Finishing Your Basement

2 Issues You Can Fix To Keep Your House Cooler In The Summer

If your house doesn't feel as cool as it should when your air conditioner runs during the summer, you may have humidity issues or leaky air ducts. Below you'll learn how to diagnose these issues and what air conditioning repair you can do.

High Humidity Levels

As your air conditioner cools your home, it takes some of the moisture out of the air. When the humidity in your house is too high, some of the moisture remains in the air because your air conditioner cannot remove it all.

During the hottest months of the year, the humidity in your home should not be over 55 percent. If you have a higher humidity reading, your air conditioner can't efficiently do its job. Signs you have excess humidity in your house include fogged up windows, damp air and a musty odor in your home.

To test the humidity level in your home, purchase a hygrometer at your local retail or home improvement store. There are various types of hygrometers available including mechanical, electrical and dew point. These types of instruments measure the total amount of water vapor present in the air. A psychrometer determines the level of humidity in your home through the process of evaporation.

To decrease the humidity in your house, place a dehumidifier in a central location to collect the excess moisture in the air. The water accumulates in a tank and when the tank is full, you simply empty the water. When running a dehumidifier, your air conditioner won't have to run as long or as hard to cool down your home.

Leaks In Air Ducts

Air ducts are responsible for transferring the cool air from your air conditioner throughout the rooms in your home. If your ducts have leaks, the cold air escapes outside. Cool air will seep out through the leaks into your attic or crawl space. Leaky ducts can decrease your air conditioner efficiency by up to 30 percent.

Leaks in air ducts are most often found where the panels join together. Find the seepage in your air ducts by holding your hand up to the joints in the ductwork. If the joints have leaks, you'll feel the cold air blowing on your hand.

Purchase mesh tape and water-based mastic sealant at a home improvement store to fix the leaks in your air ducts. Mastic is a flexible sealant, so it won't crack off the bends of your air ducts even after it dries. After purchasing the above products, follow these steps:

  1. Wipe all the dirt and debris off the duct with a damp cleaning cloth. Doing a thorough job with this step is important, because if there is any dirt on the duct, the mastic is unable to form a tight seal around the joint.
  2. Use a paintbrush to spread the mastic all around the joint of the air duct. Coat the joint evenly and thoroughly with the sealant. Press the mastic evenly into the joints while overlapping the substance at least ½ inch on both sides of the joint.
  3. After applying the mastic, wrap mesh tape around the joint as a reinforcement measure.

Since you'll be looking upwards while sealing your air ducts, you should wear protective eye goggles so the sealant doesn't fall into your eyes.

To keep the inside of your home cooler during hot weather, seal any leaks in your air ducts and keep the humidity in your house at a proper level. Don't forget to contact a qualified contractor for regular air conditioning maintenance to ensure that your unit is functioning properly during the hottest months of the year.