Controlling the humidity level in your home or business can hold the key to creating a comfortable indoor environment. How humid or dry the air inside a building is can directly affect how comfortable it feels. Here, we’ll explain why that is and also explain what options you have for overcoming issues with high humidity during the summer and dry air during the winter.

How Humidity Impacts Your Comfort Level

High indoor humidity is often a major issue in terms of comfort during the warmer parts of the year. The moisture content in the air directly impacts how a person senses temperature or how hot they feel. The reason has to do with the fact that we sweat as a means of cooling ourselves. As the sweat evaporates into the air, it cools off your skin so that you don’t feel as hot.

When the humidity level inside a building is fairly high, your sweat can’t evaporate as quickly and you end up feeling hotter. The other main factor is that humid air simply feels warmer. If the temperature inside the building is 70 degrees Fahrenheit, it will feel hotter if the air is humid than it would if the air was fairly dry.

Overly dry indoor air can also be a problem during the winter. Dry air essentially saps moisture out of your body and can quickly dry out your skin, eyes, lips and sinuses, making you feel itchy and uncomfortable. The reason that the air tends to feel drier in the winter months is that cooler air isn’t capable of holding as much moisture compared to warmer air. The air inside a building tends to stay more humid than the air outside during the winter. This because running a heating system tends to cause colder, drier outdoor air to get pulled inside the building. This then leads to the air quickly drying out and the building not feeling as comfortable.

Understanding the Optimal Humidity Level for a Building

What humidity level is best for a building is somewhat subjective. Some people prefer the air a bit more humid while others feel more comfortable when the air is a bit drier. That said, the majority of people are most comfortable when the indoor humidity level is somewhere between 40% and 55%. Generally speaking, you never want the humidity level to be above 60%, especially during the summer. Anything above 60% humidity will negatively impact your comfort level, and it can also lead to condensation forming in various places that creates the potential for mold and mildew.

Options for Managing Indoor Humidity Levels

Dry winter air is less of an issue in Texas since our winters typically don’t get all that cold. Nonetheless, investing in a quality whole-home humidifier can make your house feel more comfortable during the winter if it often feels quite dry. There are a few different types of whole-home units available, but they all work in a similar way by releasing warm, moist air into the home’s ductwork. This moist air then gets circulated into every room as the heating system runs to raise the humidity level throughout the entire house.

Since the Texas summers tend to be quite humid, a whole-home dehumidifier can be an even better investment. This type of unit uses an evaporator coil similar to that in your AC system, which pulls lots of moisture out of the air through condensation. As with a humidifier, the dehumidifier is connected to the ductwork and saps moisture out of the air being circulated around the house by the AC system.

By drying out the air, the dehumidifier can greatly improve your comfort since it will help make your home feel a lot cooler than it would if the air was overly humid. Another major advantage of installing a whole-home dehumidifier is that it will enable your air conditioning system to work more effectively. This is because AC systems tend to struggle much more when the interior environment is much more humid. This means they cool a bit slower than they would if the air was drier.

A dehumidifier can also potentially save you money on your energy bills since it allows you to turn your thermostat up a bit. This is because a home that is 75 degrees and fairly dry will feel cooler and more comfortable compared to if the temperature was 70 degrees and the air was overly humid.

Your Trusted HVAC Professionals

At AirDepot, we’ve been helping home and business owners throughout the Cypress area with their comfort needs since 1977. Our team of NATE-certified technicians are experts in the full range of air conditioning and heating services, and we can also take care of your indoor air quality needs. For more information on your options for humidity control, contact us today.

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