Humidity…. The Unassuming Culprit

Humidity vs TemperatureMaintaining a comfortable temperature inside your home is influenced by many factors – the two most important being temperature and humidity. Have you ever thought about why it sometimes feels much hotter even when it is only 75 degree outside? Well, that’s humidity in action. When humidity is high, it can make the temperature seem as much as 5-10 degrees hotter, while in reality, it has not changed a bit.

Having an understanding of how humidity and temperature are related is important to understand how to maintain the ideal environment inside your home, as well as to minimize costs and save energy.

Understanding the Relationship of Temperature and Humidity

Let’s take an everyday phenomenon to understand how humidity reduces our comfort level and makes us feel hotter. When our body feels hot, it generates sweat. Slowly and gradually it starts to dissipate from our skin, after which we cool down. The dissipation process increases the moisture content in the air, or in other words, humidity. When the air inside our home is full of water vapors and it cannot absorb more, the sweat on our skin evaporates at a much slower rate, if at all. When this happens, our body doesn’t get the cooling effect and we feel hotter.

In the same way, when the indoor air has a low amount of humidity, we feel that the surrounding is much cooler than it actually is. This happens because when there is low humidity in the air, the sweat from our skin evaporates rapidly.

What is the Ideal Indoor Humidity Level?

Generally, humidity levels ranging from 35 to 45 percent for indoor air are considered to be acceptable. However, this range changes with the season and the climate you are living in. If the temperature outside is under 20-40 degrees and your home is 70 degrees, you should keep the level of humidity under 40 percent. The humidity level should be decreased by 5 percent for each 10-degree reduction in the temperature of the outside environment that is below 20 degrees.

Does the Humidity Level in your Home Really Matter?

Humidity AffectYes, it definitely does. Not only does it make your cooling and heating processes more efficient, it also saves many things in your home from damage, including your health and personal belongings. Moreover, when humidity levels are inadequate, we tend to crank up or down the thermostat, causing the HVAC system to work harder. This, in turn, results in more energy consumption, leading to high utility bills.

There are several other undesirable effects of unstable humidity level as well.  When humidity is too low, the air becomes dry, which causes wood molding, doors, and floors to dry out and crack – even our skin becomes dry and itchy. When it is too high, it promotes bacteria, mold, mildew, and rot inside your home.

For these reasons and more, maintaining adequate humidity level inside your home is essential. If you like to get information on how you can control humidity, get in touch with our experts at NEEECO. Contact us today to discuss your needs with our team. A Mass Save energy auditor will examine your home for any negative effects of high or low humidity levels in your home.

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