High Humidity Is Coming—Be Ready for It

As spring turns to summer, the temperature in our area goes up, which necessitates the use of an air conditioner. But humidity levels rise as well, and there your air conditioner can’t always do the job. It’s set up for temperature control, not humidity control, and the added strain can increase both monthly costs and the chances of a serious breakdown in your system.

A whole-house dehumidifier makes a much better option for homes that struggle with high humidity: solving issues that air conditioners can’t and helping your HVAC system do its job without spending an arm and a leg. How does it work? Read on for the answers.


We define high humidity as anything that rises above 50% relative humidity. At that level, there’s too much moisture in the air for the sweat to evaporate off of your skin, which is our body’s primary means of keeping cool. It leads to that sweaty, gross feeling we have on muggy days. It makes the air feel hotter than it is, as well as fostering the growth of mold and bacteria if it’s allowed to continue. In the worst cases, it can actively damage the furnishings in your home.

Air conditioners tend to be able to deal with high humidity levels, though only in a crude way and not without a price. The best way to remove ambient moisture from the air is to cool the air. That causes the moisture to coalesce into droplets, which pulls them out of the air. (It’s the reason you get dew on the ground in the early hours of the morning.)

The problem is that the air conditioner isn’t built for that. It removes humidity by default rather than being tailored to adjust humidity levels to your tastes. While air conditioners contain a drip pan and drip line to deal with condensate, it’s easy to overwhelm those components when humidity levels are high. (Most air conditioners will shut down when the drop pan overflows to prevent shorts and water damage.)

Even if the air conditioner doesn’t shut down, the added strain of dealing with the humidity can increase the chances of a malfunction or a breakdown. And the extra energy expended means that your monthly cooling bills will likely go up a great deal as well.


A whole-house dehumidifier operates according to the same basic principles as the air conditioner. But because it’s focused on lowering humidity, it can tailor the moisture levels to suit your taste. Contrast that with the air conditioner, which can’t exercise such control since it’s focused on temperature rather than humidity.

As a result, the dehumidifier does a more effective job of keeping humidity levels low than our air conditioner does. Your home will feel more comfortable, your air conditioner bills will drop, and your system will do its job without running quite as much of a risk of a breakdown.

For dehumidifier services in Newberg, OR, call Western Heating & Cooling today!