Humidity is one of those things we deal with in Florida. For about 9 months out of the year spending time outdoors feels like living in a terrarium. But humidity is more than merely uncomfortable. It can make it very difficult to breath for people who already have aggravated breathing conditions. Understanding humidity and how it affects your home and health is important here in the Sunshine State.
The relative humidity reading is how much water the air is holding at any given time. If the relative humidity is 67%, that means the air is 67% saturated with water. You can then see how it could make it hard to breathe when humidity is high, after all we can’t breathe water (and thrive). In the Tampa area, our average daily humidity is 74%, with 88% in the morning and 57% in the afternoon, making us the 5th most humid city in the nation (based on the daily average).
What Humidity Does to Our Bodies
While a high percentage of water molecules in the air makes it difficult to breathe, it also prevents sweat from evaporating, leading to difficulties in our bodies cooling themselves. Humid air also affects how we sense temperature. Because it’s difficult for our bodies to cool off, we’ll feel hotter at lower temperatures with higher humidity than we do at higher temps with lower humidity.
Humidity and Our Homes
A high level of humidity in the home is not ideal either. It tends to facilitate bacterial growth, cause musty odors, warp wood floors, cause condensation and water stains, and/or peeling or warping of wallpaper.
While many professionals will tell you that stagnant air has higher humidity levels and they’ll encourage you to open the windows, in the Tampa Bay area that will only make things more humid. You need to cool the air and regulate the temps and airflow throughout the home.
How to Safeguard Against Humidity
The ideal relative humidity in a home is between 40-50% and rooms can vary greatly due to temperature fluctuations. By controlling your humidity through running your air conditioner you will feel cooler at a higher temp, which means greater energy savings for you. (Remember high levels of humidity make it harder for our bodies to cool, which make us “feel” warmer than we really are.) Warmer air holds more humidity than cooler air.
Some people like to use an in-room dehumidifier, which will remove water from the air and collect it in a tank. You can then dump that water into your garden. A dehumidifier will work constantly here in the Sunshine State. You’re better off maintaining a temperate indoor climate by using your air conditioner at a high temperature.
Keep your home comfortable and healthier by cutting the humidity through running your air conditioner. By running your air, and reducing the humidity, you’ll feel cooler at a higher temperature and your unit won’t run as hard.
Make sure your unit is ready for the humid Florida summer by calling the technicians at Easy A/C today. We’re comfort made easy.