Most Floridians are far too familiar with the term humidity. Humidity is what causes your mirror to build moisture when showering. Humidity can be the cause of mold building up in certain areas of your home. Humidity is also what causes us to feel like we are walking around in a sauna. However, did you know that humidity inside your home is what causes it to feel warmer, but has nothing to do with temperature? High levels of humidity in your home can have an effect on your body and comfort levels, your home, and your energy costs.
More About Humidity
Humidity is the amount of water vapor that is in the air. Usually, relative humidity is represented as a percentage. The most common and ideal comfort range for humidity levels is between 30-50%. For an example—100% humidity would mean that the air holds all of the water vapor it possibly can, while 0% would mean the absence of moisture in the air.
To learn more about how to keep your home comfortable, visit Gator Air and Energy.
How Humidity Affects You
Humidity can cause us to feel a lot warmer than we really are—which causes us to sweat. However, with higher humidity levels, our body has a harder time evaporating the sweat. The result of this is why many times you may wake up sweating in the middle of a hot summer night. More seriously, this can lead to things like:
- Muscle cramps
- Heat exhaustion
- Heat stroke
There are other side effects of humidity in the winter. Every breath you exhale puts a little bit of moisture back into the air. However, taking showers, cooking, and plants all add humidity to the air. If it is cold outside, humidity can build up on the windows and other surfaces that can be a recipe for winter moisture problems.
Though we don’t have to deal with it much, you can have low humidity as well. Many Floridians experience low humidity more in the winter and as a results we can see some negative side effects that include:
- Dry skin
- Irritated sinuses and throat
- Itchy eyes
- Drying of respiratory tract
How Humidity Affects Your Home
Your health comes first, but humidity can also have negative effects on your home as well. High levels of humidity can cause a vast array of issues on your home including:
- Musty odor
- Moist, clammy air
- Mold growth
- Warped wood floors
- Condensation build-up
- Condensation staining
- Peeling wallpaper/blistering paint
Good quality and efficient air conditioners can help control the humidity in your home. Your air conditioner passes warm, humid air through a cold evaporator coil. While this process is happening, water vapor builds up on the coil, and water collects in a drainage pan. Your air conditioner dehumidifies the air while it cools your home. This is why we cannot stress enough the importance of having a newer, or well-maintained HVAC system for your home.
How Humidity Affects Your Pockets
Humidity not only can have negative side effects on your body and your home, it can affect your energy costs as well. So what does humidity have to do with energy savings?
Homeowners spend a large portion of their energy costs cooling and heating their home. Being comfortable is one of the most important things to a high quality of life. The humidity of the air inside of your home determines how much heat the air holds inside of your home.
On a hot summer day, if the humidity inside the home increases, the air will hold more heat and the air conditioner will have to run longer to offset humidity and temperature. It is the opposite effect, but same results on cold winter days. If the humidity inside your home gets too low, the air will hold less heat inside your home. Your heating system will work harder to maintain comfortable temperatures in your home. The result of your heating and air conditioner working harder and longer? Higher energy costs.
If your air conditioner or heating system isn’t enough to maintain comfortable humidity levels, there are also dehumidifiers. This simple appliance will pull moisture from their air before it goes into your home. They can be paired with your air conditioner so that you can adjust temperature and humidity levels at once.
For All of Your HVAC Needs, Call Gator Air and Energy!
Humidity is an environmental factor that Floridians deal with on a daily basis. Gator Air and Energy is here to make sure that you can live your life in comfort year-round. Make sure to give us a call so we can monitor your systems to make sure they can hold up to our hot summers and cold winters. Making sure that your HVAC system is in working order or isn’t too outdated is essential to combating the Florida humidity.