How Does Humidity Affect My Comfort, Health, & Indoor Air Quality?

How Does Humidity Affect My Comfort, Health, & Indoor Air Quality?

Have you ever noticed that sometimes you can be comfortable at a certain temperature and other times that same temperature can be slightly uncomfortable or unbearable?  For instance, in the winter time on a particular day 70 degrees Fahrenheit seems to be a comfortable set point.  On another given day you set the thermostat to 70 degrees Fahrenheit and it may seem cold.  The difference in the two variables is the humidity factor, which is often overlooked because most thermostats doesn’t read humidity.  Even the thermostats that read humidity we often don’t understand what it means when it comes down to comfort.

  • How does humidity affect my comfort?

Relative humidity is the ratio of the current humidity to the highest possible absolute humidity.  If the relative humidity is low, the feels like temperature will feel cooler than the actual temperature reading.  If the relative humidity is high, the feels like temperature will be higher than the actual temperature reading.

  • How does humidity levels affect my health and indoor air quality?

The ideal relative humidity in your home for comfort and health should be anywhere between 40-60%.  Anything above 60% will support bacterial growth such as mold and mildew. It will also be uncomfortable.  Anything below 40% will cause nose and throat irritation, chapped lips and skin, chipped paint, peeling wall paper, and cracked furniture.

  • How can I monitor the humidity in my home?

You can start by simply changing your thermostat if your thermostat doesn’t already have a humidity reading.  Some modern-day thermostats not only read the temperature, but also the relative humidity.  By being aware of the humidity and your comfort levels, you can know exactly what you need to do.

  • How can I control the humidity in my home?

Your central air-conditioning unit dehumidifies as it cools your home.  Depending on conditions of rather it being properly sized and maintained will determine how well it dehumidifies. You can use a standalone dehumidifier, or you can get a whole home dehumidifier installed in your central duct work of your heating and air-conditioning equipment.  For the heat cycle, you can purchase a standalone humidifier or a whole home humidifier that can be installed out of the way and no maintenance required on your part.

 

Conclusion:

Though it is often overlooked, humidity plays a large roll in your home’s comfort, health, and indoor air quality.  It will be a great investment, for the efficiency of your unit.  It will allow you to run your heating & air-conditioning unit much higher in the summer and much lower in the winter without compromising comfort.  Give us a call or email us and we will be glad to come out and give you a free inspection and estimate.