What Humidity Level is Safe For My Home?
June 16, 2020
If you’re a Florida homeowner, you know that many residents struggle with high humidity levels, especially during the summer. So, sometimes it’s hard to tell whether your home’s humidity levels are too high or if they just feel too high.
On average, a safe level of humidity for your Florida home is around 45%-55%.
Humidity levels that are much higher than that can cause health problems and well as negatively affect your home and HVAC system.
Still have questions? We know you’re probably wondering:
How do I measure my home's humidity level?
What exactly are the negative effects of high humidity?
What issues increase humidity in the home?
Below, we’ll answer these questions so you can get a better understanding of why high humidity is an issue and what you can do to prevent it.
Want to chat with a professional who knows the ins-and-outs of dealing with Florida’s humidity? We can help. We’ve been serving Florida homeowners for many years, and we’d be happy to share our expertise with you! If you want a professional’s advice, feel free to reach out to us!
How do I know what my home’s humidity level is?
Well, the easiest way to measure your home’s humidity is to use a hygrometer. A hygrometer will measure the humidity of your home’s air from 0-100%.
If the hygrometer shows a humidity level of 55% or above, the humidity levels of your home are too high.
If you think your home has an ongoing problem with humidity and don't want to check it yourself, you can have an HVAC professional check your home's humidity levels and inspect for signs of prolonged high humidity. Or, you can purchase a humidity monitor, which will constantly monitor the humidity levels of your home.
Negative effects of high humidity
Beyond just being uncomfortable, a home with too much humidity can negatively impact both your comfort and your home.
How humidity can negatively affect your comfort
Humidity levels that are too high can negatively impact your comfort by:
Causing you to overheat
Causing respiratory issues
Let’s look at these in a little more detail:
High humidity can cause you to overheat:
When it’s hot outside, your body has natural ways of cooling you down, and producing sweat is one of them. Your body produces sweat, and when that sweat evaporates, it helps to cool you down. But, if the air around you is very humid, it means the air already has a lot of water in it, and your sweat can’t evaporate as easily.
If your body is unable to cool you off via evaporating sweat, you’re left not only hot but covered in a layer of sweat, which can cause a lot of discomfort.
High humidity can cause respiratory issues:
You’re probably aware of the fact that there are microorganisms in your home’s air, like allergens, fungi, dust mites, bacteria, and viruses.
Well, when the humidity levels of your home are too high (60% +), it can give dust mites and mold a wonderful environment to grow in. In addition to microorganisms, reactions to some airborne chemicals and pollutants can also increase when humidity is too high. So if you're noticing that your skin or respiratory system is irritated or your allergies are getting significantly worse (especially in the summer months), high humidity levels could be an issue.
Now that we’ve outlined how high humidity can affect you, let’s look at a few ways that humidity can negatively impact your home.\
How humidity can negatively affect your home
If your home's humidity levels are too high, it can cause:
Wood to rot, like window and door frames, wooden furniture, etc.
Mold to grow on walls, ceilings or in air ducts
Dust mites to breed in pillows, furniture upholstery, bedding, etc.
To prevent humidity from negatively impacting your health and your home, we’ll share a few ways homeowners unknowingly increase humidity in their home and what they can do to reduce the overall humidity of their home.
What causes high humidity in my home?
Well, the reason your home is humid is simply due to the fact that Florida air is humid. There’s no way around that.
However, there are certain things you could be doing as a homeowner that could be increasing the humidity in your home, like:
Covering or closing supply/return vents- if you don’t have good ventilation in your home, it can increase humidity.
Having an AC that is too large for your home- Your AC not only cools your home, but dehumidifies it as well. If your AC is too large, it will run for short periods of time and shut off, which doesn’t allow it to properly dehumidify your home.
Not maintaining your AC properly- As we mentioned above, your AC helps dehumidify your home. However, if your AC is not properly maintained, the part of it that helps dehumidify your home’s air (evaporator coil) can get covered in dust and debris, which can prevent it from properly dehumidifying the air.
Now that you know what not to do let’s look at a few ways you can help reduce humidity in your home:
Turn on ventilation fans in your kitchen and bathroom
Ensure that all supply and return vents are open and unobstructed
Have your AC maintained at least once a year
Invest in a whole-home or a portable dehumidifier
Ensure that your AC is the right size for your home
Need a professional to help you dehumidify your home? Call Advanced Air
If your home’s humidity levels are too high and none of the DIY tips we’ve listed are working, it’s probably time to have your AC maintained by a professional. While we’re there, we can provide you with additional tips on how to reduce your home’s humidity (and keep it in a safe range going forward).
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