As temperatures rise so does the complaint that it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity. A variation of this holds true inside the home, and that’s why comfort during Carolina summers is about more than keeping your cool. Indoor humidity—the amount of water vapor in the air—affects not only how comfortable you feel but also impacts air quality which, in turn, can impact your health.
Not too much – Ideally, indoor air should measure between 30 and 50 percent relative humidity, according to the EPA, and should never exceed 60 percent. That’s because high humidity means excessive moisture, leading to mold and other microorganisms as well as structural damage. Signs of high humidity include mold growth in closets, on ceilings, and behind wallpaper; foggy or damp windows, musty odors and rotting wood. Health concerns include itching, sneezing and coughing as common allergens—think mold and dust mites—thrive in high humidity.
But not too little either – humidity reading should not be too little, either. Low humidity, generally an issue only in winter, presents its own set of problems. Signs of low humidity include static electricity, dry and/ or irritated skin, dry sinuses and increased incidences of flu.
Common cold. Quite often, high humidity is caused by over-sized air conditioners; a too-big system runs short cycles, lowering the temperature quickly without running long enough to pull moisture out of the air. Another common cause is improperly sealed duct work with leaks that decrease your system’s dehumidifying capacity.
Simple fix. Sometimes the solution is as simple as installing a dehumidifier (or humidifier during the winter). Portable units are available but, for increased e f f e c t i v e n e s s , consider a whole house dehumidifier. Such a device improves air quality AND reduces electric bills by allowing you to raise the thermostat a few degrees without sacrificing comfort.
More questions about humidity and comfort?
Contact our home comfort specialists for answers. Carolina Heating Service specializes in indoor weather solutions and not just heating and air conditioning.
Call at 864.232.5684. It’s about more than keeping your cool!