Humidity in homes is a problem that can occur almost any place in the country. Even in a desert climate. The reason is that homes generate water moisture inside them, from cooking and showering.
Here in Florida, however, humidity can be an extreme problem from inside and outside a home. As we move deeper into spring, humidity levels will skyrocket. We don’t want you to suffer through a dreadful, soggy, muggy spring—or summer, for that matter—because your home is dealing with high humidity. There are many ways we can help you out, but the best is with the installation of a whole-house dehumidifier in Lake City, FL or wherever you live in our service area.
The Trouble with High Humidity
You know what a hot humid day is like. It feels more than hot—it feels oppressively hot. Why is this?
The reason isn’t that the extra moisture in the air is making the air hotter. When it’s 90°F, it’s 90°F no matter if the relative humidity level is 80% or 20%. What the high moisture level does is make it harder for your body to expel heat. Heat continually escapes through your skin to keep your body from overheating. Moisture slows this down by making it harder to perspire. You lose heat slower, allowing more to stay trapped in your body—and this makes the outside temperature feel hotter than it is. That already unpleasant 90°F will feel like it’s 100°F when the relative humidity is over 60%.
High humidity is trouble in other ways. It creates an environment where it’s much easier for mold and mildew to grow. Mildew can damage construction material in your house and create wood rot, which is especially harmful for roofing material. (Heat rises, carrying moisture up into the attic.) Mold can be a major health danger because of toxic spores. During allergy season (i.e. now), mold is one of the biggest allergy triggers.
The Power of the Whole House Dehumidifier
You can purchase portable dehumidifiers to deal with lowering humidity in a single room, but we don’t recommend it. Portable units don’t provide the whole-house solution you need, and they can be fire hazards.
A whole-house dehumidifier is a device that can be integrated into the HVAC system to work in connection with the AC. Air conditioners have some dehumidifying properties because they draw moisture from the air along with heat, but they can’t handle actual home dehumidification. A whole-house dehumidifier uses a similar action to an air conditioner: circulating refrigerant to draw moisture out of the air. However, it reheats the air so it won’t create an imbalance with the AC and make the home too cold.
Balance is the key here: You want the relative humidity in your house to be between 30% and 50%. Air that’s too dry is a problem as well, often leading to health issues. With balanced humidity, you’ll enjoy better comfort and can give the AC a rest some of the time.
To find out more about your various humidity control options, call our offices.
Touchstone Heating & Air Inc: Serving the Communities of North Central Florida since 1998.