Why is My House so Humid
Did you know Alaska is, over the course of a year, the most humid state in the country? But factor in “relative humidity” and Florida reigns supreme. That probably comes as no surprise to residents of Jacksonville, where relative humidity can be 50% or higher for at least half the year. The area’s extremely high humidity is not only uncomfortable, it can have serious health effects.
If your Jacksonville, Florida area home has a consistently high (above 60%) humidity level, here’s what could be causing it as well as what you can do about it.
Why is My House so Humid?
Several factors can contribute to a home’s humidity level:
- Its design, construction materials, and airtightness
- The surrounding climate and temperature
- An oversized air conditioner that runs in short, ineffective cycles, allowing humidity to take hold
Why is Humidity So Uncomfortable?
We’re told moisture is good for the skin, so why is humidity so unpleasant for most of us? Usually your body keeps you cool through sweat, which evaporates off your skin. But when it’s humid indoors, the air already has a high level of water in it and can’t absorb more. The water on your skin evaporates more slowly and you experience a hot, muggy sensation that leaves you feeling much warmer than if the room had a lower relative humidity.
The High Cost of High Humidity
Besides making you extremely uncomfortable, high indoor humidity can degrade air quality, damage structures and belongings, and make a bigger dent in your wallet.
- Much like a can of soda “sweats” when it’s hot outside, cool surfaces in your home can also build up condensation from high humidity. This promotes mold and mildew growth, which can have negative health effects, particularly for people with respiratory conditions like asthma and allergies.
- Excess moisture damages drywall, wood fixtures and floors.
- Insects, rodents, and dust mites love humidity.
- Because humidity drives the “feels like” temperature, people tend to run the air conditioning more often, which results in higher energy costs.
What’s the ideal humidity level for your home? There’s no one answer as ideal humidity levels change from room to room and season to season. For example, most experts agree a 50% relative humidity level is ideal for bedrooms in order to help you sleep better and keep dust mites and other allergens at bay.
Lowering Home Humidity Levels
In warmer weather, home humidity should remain between 40 and 60 percent. To maintain a comfortable interior all year round, use these simple tips:
- Run ceiling fans to increase air movement and create a cooling effect.
- Always use bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans.
- When outdoor humidity is low, open the windows and let in the fresh breezes. Otherwise, keep the windows closed. You can use a small weather station or online tool to help you track humidity conditions in your neighborhood.
- You might think your pipes are just sweating, but it could be a leak which can contribute to higher indoor humidity.
Finally, a whole-house dehumidifier can boost your air conditioner’s ability to remove humidity. You can easily program the level you want so the equipment runs only when it’s needed. To learn more about keeping the humidity levels in your Jacksonville, Florida home at a comfortable level, get in touch with us today!