Indoor Humidity and How to Manage it
Indoor humidity can have numerous negative effects, not only to your health but on your home and furniture as well. However, low air humidity can also have negative effects on your health and home. Insomnia and respiratory infections are some of the health implications of high humidity, while the interior of your home can suffer as paint from the walls or wallpaper might start to peel off, and your plants could start dying.
Summer can be hot, but temperature and humidity are two different concepts. Both can affect your comfort negatively, but both can be helped by air-conditioning.
Difference Between the Two
Temperature is a measure of heat, while humidity is a measure of water vapor in the air.
We measure temperature in Celsius (°C), and humidity is expressed as a percentage (%).
The higher the humidity, the harder it is for our sweat to evaporate, so we feel hotter and experience discomfort. Therefore, areas with the same temperature but higher humidity seem hotter than areas with lower humidity.
High humidity air can also carry more odor molecules. That means that these rooms will be a fertile ground for unpleasant odors. And not only that, studies have shown that high temperature and humidity are directly related to a great number of influenza virus infections. That is only one of the reasons why you should use an air conditioning device that can help you control not only temperature but the amount of moisture in the air.If you are unsure if your air con provides this service, you can always call up one of our experts who can help you.
Humidity and Air Conditioning
Summer is when humidity and temperature are at their highest. Moisture in the air makes it harder for our bodies to sweat and cool as the air is already saturated with humidity.
Air conditioners can help dehumidify the air while simultaneously lowering the temperature. A problem might occur if the heat pump of the device is too big which makes it turn on and off in small cycles. This small cycling phenomenon will cool down the area fast, but the cycles will not be long enough to remove the moisture from the room. This is something you should pay special attention to if you live in an area with a high percentage of humidity.
A handy tip on Kidspot has found that if you find the dry feature on your air conditioner remote, it will reduce the humidity. Apparently, it results in the compressor running at a lower speed which also means your electricity costs will be lower!
What are Good Levels of Humidity?
Humidity levels that create discomfort may vary from person to person.
Make sure you keep an eye out on infants and the elderly or people who suffer from asthma or eczema because the humidity can cause skin irritation.
According to the National Asthma Council Australia, a comfortable relative humidity percent for indoors is 30-50%. Any value higher than that can lead to health issues and home damage. In some areas, such as libraries or archives, moisture level should be even lower to prevent the paper from deteriorating.
To reduce the amount of moisture in the air, set the fan mode on your air conditioner to automatic. If you are planning to buy a new device, you can also purchase an air conditioner with a variable-speed air handler to adjust the amount of humidity, otherwise you can use a smart thermostat to adjust humidity levels. Make sure the air conditioner is not too big or too small for the area that needs to be cooled down or dehumidified. These devices will either increase your electricity bill, or they will not operate at an optimum level.
Moisture Can Lead to Damage
High humidity levels in your home can do great damage to the walls, furniture, and other objects. Humidity may also cause rust in the long run on your water pipes, HVAC systems or other mechanical hardware. Moisture can also cause dust mite to appear in your bed, pillows, and mattresses.
Wallpapers might get soaked and start to peel, while condensation on the windows may cause frames to start rotting.
However, if the air is too dry, it can cause skin irritation an itchy throat and eyes. When it comes to negative effects on your homes, wooden floors might start cracking, and glued surfaces can begin to fall off. If you ever experienced static electricity when you touch something in your home, that may have been a result of the air being too dry.
Mold and Mildew
High levels of moisture in the air may cause mold and mildew to start growing on the walls, especially in corners. It not only looks awful, but it can also have severe negative effects on your health.
Mold can cause respiratory infections, allergy attacks, or asthma.
Staying in a moldy environment can also trigger skin and eye irritation, coughing, wheezing, or stuffy nose. If a person is allergic to mold, effects can be life-threatening. Individuals with obstructive lung disease are particularly vulnerable to infections triggered by mold and mildew.
The Bottom Line
If the humidity level in your home is higher than 50%, you have probably experienced symptoms such as coughing, respiratory infection, allergies or a stuffy nose. Mold can also start growing on your walls, wallpapers might start to peel, or windows frames may begin rotting..
To prevent this from happening, you can invest in an air conditioning unit that will make the air dry or purchase an air dehumidifier. If you want to stop mold from spreading, you should also make sure to vent the kitchen and bathroom and fix any leaks in the roof or pipes, and clean the house on a regular basis.