No matter where you live, the humidity levels in your home can affect your health and comfort. In the summer, humidity can make people feel lethargic, irritable, and unwell—not to mention that humidity plays a factor in mold growth.
While many people think of humidity as hot, sticky outdoor air (hello, Tampa!) it is important to consider the humidity inside your home too!
Our HVAC professionals discuss the ideal indoor humidity level for your Tampa Bay home to keep your family comfortable and protected from toxic mold.
What Are Normal Humidity Levels?
Humidity is a measurement of the level of moisture vapor that is suspended in the air. Although you cannot see it, you can certainly feel it! The ideal relative humidity for health and comfort is between 30-50% humidity which means that the air holds between 30-50% of the maximum amount of moisture it can contain.
There are several factors that contribute to humidity levels in a home such as the design, construction materials, insulation, and what kind of AC system you have. Of course, the surrounding climate and temperature also directly affect humidity levels. In Florida, the average humidity is going to be higher than in a home located in New England.
In a hot climate, a home can be more humid because of an oversized air conditioning unit. When an AC unit’s capacity is too large for a home, it will cool too quickly in short cycles. This allows humidity to take hold since the AC is constantly turning on and off.
Why? Well, the evaporator coil inside the AC acts as a dehumidifier by pulling moisture from the air. For it to work effectively, it needs to have enough time to pull moisture from the air—something that won’t happen if the AC is cycling on and off in short cycles.
The Hazards of Humidity
Too much humidity can harm your comfort, health, and your possessions. When the air is too humid, your body is not able to regulate its internal temperature through the process of evaporation. If you are in a humid room that is the same temperature as a room that has less humidity, the humid room will feel warmer.
Too much humidity does not just make you uncomfortable inside your home, but it can also make you sick. High moisture levels in your home encourage the growth of fungus, toxic mold, and dust mites. It can result in costly damage to your home and your possessions.
Further, too much humidity can cause your furniture to swell, rot, and warp over time.
Does Your Home Have Poor Humidity?
Having the right level of moisture in your home is critical to creating a healthy and comfortable environment for you and your family. Here are some signs that your home’s humidity level could be an issue:
You are not sleeping well. If you are tossing and turning, consider the humidity levels in your home. Too much or even too little humidity can interrupt your slumber.
You cannot stop sweating inside your house. If you feel like you are constantly sticky and covered in sweat, think about checking the humidity levels in your home.
You have difficulty breathing. High humidity levels can lead to symptoms of asthma, such as chest tightness and wheezing. Humidity levels that are too low can lead to numerous respiratory problems.
Maintaining Healthy Humidity Levels
Follow these tips to maintain humidity levels in your home:
- Maintain your air conditioner. Neglected maintenance and service can reduce the efficiency of the humidity extraction of your AC unit and make it difficult to maintain proper ranges of humidity during the summer months.
- Utilize exhaust fans. Kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms naturally accumulate humidity, so utilize exhaust fans that vent the humid air directly out of your house.
- Keep air moving with ceiling or floor fans. Circulating air keeps the air drier and reduces the chance of condensation on surfaces that can spawn mold.
Escape from Humid Air
When the hot summer days in Tampa Bay bring in waves of sweltering heat, do not languish away in hot humid air! Call the pros at Super Heat & Air for air conditioner repair or maintenance, and duct cleaning to ensure the air that your family is breathing is clean and in the proper humidity range.
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