier more in the winter than in the summer.
The Optimal Humidity Level
If you’re wondering, “Can I use my air conditioner and humidifier together?” » Consider the ideal humidity level for your home. The ideal humidity is between 35% and 55% in both summer and winter.
A hygrometer is an inexpensive tool that allows you to easily monitor humidity levels to prevent itchy skin if the level is too low or to prevent mold growth if the level rises too high. Simply place it in the room you want to monitor and check it several times a day like a thermometer.
If you don’t have a hygrometer, you can measure the humidity in your home based on how you feel. When the air is humid, especially early in the morning, humidity is likely to be high. If you feel dehydrated and your skin is dry, the humidity is probably too low.
Why You Shouldn’t Run Your Air Conditioner and Humidifier Together
Using your air conditioner and humidifier at the same time can affect the energy efficiency of both devices. While your air conditioner is removing moisture from the air, your humidifier is adding even more moisture, and both could end up overloaded if they compete with each other.
Using your air conditioner and humidifier throughout the day can cause your utility bills to skyrocket. When your air conditioner detects excessive humidity, it works even harder and runs longer than necessary to cool your home.
At the same time, your humidifier detects low humidity and works longer to increase the relative humidity in your home. This excessive usage shortens the lifespan of both devices. The best solution is to only run one device at a time unless you absolutely need both. Making sure you only use one at a time can help reduce your monthly energy costs.
Boost Your Home Comfort With Air Conditioning Service in New Jersey
A well-maintained air conditioner is effective in improving the air quality in your room and maintaining comfortable humidity levels. Choosing a humidifier that suits your needs will help prevent dry skin and can also help the wooden parts of your home stay in good condition for longer.
To answer the question “Can I Use My AC and Humidifier At The Same Time?” You must first measure the humidity to determine if you actually need it. Although you can run them at the same time, you risk damaging both devices and increasing your electricity bill. Carrano Air HVAC Contractors Inc. can help you if you want to know if your air conditioner is reducing humidity or if you have other questions about improving comfort in your home. You can book online today or call 732-329-3784 to speak with a member of our team.