The summers in Birmingham are long, hot and humid.
We expect temperatures in the mid nineties and typically run the air conditioner for at least six months.
Unfortunately, the cooling system isn’t sufficient to provide ideal comfort. The excessive amount of moisture in the air makes the house feel hot and muggy. It can be tempting to lower the thermostat setting. I’ve learned that this just forces the air conditioner to run more often without solving the problem. Monthly costs go up because the system is using more energy. There is a greater risk of malfunction, and the air conditioner won’t last as long. Despite over-cooling the air, the moisture remains, causing concerns with indoor air quality. The humid environment provides the perfect breeding ground for mold, mildew, bacteria and viruses. It encourages dust mites, cockroaches and other pests. Aggravated symptoms of asthma and allergies can be blamed on the humidity. Difficulty sleeping at night, feeling sluggish during the day, headaches, congestion, sneezing and coughing are all consequences of too much moisture. Wood furnishings often swell and warp. For my house in Birmingham, a whole-home dehumidifier is just about as essential as central air conditioning. The device is installed into the existing return ductwork and pulls moisture out of the air as it passes through. The dehumidified air is supplied to the various rooms of the home, providing a healthier and more comfortable living space. Because the air conditioner doesn’t need to work as hard, there is considerable savings on monthly utility bills. While the whole-home dehumidifier uses energy to operate, the expense is minimal.