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We’ve all sweltered on a humid day, even though our phone’s weather app tell us it’s not that hot outside. That’s because humidity can warp our perception of temperature. The same principle works inside our homes. Learn more about how humidity can affect the temperature inside your home.
How Humidity Affects Indoor Temperature
When humidity levels are too high or too low, it affects the temperature inside our home.
When we feel hot, our bodies produce sweat. As the sweat evaporates from our skin, we cool down. High humidity inhibits the evaporative process. The air is so full of water it can’t take much more, so the sweat on our skin evaporates much more slowly, if at all. When this occurs, we don’t get the cooling effect sweating usually provides, and we feel hotter.
Similarly, low humidity levels can make a room feel cooler than it really is. That’s because in very dry air, sweat evaporates from the body more rapidly.
Signs Indoor Humidity is High
There are several signs you’re living in a humid home. Your skin may feel clammy when you’re indoors. A musty smell throughout your home also indicates high humidity levels. You may also notice your windows fogging up.
Signs Indoor Humidity is Low
You’re likely to notice the impact of low humidity on your body. As well as feeling cold, low humidity make your skin feel dry and your eyes itch. You may also notice your sinuses and throat become irritated. Over time, living in a home with low humidity can dry and inflame the mucous membrane that lines your respiratory tract. This can make you susceptible to colds, the flu, and in other infections, especially because low humidity increases the lifespan of certain viruses. If you notice you can’t seem to shake feeling sick, low humidity levels in your home may be to blame.
Strategies to Tackle the Problem
An efficient HVAC system regulates moisture levels, which cause humidity within the home. When humidity levels are too high or too low, the harder the system needs to work. If your HVAC system hasn’t been serviced in a while, or if it’s not powerful enough, it may not be up to the task. Book a HVAC service if you notice your home is uncomfortable to ensure your system is running efficiently and is effective for your space.
Regardless of its size, you can ease the pressure on your HVAC system by using a humidifier or a dehumidifier. Humidifiers add moisture to the atmosphere while dehumidifiers pull moisture from the air before it travels through your home’s air ducts. When HVAC systems work with these appliances, you can enjoy a more comfortable home without significantly impacting your power bills. Rather than using a separate unit, you may like to add a dehumidifier to your HVAC system.
Use vented exhaust fans when you shower and cook to remove water vapor in the bathroom and kitchen, which are prone to high humidity.
When humidity is too high or too low, it impacts the temperature within your home. Taking steps to balance humidity and counteract temperature fluctuations can help you feel more comfortable indoors.