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Why Is My House So Humid With the AC On?

A home’s air conditioner has two responsibilities: cool the home and reduce the humidity to improve air quality. So if you’re dealing with high humidity in a house with air conditioning, then you know some type of problem has occurred with your AC unit. 

While this problem could be on the more major side and require a repair or replacement, it’s also possible to resolve the issue yourself without having to call a repairman. If your house is humid with the AC on, here are some of the possible reasons that could be happening.

Reasons Your House is Humid with the AC On

Wondering what’s wrong with your air conditioner can be stressful, so let’s get straight into some of the reasons why your house feels humid with AC running and hopefully narrow down your specific issue:

You’ve Been Doing a lot of Cooking

Believe it or not, cooking can add to the excess humidity in your home, especially if you have dinner guests over who are also adding to the humidity levels. Water evaporating from the stove that isn’t being properly ventilated can contribute to a muggy feeling in the home. Try keeping the ventilation fan on or even opening some windows if needed.

You Have a Dirty Air Filter

Your air conditioner needs to remain clean to operate properly, and the air filter does a lot when it comes to keeping dirt, dust, and other debris out of your unit. If you don’t change out your air filter regularly, you could end up with high humidity in a house with air conditioning, or even more severe issues with your AC unit. Always be sure to change your air filters regularly.

Your AC Unit Needs to be Cleaned or Repaired

If you’ve run your AC unit for a while with a dirty filter and are now noticing that your house feels humid with AC running, then the inside of your AC unit could be coated in a layer of dust and other debris. This means it would require a deep cleaning to get rid of all that excess dirt, allowing your unit to operate properly and keep your air fresh.

Alternatively, there could be a maintenance issue in need of attention, such as frozen coils or some other malfunction. In this case, you’ll need the problem professionally repaired for your AC unit to dehumidify your air.

Your AC Unit is Too Old

If your house is humid with the AC on but none of the above reasons seem to be the culprit, you may want to look into how old your AC unit is. As is the case with any type of home equipment, age and use break the unit down over time. It could be that your unit is too old to work properly anymore and that’s why it’s leaving your home feeling muggy. 

Have a licensed technician complete a cooling inspection on your unit and see what type of repairs are needed, then compare these against the pros and cons of replacing your unit. In some circumstances, a replacement can save you more money in the long run than continually repairing an old unit.

Your AC Unit is Too Big

While “the bigger the better” would make sense while thinking of cool air pumping into your home, an oversized air conditioner just leaves you in a place where your house feels humid with the AC running. An air conditioner that’s too big for the size of your home will cool the home down too quickly, in short bursts, not allowing it the time it needs to also dehumidify your home. 

You can often tell if your air conditioner is too big for your home if it only runs in 15 minute cycles or less during the hot months of summer. You might want to get the size of your unit checked against the square footage of your home. If it’s too big, it will need to be replaced for a smaller, more appropriately sized unit.

It’s Unusually Muggy Outside

If none of these options seem to be the problem with your AC unit, then keep in mind it’s not unusual for your house to feel humid with the AC running if it’s a particularly humid day outside. More humidity in the air in general means there’s more moisture for your AC unit to remove, which could take a little bit longer than you’re used to. Try keeping the doors and windows closed to help your AC unit do its job better. You can also invest in a dehumidifier to run in your most humid rooms.

Don't Sweat Air Conditioning Issues

AC units run their hardest during the peak of summer and it’s not uncommon for them to malfunction in some way or another. If you’re doing your part as a homeowner by changing out the air filters on time but are still facing a home that’s humid with the AC running, your air conditioner may need some professional attention. Call our experts at John C. Flood at (202) 794-6179 or reach out to us online to speak with one of our HVAC techs.