As a homeowner in Lorton, VA, you need air conditioning for relief from the outdoor heat and humidity during the summer months. However, you might be wondering if your air conditioning system is the cause of household issues such as dry air. Air conditioning  causing dry air can aggravate certain health conditions and cause static electricity build up. Our experts for air conditioning in Lorton, VA explain whether your air conditioner is the cause of dry air and what you can do to improve the situation.

How Air Conditioning Works

Air conditioners create a cooling effect through the process of evaporation. Air conditioners work by cycling a chemical coolant through a low temperature heat source into a higher temperature source. In your home or business, the lower temperature is the compressor unit and the higher temperature is the house or building. The chemical coolant undergoes a phase change from liquid to gas and back again as the system cycles. An electric fan with a motor is used to propel the cooled air through the air ducts. During this process, water evaporates from the air and is collected in the condensate pan and drained away through the condensate pipe.

Air Conditioners Reduce Humidity

Air conditioners that utilize a chemical refrigerant reduce the indoor humidity. Weather reports refer to a “feels like” temperature throughout the year. During the summer, high humidity makes the air feel hotter. In the winter, colder air is less humid. The lower the humidity, the colder the air feels.  The optimum humidity for most people is at the relatively low levels of 30 to 50 percent, which air conditioners easily achieve. However, in some cases the air conditioner may reduce the indoor humidity even lower, which can make the air feel too dry.

Effects of Dry Air

When people spend a significant amount of time indoors in an air conditioned environment, they may experience some health effects due to the dry air. The skin’s elasticity is reduced, which can cause itchiness and flaking on the body and scalp. People with eczema or dermatitis may experience a worsening of their symptoms. The mucous membranes of the nose and mouth can dry out, which may cause people to feel thirstier or experience sneezing or nose bleeds. Dryness of the eyes might also develop, which can feel painful and make it difficult for people who wear contacts to insert the lenses.

Remedying Dry Air

To solve dry air problems in a home or building, we can adjust the air conditioner to increase the ambient humidity or install a humidifier to add moisture to the building’s indoor air.

At Commonwealth Cooling & Heating, we install humidification systems and provide maintenance, repairs and installation for residential and commercial heating and air conditioning systems. As your Lorton, VA heating and cooling company, we seek to ensure your comfort and your satisfaction with the HVAC services we provide. Our dedicated HVAC service technicians participate in ongoing training and education to bring to you the best in class customer service in the community. When you need relief from the dry air or you have any other comfort problem in your home or business, our team at Commonwealth Cooling & Heating is here to assist you.