Humidity Comfort Level through the seasons: Different humidity same HVAC
Summers often feel sticky or muggy in the city. Hot weather often brings along an unwanted friend – high humidity levels. As the summer months approach, we start feeling the spite of high water saturation levels in the air which is the reason behind the heaviness of the air. During the summer months you will want to find ways of controlling the Humidity Comfort Level in your home. Our hair becomes frizzy, and our clothes begin to stick. While many of us adjust to this stickiness, the high levels of sweat often make it difficult for many. Losing water and electrolytes through sweat reduces vitality and compromises productivity levels. That is one of the main reasons why you might feel tired even when working indoors in the summer months.
What is humidity?
Humidity is the one-word representation of the water vapor in the air. During all seasons, the levels of water vapor inside your home can be significantly different from the level outside. In fact, the humidity comfort levels in a home without central air conditioning can vary from one room to another. For example – humidity in the basement can be higher than the humidity level in your bedroom. Relative humidity is significant for creating comfortable and healthy living conditions indoors. In fact, the correct moisture and an efficient HVAC system can reduce the energy cost of a home. Give us a call anytime on 770-504-5881 to find out how you can trim down your energy bills around the year.
What should the humidity level be in my home?
The ideal relative humidity according to the EPA for health and comfort is about 40–50%. In the winter months, it may have to be lower than 40% RH to avoid condensation on the windows. What is the ideal humidity comfort level for Atlanta residents and the surrounding areas like Alpharetta, Canton, Roswell, Peachtree City and Lawrenceville? According to data the same range of 40-50% is ideal even for these suburban areas of Atlanta.
What problems can higher levels of humidity cause?
In the summer months, the southern winds carry tropical moisture into the central part of the US. The warmer air currents contain more moisture than the crisp winter air that travels from the north. Summer months are tough for homeowners, as they try to control the indoor water vapor levels to create a comfortable indoor environment with humidity comfort level. The high discomfort levels of humidity causes do not depend upon the age of the construction. For older buildings, the doors and windows have narrow cracks that let the draft in and reduce the moisture levels below comfortable limits. For the newer buildings, the envelope is usually so tight that it traps the moisture inside the house.
Humidity levels higher than 50% inside a home can cause evident discomfort among the occupants. Children, elderly and pets usually suffer the most from the high levels of water vapor in the air. Nonetheless, the discomfort is only the beginning of all problems humidity can cause. The undue rise in the water vapor content can give rise to respiratory disorders, runny noses, and dehydration. It poses a severe threat of molds and other fungal infections. Moist air is perfect for the growth of bacteria, and this usually leads to skin problems, eye irritations, and diseases of the respiratory tract. Allergies are common in high humidity.
High level of water vapor can be a menace to your woodwork, wallpaper, and ceilings. You will notice increasing occurrences of mildew and mold on your bathroom curtains. Corners of ceilings can suffer discoloration noticeably. It can increase the rate of rotting in old constructions and accelerate degradation of antique furniture. Mattresses often lose their longevity in high levels of moisture. Most importantly, the indoor environment creates constant discomfort that interferes with restorative sleep. People often complain of their furniture, bed, and walls “sweating” due to excessive heat and humidity in the summer months.
What are the effects of low humidity?
Low humidity levels create different problems including overly dry nostrils, rhinitis, and irritated skin. Think of the weather conditions on the deserts of northern America. The humidity levels can be as low as 10% to 20%. It can irritate the eyes, sinuses, and throat. It can dry out the mucous membrane on the respiratory tract. Besides the more severe effects, incredibly low water vapor in the air can dry out lips and the area around the eyelids. It can lead to chapping and itching. Body moisture evaporates readily, and that can cause discomfort at “normal” internal temperatures.
In addition to health problems, it challenges the integrity of your hardwood floors and furniture. You will notice the cracks on your floor increasing and the floorboards warping with decreasing humidity levels. The dry air sucks moisture out of the inanimate objects inside your home as well. Grand pianos take the maximum hit during unwarranted drops in humidity levels.
Homes often face a different problem during the winters, when the air is devoid of moisture. Dry air does not hold as much heat as humid air. It is due to the high specific temperature of the water that can store heat for much longer than any other material. The absence of water vapor in the air can make areas in your home to feel colder than the actual thermostat setting. As a result, running the furnace at maximum capacity may not have the desired effect at all. It causes the heat pumps to use up more energy than necessary. At normal humidity levels, the indoor temperatures between 71 and 77 degrees usually provide a comfortable indoor setting for urban homes. In case, your home feels colder than it should be around these temperature settings, you may need to get your HVAC system checked by an expert.
How does HVAC help in maintaining the humidity indoors?
Air conditioning systems can take care of more than the temperature. Central air conditioning systems often give people the way of control their indoor humidity and humidity comfort level. HVAC systems from Anytime HVAC offer optimum water vapor control levels inside. Thanks to our latest tech and gadgets, keeping moisture in check is more straightforward than before. The optimum humidity level depends upon personal preference as well. The ideal range is between 44% and 55% in most homes of the US.
A properly functioning air conditioner can take complete care of the indoor environment. It can remove excess heat and humidity from a room or your home. An HVAC system can give you control over your home you have always desired. Without the proper maintenance of your Heating Vent and Air Conditioning unit, you will find it almost impossible to achieve comfortable indoor conditions irrespective of your temperature settings. An increase in humidity can affect the real feel of any temperature setting.
Higher humidity causes the air conditioning systems to work harder to achieve a comfortable temperature. That is one of the reasons keeping your home fresh in the summer takes more time and effort. However, the delay in cooling or insufficient cooling can also be a result of an inefficient system or a wrong-sized system. An inefficient HVAC system can leave your home feeling warmer due to the extra moisture that it cannot remove effectively. That can lead to more exertion on the part of the HVAC and deplete its lifespan. It adds to the energy bills as well.
Does your home need a new HVAC unit?
That is one of the primary reasons you should always consult an expert while installing a central air conditioning system. Having an expert take a look at your existing heating, and cooling system will help you address a few persisting issues, including –
- The moistness of air inside your home in spite of a running air conditioning system.
- The damp smell that does not leave your bathroom, kitchen, garage or basement.
- Windows becoming foggy from time to time and mirror fogging up on their own.
These are all indicators of high humidity levels. If you see these signs inside your home from time to time, give our experts a call to find out the reason(s) why and how to improve humidity comfort level.
How to regulate water vapor levels inside your home during summer months?
Controlling high humidity levels
Higher relative humidity can take a toll on your air conditioning and skyrocket your energy bill in the summer months. Getting a new HVAC system is a solution to this problem, only if your old HVAC is entirely out of shape. After a thorough professional checkup, if you find your existing heating and vent system in working condition, you may need to add a dehumidifier to increase its efficiency. Installing a dehumidifier directly on your HVAC system often works wonders for smaller homes.
A separate manual dehumidifier can also work for your existing indoor air conditioning system. Talking to professionals from Anytime HVAC will give you an idea about the type of dehumidifier ideal for your home and your existing HVAC. Installing Manual dehumidifiers can be easier on your pockets, but you need to learn about the indicator settings to keep your HVAC shipshape. Additionally, the correct dehumidifier setting will keep excessive sweating, smelly mattresses, damp walls and moldy ceilings away from your household for a long time.
There are a few habits you can develop to help with the humidity levels inside and ultimately your humidity comfort level. Always vent the areas where moisture accumulates (the bathroom, kitchen, and basement). Adding carpets to your living area and your bedroom can reduce the humidity to a comfortable level over time.
Controlling Humidity Comfort Level
Problems due to lower humidity levels are very different from those due to higher humidity. If the air inside your home feels excessively dry, you need to add more water vapor to it artificially. That is one of the reasons why keeping houseplants often create a more comfortable ambiance inside office lobbies and smaller homes. A very popular hack is leaving the shower door open after taking a warm bath. It infuses the air in the adjoining rooms with extra moisture from the vapors in the bath.
Adding moisture to the air is possible by using a humidifier. Just like a dehumidifier, you can install a humidifier with your HVAC system to improve its output. A stand-alone humidifier can quickly help you control the humidity, but these units usually have localized results. You may require several units across your home for ensuring perfect levels of water vapor for the comfortable setting. Increasing the concentration of water vapor inside will help you save more on your energy bills, by holding the heat for long hours.
You need to ensure that the relative-humidity levels during the dry winter months do not fall below 40%. However, the level of water in the air depends a lot on personal preference. For example – if you have a case of the sniffles, you may want to keep the indoor humidity at 50%-55%. It will keep the indoors warmer and it will also reduce the dry irritation of your nostrils.
What is the effect of increasing humidity on your outdoor equipment?
Heat and humidity can have disastrous effects on your outdoor HVAC units. Condenser units are the most common among all outdoor HVAC parts. Due to higher humidity and heat levels, they might have to work harder over time and take more damage. Exposing them to a constant flow of dust, dirt, and debris can also result in wear and tear.
You can either take a DIY approach to maintain clean outdoor equipment or contact a professional cleaning session.
Cleaning the unit can have two apparent advantages –
- The process can remove the debris and dirt that is currently impeding the performance of the unit. The cleaning process increases efficiency and lowers the utility bills.
- The washing can expose more surface area of the condenser coil to the cool air. It gives the coil a more extended period for releasing the heat from the indoor air.
- Regular cleaning of the unit on the outside is mandatory for enjoying a comfortable heat and humidity level inside.
What is the take-home message?
Taking care of your outdoor unit can increase the humidity comfort level inside, which is especially necessary for the summer months when the air can feel mucky, and the indoors can feel stickier than usual. Purging excess humidity from your environment is as important as keeping a healthy humidity level during the dry winters. Therefore, do not forget to clean the heating vents and your furnace before fall hits. Cleaning an HVAC system can be a tenacious task. Ask for professional help from Anytime Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing to ensure that you get the desired level of comfort and hygiene that your home deserves.