Whether you live along the Gulf Coast or are waiting for the summer monsoons in the Southwest, you're going to have to deal with high humidity at some point. If you're new to that level of moisture in the air, the effects on your air conditioner could make you think something has gone very wrong with the system. Sometimes, the effects really do indicate something has gone wrong, and you need to call a repair company to check out the system. But other effects are normal and merely seem weird.

The Normal: No Repairs Needed

If you have a central system with a condenser unit sitting outside your house, you may see a small puddle by or under that unit when it runs in very humid weather. After all, the unit is removing moisture from soggy, clammy air, and the moisture has to go somewhere. You shouldn't see a flood, nor should you see the puddle if the unit has been off all day. But a small puddle when the unit is on? That's not really a problem.

Also normal is the feeling of high humidity when only the fan is on. Your central AC system has a cooling unit and a fan to help push that cool air out into the room. If you have the fan on all the time, and not just on auto (where it turns on only when the compressor turns on), then when the compressor turns off, you might not realize that the only thing running is the fan. There's usually no noticeable change in noise levels or airflow. But the temperature changes, and in humid weather, the humidity level will rise again when only the fan is on. This is because a compressor that isn't on, is not pulling moisture out of the air.

Also normal is the feeling of a little less cooling when the compressor is on. If it is very humid, the compressor has to spend more of its power on pulling moisture out of the air because the amount is higher than normal. That leaves less power for cooling, and it might feel like your system isn't cooling quite as well as it should.

The Not Normal: Call a Repair Company

As for what's not normal: a lot less cooling. Your air conditioner should still work relatively well even on very hot and humid days. It should still be able to cool about 20 degrees or so and remove a noticeable amount of moisture. If the system doesn't cool well at all, if you see much too much water surrounding the condenser, or if the system can't seem to reduce the humidity when the system is on, then you have a problem and need to call for air conditioning repair.

It is possible that the air conditioner was just temporarily overwhelmed, but it's also possible something has broken. A repair company can handle the problem quickly.