Humidity affecting Brisbane Airconditioning Systems

How does the humidity in Brisbane City affect your air conditioner?

With Brisbane located close to the east coast of Australia and in a tropical cyclone risk area, we are subjected to a higher degree of humidity than other Australian major cities and towns.

Home to over 2 million residents and now with home air conditioning units purchase costs significantly reduced in price over the last 15 years, it’s any wonder most households have multiple A/C systems installed to escape the blistering heat and stifling humidity that comes with it.

What are Brisbane’s hottest months?
On average we get a spike in the temperate in late September / October. Then in November we usually get some refreshing cooler (and less humid) weather. This cooler change can sometimes shift well into December—then BAM! Hello heat and humidity…

The high temperatures then stays with us for the remainder of December (through Christmas and New Years) into January, February, March and to a lesser extent, April.

“Helping you understand what’s happening to your air conditioner in the higher humidity and temperature months”

But what months is the humidity the worst? When is feels hotter than it is…
The following chart also from the Australian BOM site shows us that it’s actually January through to June that Brisbane’s humidity is the highest—not December (the official start of summer) as some people tend to believe. The “high temperature / high humidity effect” really kicks in and is felt daily in January, February and March with the lead up and trail off in the months of December and April.

The “humidity effect”
A home air conditioning system’s efficiency is most affected by humidity (water content in the air) because an air conditioner’s electricity usage is linked to the relative humidity and to a lesser extent, the outside temperature.
When your air conditioner is functioning correctly, its job is to decrease the inside room temperature but more importantly reduce the relative humidity inside your home. By decreasing the moisture in the air (which is what causes humidity) is the essential ingredient to a comfortable inside room temperature. The air conditioner’s refrigerant (in new systems—an ozone friendly R410A blended refrigerant) helps remove heat from air circulating within the room being airconditioned. This chilled coil’s outer part on the indoor head unit however, also causes condensation as room air moisture gets to what’s called “the dew point”. This is why it’s very important ensuring your drain pipe and head unit is clean and working properly in the high humidity months. This condensation collection point and drain system on your air conditioner disperses/transfers heat that is taken out of the air conditioner.

So, the result of higher humidity in the air is more condensation. Increased condensation generates more heat. More heat means your air conditioner must work harder to remove this heat.

This will raise your electricity costs—but with a well maintained air conditioner (filters, coils and drain system) you can keep your system operating at its peak efficiency!

There are ways, to decrease your home’s humidity.

  • Make your clothes dryer vent to outside your home
  • Avoid drying clothes inside your house.
  • Put covers on pots and fry pans when you are cooking.
  • Install and use exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathrooms.
  • If you have a home with a crawl space underneath, install a heavy duty orange plastic ground-moisture barrier to prevent ground moisture building up under your house. This will decrease the humidity inside your home.

Humidity adversely affects the efficiency of your air conditioner, so be sure and take measures to reduce home humidity and to keep your filters, coils and drain systems clean and operating correctly.

If you are unsure if your air conditioner is working properly and haven’t had it serviced for some time–book a hassle free service today. It could also save you quite a bit of money over the long-term!

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