Indoor Air Quality
April 15, 2015
Lets Talk H2O
December 10, 2015

Air Conditioning and Why Humidity Matters

As caretakers of numerous homes here in Southwest Florida, there are many things we look for in our inspections each week.  One that we consider to be among the highest priority, is that air conditioning systems are functioning effectively.  The reason this is so important, is not just because we want our clients to have cool air in their house, but also that the A/C is responsible for removing moisture from the air, ultimately dispensing it as water outside, via the condensation drain line.  If this moisture is not removed, it will eventually provide an environment for fungal growth… and the dreaded word that homeowners dread yet is so prevalent in South Florida, “Mold.”  So what do we do to ensure that the air conditioning system is effectively working?  Well, there are a few key items we look for:


  • Check the condenser to ensure the fan is running when the A/C is cooling.  Also look to make sure nothing has gotten into the fan blades that would prevent them from turning (excess debris, etc.)
  • Check the refrigerant lines for any signs of ice or frost.  This means there may be a refrigerant leak, causing the pressure to drop and ultimately freeze up
  • Check the condensation drain line to ensure water is dripping out, and that nothing (mulch, leaves, etc..) is blocking the flow of this water.


  • We place temperature and humidity monitors in the home to document the current, high and low temps as well as humidity levels within the last 24 hour period.  For large homes, we place numerous units in the house to monitor different areas.  High humidity levels (above 55 – 60%) are a sign that the A/C has not been cooling (removing moisture) effectively.
  • Check the vents to ensure the air coming out is cool
  • Check the thermostats, their settings, and to see if any messages regarding required maintenance or system errors come up.
  • Check the air filters every couple of months, and replace them when necessary
  • Look for any signs of leaks, as overflowing drain pans might mean there is a clog in the condensation drain line

It is recommended that your air conditioning system is serviced semi-annually by a certified HVAC company, to ensure that it is running at peak performance… especially going into the summer.  As we move into the fall months, where the temperatures outside start to cool off, the humidity in the home often will be higher because the units will not run as much.  The same goes for homes where dark shades block sunlight into the house, the humidity is often higher since the air does not kick on as frequently.  Conversely, homes that have a great deal of sunlight shining in often causes the air to run on a more consistent basis, resulting in lower humidity levels.

As you might gather, this is a major focus of our home inspections and always a top priority should we notice anything out of place.

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