Air conditioners keep spaces cool by removing heat and moisture from the air. However, when humidity levels are excessive, the air conditioner has to work much harder. In this article, we outline what happens when high indoor humidity in the summer is a factor and what can be done about it.

How Does Summer Humidity Affect Air Conditioning?

Common signs of indoor humidity

  • Moist, clammy air. Your skin even feels clammy when inside your home.
  • Foggy windows. This occurs because the humidity is vaporized water in the air.
  • A musty odor. Too much humidity causes dampness around the home and this can eventually lead to this unpleasant problem.

Air Conditioning Systems and Humidity

Humidity negatively affects air conditioning because it cancels out the cooling effect. When the humidity in your home or office is too high, the space will feel warmer than it is. Although you can keep your air conditioning system running, it won’t be nearly as efficient. In other words, you will be paying more to cool your home.

Cooling Capacity of Air Conditioning

People often assume that the more powerful an air conditioner is, the more effectively it can pump cool air into a room. However, that is not always true. If your air conditioner’s capacity is larger than needed, it won’t be able to remove moisture as effectively. In turn, the humidity levels you are trying to control will remain high.

The explanation for this is that more powerful air conditioners don’t need to run as much. Therefore, they don’t get a chance to remove as much moisture from the air. That is why it is important to size the correct unit to meet each need.


The best way to combat the humidity when attempting to cool your home or office is by installing a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier will pull moisture from the air when humidity levels spike, trapping the condensation, before diffusing the condensation out of the area.

Dehumidifiers can be teamed up with air conditioning systems, which will allow you to adjust the temperature and control humidity with one action. You will notice how much cooler the air feels.

How Humidity Affects Heating

Low humidity causes another set of problems in the winter months. Humidity levels drop drastically in the winter. As a result, this means the humidity in the room or home drops as well. In fact, humidity levels can drop so much that they can make the space feel a lot cooler than it is.

If possible, the thermostat should be set between 71 and 77 degrees in the winter. This is ideal in terms of comfort as well as cost. This range won’t produce truly comfortable results if humidity levels fall below 50 percent. This will influence how warm or cool the temperature in the home feels.


A humidifier is the most effective way to deal with low humidity inside a home during cold months. Like a dehumidifier, you can install a humidifier directly on your HVAC system. A humidifier will add moisture to the air before it is sent through the ducts in your home. The final result will be a warmer, more comfortable home and more reasonable energy bills when it is cold outside.

Servicing Air Conditioning Units

Bear in mind that your air conditioning unit may not work optimally when it needs servicing. As a general rule of thumb, you should have your air conditioner serviced at least once every year. The same applies to your heating system. We also recommend that you service and inspect your cooling system in spring before you need it. Similarly, you will want to inspect and service your heating system in the fall.

Additional Reading: Indoor Humidity in Winter vs Summer

Air Care Heating and Air Conditioning – Residential & Commercial HVAC Services in Omaha & Council Bluffs

Air Care Heating and Air Conditioning is a full-service HVAC company located in Council Bluffs & Omaha. We know how important well-functioning heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems are to your home or business, especially living in the Midwest. No matter what your heating and cooling needs, we provide a variety of heating and cooling HVAC services committed to exceeding your expectations with 100% customer satisfaction. Contact us today for your routine maintenance service, repairs, or installation requests -and let us show you the Air Care Heating and Air difference!