It’s common to notice that the humidity indoors during the summertime is higher than other times of the year. Depending on how high the humidity level is, your home could feel uncomfortably stuffy. The amount of water vapor that’s present in the air is the relative humidity, and it is expressed as a percentage of the amount of moisture that’s in the air. The ideal indoor humidity during summer is recommended to be between 30 and 50 percent.
During the summer the warmer air retains more moisture than it does during cooler seasons. That’s the reason the humidity level in the air during the summer is higher. Humidity can cause problems with your health and your home. That’s why it’s important to manage the humidity in your home. Let’s look at the reasons it’s important to have the right humidity levels in your home and to know what actions you can take when it is too high.
The Importance of Proper Indoor Humidity Levels
Most people will feel when the humidity level is high because it makes them uncomfortable. Your body will start to sweat when it feels too hot; it will try to naturally cool off by sweating. But humidity actually interferes with this cooling process. High humidity prevents your sweat from evaporating easily. This leads your body to sweat more. If you aren’t drinking a lot of water, you can become dehydrated.
Excessive sweating can also cause skin conditions. Some of these issues include excessive bacteria growth on the skin, heat rash, and itchiness. It may even make it more difficult for you to sleep due to the discomfort that it causes.
When you have high levels of humidity in your home, other problems can result as well. Mold and bacteria are encouraged to grow in these types of conditions. Various respiratory ailments and other health issues can be caused by mold spores. Dust mites also find high humidity conditions to be ideal for breeding. Allergies and asthma can be more severe in these conditions.
Your home can also be damaged by the effects of high humidity. The damage can be expensive to fix. Damage that can be caused by an excessively humid environment to your home include:
- Paint and wallpaper peeling
- Expansion of wood that can cause your doors and windows to stick
- Unpleasant odors caused by bacteria growth
- Compromises to the structural integrity of your home, caused by mold growth
- Damage to furniture
The Ideal Indoor Humidity In Summer
The EPA recommends that you keep the humidity in your home low, below 60 percent. This will help keep mold from forming by keeping the moisture in your home under control. You can see signs of high humidity in your home if you notice there’s moisture or condensation that is forming around windows, pipes, or walls. You should react quickly to identify and fix the source of the moisture and dry the wet surface immediately.
If you want to measure the relative humidity in your home, you can purchase a hygrometer. The way these instruments work varies by the type that you purchase. A digital hygrometer tends to provide the most accurate reading, but they are also the most expensive. Other alternatives include a weather station or an app that can be installed on an Apple iOS or Android device.
How to Lower Your Home’s Humidity Levels
It can be a balancing act to get the humidity in your home at the right level. But it is worth the effort considering all the issues that can happen if it gets too high. Do you need to lower the humidity in your home? Try out some of the following tips about how you can lower the humidity in your home.
Open a Few Windows
One of the most cost-effective ways to dehumidify your home is to let air circulate inside by opening some windows. On a day that is very humid, you can also use a ceiling or standalone fan to help push out the stale air. One thing to remember is that certain appliances will increase the level of humidity in your home. This is the case with clothes dryers, for instance. If possible, dry your clothes outside or keep an open window when the dryer is being used.
The drawback of using this method is that during the summer the humidity is usually higher or the same as it is inside. The temperature is also higher, so your home will be warmer, which will cause discomfort.
Take Shorter and Colder Showers
Taking long, hot showers actually does quite a bit more than you would think to increase the level of humidity in your home. The steam that is produced by the hot water will stick around for longer, and it increases the moisture build-up. To minimize this, try to keep your showers to about ten minutes. Use a cooler temperature than what you normally use too. Taking cold showers actually has many health benefits.
Use the bathroom fan and keep it on for longer than you in there to help get air circulating. If there is a window in your bathroom, you can also try cracking it open. Another tip that can help lower the humidity during showers is using a low flow showerhead.
Get a Dehumidifier
If you are finding it difficult to control the humidity in your home, it might be best to get a dehumidifier. This is particularly useful in homes that are older and not as well ventilated. They work well in areas such as basements that don’t get a lot of sunlight and might be damp.
Speak with Presidential Heat and Air Today
Do you need help from an expert on maintaining the ideal indoor humidity level in the summer? Presidential Heating Air has your back. Call us today to schedule your free consultation.