Regardless of the climate where you live, humidity levels in the air can have a massive impact on your home comfort. Additionally, the relative humidity can affect the proper function of your HVAC equipment. It should be a priority for every homeowner to manage indoor humidity.
What is Relative Humidity?
Relative humidity is a measure of the amount of water vapor in the air. It is expressed as a percentage of saturation for the same temperature. As the temperature goes down or up, the water holding capacity of air changes.
The right levels of moisture in your home environment will ensure that your HVAC system works efficiently. In the summer, the humidity should be between 30 and 45 percent on average. In winter, it should be lower than 40% to avoid window condensation. If the relative humidity is not properly maintained, it is likely to feel uncomfortable inside your home, and you may have an increased susceptibility to chemical reactions or respiratory conditions.
Common Signs of Poor Indoor Humidity
There are a number of common signs that your indoor humidity is not at the correct level. This can include chipped paint, damaged wooden floors and furniture, dry, itchy skin, and static electricity. Additionally, low humidity can encourage germs and viruses to thrive, so you may find that you’re more susceptible to coughs and colds. High humidity can also encourage mold growth and wet insulation. This can create unpleasant mildew or musty smells in various areas of your home. If mold does develop, it can also have some unpleasant health effects, particularly if there are members of your family with pre-existing respiratory conditions such as asthma. So, if you or a member of your family is feeling unwell, it may be due to your humidity levels.
The Benefits of Proper Humidity Levels
Proper humidity levels can provide some great health and household benefits. You may find that your sinuses are clearer, so you’re less likely to snore or have breathing difficulties. Since there are less airborne viruses in the air, it is also likely that you will be able to bounce back more quickly from infections. Proper humidity can have a massive impact on the environment inside your home and your quality of life.
Controlling Your Humidity Levels
One of the easiest ways to control your humidity levels is to integrate a dehumidifier or humidifier into your HVAC system. Air conditioners tend to reduce humidity, but if your humidity level is excessively high, the system may be unable to provide noticeable improvements. Integrating a dehumidifier into the system can be a far more energy efficient way to lower the humidity level. If your humidity levels are too low, a humidifier installed in your HVAC system can add moisture to the air to reach the desired levels. Since this can be a rather delicate balance, it is a good idea to consult an HVAC professional for further help. An experienced technician can assess your humidity levels and recommend additions to your system to ensure that the relative humidity is at optimum levels regardless of the time of year and weather conditions.