Heat and Humidity: Find the Right Balance

Heat and Humidity: Find the Right BalanceGetting the right balance of humidity in the home can be a challenge. Often, in the summer, it seems as if conditions are too moist, while in the winter, the indoor air quality may be too dry. Read on to learn how to maintain the right balance in your home, all year long.

How Humid Should Your Home Be?

Experts agree that the most comfortable humidity levels are between 35 and 50-55 percent. In summer, it’s better to be a bit on the lower side, while in the winter, we feel more comfortable with air that’s a bit moister. Here’s why.

Warm air holds more moisture than dry air. That’s why our homes can feel so uncomfortable when humid conditions prevail. As our bodies try to regulate our temperature by releasing sweat on our skin, the moisture in the warm air prevents it from evaporating and we feel hotter than we should. That in turns prompts most people to turn down the air conditioner. When the air is drier, we don’t need the A/C to be on so high.

In winter, the air in the home tends to be drier. But dry air is tough on our skin and mucus membranes. As it dries out our bodies, we’re more susceptible to colds, flu and other respiratory problems, as well as skin irritations. It also wreaks havoc on wooden floors and furnishings.

To measure the air in your home, acquire an inexpensive hygrometer.

Summertime

In the summer, do the following to lower humidity:

  1. Fix leaks in the roof, the basement and the plumbing.
  2. Install exhaust ventilation in the bathroom and kitchen.
  3. Install a dehumidifier. Portable models are available but aren’t nearly as effective as those that work with the HVAC system.

Wintertime

  1. Take longer showers.
  2. Boil water in pots on the stove.
  3. Install a humidifier in the HVAC system. These whole-home humidifiers do a much better job than portable models, which must be refilled and moved from room to room.

Curious about how to find the right balance of humidity? Contact Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing of Grand Traverse County.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about heat and humidity balance and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 231-714-6196.

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