We’ve all been there during those final weeks of summer.
The early bliss associated with warmer weather is gone, and now you’re stuck trying to dodge the sweat and sluggishness that comes with high levels of humidity. Fortunately, there’s one easy way to find reprieve – crank up the A/C and spend your day inside reading, watching a movie, or finally checking things off your to-do list!
…but what if your indoor humidity isn’t ideal, either? Ideally, indoor humidity levels should be between 30% and 50%, but this isn’t the case for every household. Fortunately, that’s where we can help!
If you live in or near Nashville, reach out to Airbusters Heating & Cooling Service today for the answers you’re seeking.
What is Humidity?
So, let’s start with the basics. What exactly is humidity? Well, it’s essentially the amount of water vapor that is currently in your air. It’s natural and it forms from the evaporation of larger bodies of water like lakes and oceans.
Now, there are two types of humidity we want to discuss, both of which help grasp how it relates to your living situation – absolute and relative.
Absolute humidity is the actual amount (or the mass) of water vapor in the air. No matter the temperature this will stay the same.
Relative humidity is how much moisture is in the air compared to how much could be in the air. Look at it this way: Let’s say there are 20 seats in a room, but only 10 of them have people sitting in them. The capacity is at 50%, right?
Now, pretend those seats represent the highest possible humidity levels for that space and the people in them are water droplets – you would have 50% humidity in that space.
Make a bit more sense?
Basically, when you see that the humidity in your home is at, say, 35%, it means that the air is 35% as moist as it could potentially be. It’s when these levels get too high or too low that your home and health face some threats.
Dangers of Extreme Humidity Levels
Now, most know that when humidity is high it can be really uncomfortable and even inconvenient. But did you know it can have serious effects on your health and the structural soundness of your home as well? Here are some of the issues brought about when humidity is higher than it should be:
- The growth of mold, mildew, and fungus. Humidity lends an ideal environment for bacteria and mold to grow and spread. If these things are present in your home, it can affect the health of everyone, especially those who already have asthma, allergies, or other respiratory issues. Mold is also extremely damaging to your home’s structure as well as hard and expensive to remove.
- Reduced air quality. Poor humidity also affects the air quality of the home, which again will worsen symptoms for those already prone to sickness (and even those who aren’t).
- Trouble sleeping and sluggishness. If you’ve been stuck in humid conditions for a while, then you know they can make you move slower. But did you know it can affect sleeping patterns, too (which then makes you more sluggish)? Not good for productivity or morale.
- Excess moisture in your home. High humidity can produce condensation on your windows and walls, which can then spread and cause damage to your woodwork, furniture, and fixtures. Wood will rot, you’ll attract pests, and you may even notice your furniture swelling and warping.
- The presence of dust mites. Dust mites can’t survive without humidity in the air, so the higher the humidity, the more they thrive. Dust mites are microscopic, and, like mold, they can create a lot of health problems for those in the home. If you’re looking to minimize them and the impact they can have, controlling humidity levels is key!
Needless to say, keeping high humidity levels in check is a must. That said, levels that are lower than normal don’t leave you in the best position either. Here are some things you might experience if if your home is too dry:
- Itchy skin and eczema: If your skin is feeling dry and itchy, low humidity could be the cause. And if you’re already prone to eczema, it could worsen quite a bit! Dry air takes moisture away from your skin in an attempt to keep humidity levels more in check, which can be hard on your body over time.
- Increased risk of getting sick. Low humidity also makes people much more vulnerable to getting a cold, the flu, or any other infection. It dries out the mucous membranes in your body, which is what eventually causes sore throats, dry lips, and the like. And dry air is known to help spread flu viruses, too.
- Damage to wood furniture and hardwood floors. When your air is lacking moisture, your wood floors and furniture become an ideal source to draw from. This causes cracking, shrinking door frames, and warping/bending. And if you have wood floors, they may creak more and even start separating.
- Inability to concentrate. Similar to how high humidity causes sluggishness, low humidity can affect your ability to focus and perform certain tasks. Even a small change can make a difference!
Talk With Us About Your Options
Now, when it comes to keeping humidity levels more balanced, humidifiers and dehumidifiers play an integral role. When we crank up the A/C on those especially hot days, for example, the absolute humidity will be lower than our relative humidity, which means condensation is more likely to form. (The opposite of this is true in the winter, which is why things tend to dry out more.)
Without a proper working dehumidifier in place during the summer months, your walls would literally be wet, triggering water damage, mold growth, and other forms of deterioration.
We can help! Call today to learn more and speak with our experts about your needs. Airbusters has got your back!