Top Reasons Your Air Conditioner Is Not Removing Humidity

image of high humidity levels depicting why air conditioner not removing humidity

Air conditioners make spaces feel colder in two ways. One is by lowering the temperature in the room. Another is by reducing indoor humidity. Most people are only familiar with the first, yet the second is just as important for comfort. If humidity is high, then people will feel hot and sticky even if the temperature has fallen. A conditioners work on this silently in the background. If the air conditioner not removing humidity, then something is wrong. You can do a quick check of the basics before calling HVAC technicians.

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Air Conditioners & Humidity Control

In this article, we discuss some of the reasons an air conditioner may not be properly removing humidity from your home.

How Air Conditioner Humidity Reduction Works

Air conditioners are designed to pull in the hot, humid indoor air. This is forced to pass through the cold evaporator coils. These coils absorb heat, such that the air comes out colder. Moisture in the air also condenses upon contact with the cold coils, so the air becomes less humid after exiting the air conditioner. The water beads that formed on the coils drip down to a drain pan and flow outside through a condensate drain line. If anything interferes with this process, then the air conditioning unit may not be able to reduce humidity effectively. The temperature may have dropped, but you won’t feel comfortable.

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Reasons Why Your Air Conditioner Is Not Removing Humidity

High humidity may not lead to an emergency, but it is still a cause for concern. It can gradually damage furniture, wood floors, ceilings, walls, book pages, and artworks. Indoor plants may rot and decay rapidly. Mold and mildew will thrive around the house, creating unsightly spots and spreading harmful spores. It creates an environment for mold and mildew, affecting indoor air quality. If you don’t do anything about it, then the house will turn into an unhealthy and uncomfortable environment. Act as quickly as you can. Below are some of the possible causes of humidity failure in air conditioners:

1. Thermostat Fan Setting

image of homeowner adjusting programmable thermostat for air conditioner

Let’s start with something that is easy to correct. Check the settings of the thermostat fan. If it is set to ON, then the fan is always running. This prevents the cooling system from reducing humidity because the fan triggers the evaporation of the water on the coils. Instead of flowing down to the drain pan and condensate lines, the moisture simply goes back into the home. Set the fan to AUTO so that it runs only during the cooling cycle and stops after that. It gives the water time to exit the system properly.

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2. Dirty Evaporator Coils

We have seen just how important the evaporator coils are in the whole process. The water vapor in the air turns into liquid water when exposed to the cold coils. However, dirt can interfere with this condensation. If the coils are covered with a thick layer of dirt, then they will effectively be insulated. They won’t have as much effect on their surroundings as they should. The air conditioner will also fail to lower the indoor temperature if this happens. You can avoid this through regular air conditioner maintenance. Ask HVAC technicians to visit once or twice a year to clean the coils and the rest of the cooling system for top performance.

3. Air Conditioner Refrigerant Leak

air conditioner manometers for measuring ac refrigerant

Air conditioner refrigerant flows inside the coils. This substance is responsible for absorbing indoor heat and expelling it outdoors. There needs to be enough of it in the system to get the job done. If leaks develop along its path, then the amount of refrigerant flowing will drop until the cooling system can no longer perform its duties. The AC unit won’t be able to cool the house or remove moisture in the air. The vents will blow warm air and a hissing noise may be audible from the system. You might even see the air conditioner lines or the evaporator coil covered in ice.

4. Faulty HVAC Ductwork

Your air conditioning system uses ductwork to force air into various rooms. Even though they are out of sight, you might want to check their condition as well. Ductwork leaks are common in homes. This could result in a 30% or greater loss of conditioned air. This is extremely inefficient operation, and you will see the effects in your elevated monthly energy bills. You may also notice that some rooms are cool while others are not, providing clues about where the leaks are located. Indoor humidity will go up while air quality will go down. Since some ducts are hard to reach, you may want to get professional assistance in solving this problem.

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5. Oversized Cooling System

Bigger cooling systems don’t necessarily work better than smaller ones. You need to have a unit that matches the requirements of the home. If you install an oversized air conditioner, then the house will cool down too quickly. It may provide your desired temperature, but the cycle won’t run for enough time to lower indoor humidity. Besides, the air conditioner is likely to turn on again in similar short bursts that are detrimental to system components. Avoid air conditioner short-cycling by installing an appropriately sized cooling system. Ask a professional HVAC contractor for assistance.



Humidity is as important as temperature when it comes to home comfort. Air conditioners are designed to tackle both, but problems like incorrect settings, dirty coils, leaky ducts, low refrigerant, and oversized systems can get in the way. Homes can suffer damage and people might get sick if high humidity persists. Consult HVAC professionals for advanced solutions. They will get the system back to normal as soon as possible so that you and your family can enjoy living in a more comfortable environment.

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McAllister EnergyMcAllister Energy offers superior heating and cooling services in Camden County, New Jersey. We hire the best-certified technicians who can provide you with excellent HVAC tune-ups, repairs, installations, and replacements. Each of our techs has the knowledge and experience to service your HVAC system correctly.

McAllister Energy guarantees the most competitive heating and cooling service costs in the area. Our maintenance services can improve your comfort, increase your energy efficiency while reducing your home heating and cooling costs. If you happen to need an HVAC repair or replacement system, we can recommend the best one for your home while staying within your budget. We back all of our work with a guarantee to ensure your satisfaction. To schedule a service appointment, give McAllister Energy a call today. We offer free, in-home estimates.

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