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If you live in Dallas, TX, which has a climate zone featuring high humidity, then you will face excessive humidity challenges inside your dwelling. To control humidity and its damaging effects, you may require heating and air conditioning repair or installation to condition the air within.
Air Conditioning Versus Air Cooling
While properly conditioned air often involves cooling, it also requires dehumidification, ventilation, and filtration. An HVAC specialist trained in heating and air conditioning repair and installation is your best source for advice.
While related, air conditioning is not the same thing as air cooling.
The latter is more about our creature comfort, while the former can have a profound effect on the integrity and durability of your home, and in some cases, your personal belongings. That’s because uncontrolled household humidity is not our friend.
With proper humidity control, it is possible to set your thermostat much higher during the warm months yet maintain a high level of comfort. That higher setting will convert to savings on your utility bill without increasing personal distress.
Remember that the human body cools itself by pushing moisture out onto the skin. When the surrounding air is cool, perspiration is absorbed into the air. But if humidity is high and the air cannot absorb the moisture efficiently, then it remains on the skin and causes discomfort.
Understanding Humidity: 101
Humidity control, like basic heating and air conditioning repair, is not rocket science. But you should consult a trusted technician in these matters.
At sea level, the air we live in weighs nearly 15 psi. It contains nitrogen (N), oxygen (O), carbon dioxide (CO2), a host of trace gases, and water vapor (H2O). The temperature of the air has a profound effect on water vapor.
Water is attracted to warmer air. Temperature controls how much moisture the air around us can hold. Warmer air holds more water vapor than does cooler air.
Based on several factors, especially temperature, air can hold variable amounts of H2O. When you hear the heating and air conditioning repair tech speak about the relative humidity, she is referring to the level of moisture in the atmosphere relative to the total amount (100%) that it could potentially hold.
When the moisture level reaches the maximum (100% humidity) that the air can hold, we say that we have reached the dew point.
Dew point is also called the saturation point, the point at which the air can hold no additional water vapor. At this point, excess water vapor is forced out of the air in the form of dewdrops, condensation, cloud formations, and eventually as rain.
If the relative humidity inside your dwelling reaches that maximum saturation point, the result is condensation. Though it may be subtle and unseen by the naked eye, you can often feel the moisture. You might even notice a musty odor.
Mold problems are easily preventable by consulting your friendly heating and air conditioning repair expert.
Behind the drywall, the wooden structure of your home becomes damp. The heat trapped in the wall space, coupled with the absence of light, creates a fertile breeding ground for microbial nasties that are known to do grave harm to wood, insulation, and human lungs.
Moisture, Microbes and Your Organic Structure
Let’s start with the wooden structure, which is your home. You may not be aware of it since insulation, plasterboard, paint, or wallpaper conceal it from sight, but the wood is nevertheless present. A considerable amount of wood, at that!
Moisture can be devastating to that underlying structure. Control of humidity within your home means keeping the air dry.
Wood is an organic material. Our environment is seething with bacteria, fungi, and other microbes. These microscopic bad boys thrive on organic material where heat and moisture are also present. As they grow in number, they are consuming the host material upon which they live. Your home becomes their source of sustenance.
Not only do microbes destroy the structure as they consume it, but they can be deadly to you and your family. Scheduled HVAC maintenance by your heating and air conditioning repair specialist helps avoid the problem.
Black Mold: A Silent Killer
Black mold is one such fungus of which you may have heard. Critical, even fatal respiratory ailments develop from the presence of black mold in living spaces.
The mold may be more evident in areas that are perpetually dark and damp, such as the basement or crawlspace, or found under kitchen cabinets, in the bathroom and shower area, and virtually any point in the home where there are moisture and condensation.
Black mold spores migrant silently and aggressively through your abode. Once it has a foothold, getting rid of this silent killer requires thorough, costly treatment.
Que the memories of the adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!” Any heating and air conditioning repair technician will agree because it’s easier to prevent a bad situation from starting than it is to repair the damage once it has begun.
Not only is prevention easier, but far far less costly.
The Cost of Mold Removal
Depending on the size of your home, expect to pay an average of around $2500 to clear up your black mold problem. Smaller jobs can range from $500 up to the $2500 mark, with larger removal jobs costing $6000 or more.
If you suspect you need heating and air conditioning repair, don’t put it off!
Removal is going to mean the physical removal of affected wood and other porous materials. Wood molding, drywall, wall coverings, flooring, subflooring, cabinetry, carpets, and more may need to go.
A quality heating and air conditioning repair professional can find humidity problems quickly.
The typical removal operation may take anywhere from one to five days, again, depending on the size of the house and size of the affected area. Imagine how this arduous process will inconvenience you and your family.
In some cases, you may prefer to stay with friends or in a hotel until completion of the dirty work. Alternative living arrangements aren’t required, but are safer, especially if you have small children. That translates to even more out of pocket expenses you could have avoided.
Of course, by staying current with the maintenance of your heating and air conditioning repair costs are better controlled.
Isn’t That Why I Pay Homeowners Insurance?
Yes and No. Homeowners insurance will cover mold removal when caused by “sudden and accidental” incidents that arise from a “covered peril.” If your insurance company investigates and finds that your mold problem is due to preventable water leakage, neglected gutters, or uncontrolled humidity, then your claim is likely to be denied. Mold caused by flooding is not covered unless you have a separate flood policy that includes mold removal.
Control Your Losses and Your Costs
The cost of annual or semi-annual maintenance on your HVAC system pays for itself many times over. You will potentially save yourself the cost of:
- out of pocket mold testing, treatment, and removal
- alternate living arrangements
- repair or replacement of damaged wood, insulation, etc.
- repair or replacement of personal belongings
- medical expenses caused by exposure to mold
- inconvenience and disruption of your life routines
- additional heating and air conditioning repair
What Is Mildew and How Does it Differ from Mold?
Like mold, mildew is a fungus that can be harmful to your health, your home, and your other personal effects. Household mold typically appears as either green or black. Mildew usually appears as a white, off-white, grey, or yellow growth.
You will likely find mildew on top of wet surfaces, such as the shower walls, or clothing left in the washer too long. Conversely, mold grows underneath wet surfaces and is thus more difficult to notice. Mold grows insidiously behind walls and underneath kitchen and bathroom sinks, toilets, etc. A knowledgeable technician should address heating and air conditioning repair problems.
Mildew is less damaging than mold but can stink up a room and make those wet clothes reek to high heavens. Treating and removing mildew growth is as simple as washing down the surface with a disinfectant cleaner or even vinegar and dishwashing liquid if you lean towards green cleaning in your household.
Mildew can grow on indoor plants, so you should take care to prevent fungus spore proliferation. Controlling indoor humidity is the number one method of avoiding mildew.
Like mold, mildew can cause discomfort and disease. While not as deadly, expect a runny nose, congestion, nose and throat irritation, sneezing fits, all of which can lead to broken capillaries in the nostrils, causing a bloody nose.
Dual Zone Dehumidification
They claim that everything is bigger in Texas, and that is undoubtedly true in Dallas, TX. Homes here are big and grand! Multi-level homes are a particular problem that you will want to enlist a heating and air conditioning repair specialist to advise and assist you.
Ever had a pleasantly chilled downstairs only to walk up the second level and feel smothered by the heavy damp air up there? The likely culprit is probably not that your air conditioning unit is failing to cool the upstairs. It is most likely going to be a problem with moisture recycling.
A trend in newer homes features foam insulation packed tightly into the attic spaces. While this seems to be a good idea for preventing leakage of conditioned air or heat into the great outdoors, if the packing is too tight, the attic cannot breathe or cycle the moisture properly. Moisture is then retained and recycled indoors instead of being removed through the HVAC unit and dumped outside.
Your heating and air conditioning repair representative should investigate the attic insulation as a prime suspect and not just add refrigerant to the cooling unit. Coil temperatures and fan speeds may need to be adjusted and can offer a modicum of moisture reduction.
However, if you are facing severe levels of humidity in the upper regions of your abode and your insulation is over-packed with foam HVAC, then adjusting your HVAC settings is unlikely to solve the problem.
The best solution for you may be to install a stand-alone dehumidifier connected to the HVAC system. Of course, if your HVAC is older and needs to be replaced altogether, then look to your heating and air conditioning repair specialist for an HVACD unit that can handle your needs.
The D stands for…wait for it…Dehumidifier. HVACD units are relatively new technology and are new to the market place. Different models target specific environments. Only an HVACD trained heating and air conditioning repair person is going to be able to access your situation and recommend a workable, cost-effective solution.
Are There Downsides to an HVAC?
Again, the HVACD unit technology is new compared to the standard HVAC units. Some early models contained the coil inside of the house. This placement added back some heat into the home, thereby working counter to the cooling needs of the homeowner.
To remedy this dilemma, some enterprising manufacturers moved the coil outside, where it cannot generate heat inside of the dwelling.
A wide range of units is coming to the market. Talk to your Dallas, TX, heating and air conditioning repair tech to learn more. It is now possible to find a workable solution for almost every set of structural and environmental challenges.
Finding Your Best Solution
You need not sweat out the summer dripping in your sweat.
Even during those excruciatingly hot dog days of August here in Dallas, TX, you need no longer suffer from high humidity and the problems that come with it.
Not when you have a trained heating and air conditioning repair and installation specialist who can quickly and correctly identify your problem and offer a sound, cost-efficient solution.
No matter what your heating, air conditioning, and ventilation issues are, you can trust Dallas’ premier HVAC company to respond promptly and restore your comfort quickly and efficiently. So contact One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating today and suffer no more!