Humidity Impacts Indoor Comfort

Why Home Humidity Matters

March 12, 2018

If the humidity in your home in The Villages, Florida, is too high or low, your family could feel uncomfortable and pay higher utility bills. Fortunately, it’s easy to control the moisture levels with a dehumidifier in spring and summer, when the outdoor air is more humid. You may also need a humidifier in fall and winter. The air is naturally drier then, and running your heater makes the situation worse. Controlling home humidity will help keep you comfortable, improve your indoor air quality and save energy.

Better Comfort

When air contains all the water vapor it can hold at a certain temperature, its relative humidity is 100 percent. When the humidity is high, sweat doesn’t evaporate from your body as quickly. As a result, you’ll have trouble getting rid of excess body heat.

Humid air can also hold more heat than dry air. Infants and elderly people are especially vulnerable to serious problems stemming from high heat, including heatstroke. Early symptoms include thirst, fatigue, muscle cramps, dizziness, confusion, and fainting.

When humidity is low, people suffer from dry skin, nosebleeds, dry eyes, sore throats and annoying static electricity. Respiratory problems like the flu or colds are also more likely. If your home’s air is too dry, you’ll feel too cold.

If it’s too humid, you’ll feel hot and sweaty. Use a humidity monitor, also called a hygrometer, to watch for signs of discomfort that could mean your humidity is too high or low.

Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

Microbial growth grows quickly in high humidity. They can cause an unpleasant musty smell and aggravate asthma and allergy symptoms for many people. Too much moisture also creates an ideal environment for pests like roaches and silverfish. These organisms can live in your ductwork, making it easy for allergens like feces to spread through your home.

Dust mites also thrive when the humidity is high. They’re smaller than grains of sand, and they eat dead skin cells in dust. They live in beds, curtains, carpets and furniture, and they often cause itchy skin and allergies.

For the best indoor air quality, you should keep the humidity between 40 and 60 percent. Keeping the humidity at a comfortable level keeps away viruses, bacteria and other contaminants that reduce your home’s indoor air quality. Also, change your HVAC system’s air filter once per month and schedule an expert to check your system at least once per year.

Save Energy

Heating and cooling are some of the largest expenses in most households. When the air is dry in winter, your heater will have to work harder to maintain the same temperature. You might have to turn up your thermostat to keep everyone in your home comfortable.

In spring and summer, you’ll have to use your air conditioner more if the humidity is high. Controlling the humidity in your home saves energy and money. Ensure all the insulation in your home is in good condition. Install exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathrooms to get rid of excess moisture.

Protect Your Home

Microbial growth caused by high humidity can grow behind wallpaper, in insulation, on walls and in many other places. Replacing furniture and materials damaged by microbial growth can cost thousands of dollars.

High humidity can also lead to rotting or swelling in wood floors and furniture. If the humidity is too low, the paint on walls will start to peel and cracks will form in wooden floors. Regulating your home’s humidity can help it retain its value and keep you from having to worry about expensive repairs.

Sun Kool Air Conditioning is a Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer with more than 25 years of heating and cooling experience. We can help you control home humidity and increase your indoor air quality. Call us anytime at (352) 330-1067 for excellent service.

Image provided by Shutterstock

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