Indoor humidity is just as important as maintaining a good indoor temperature.
If your home is too humid, you may find condensation on your windows, and you will be at a greater risk for mold growth in your home.
If your home is too dry, you may find that your skin is dry and you have a sore throat.
It is important to get it right so that you can be as comfortable as possible!
What is the Ideal Indoor Humidity During the Summer?
The ideal indoor humidity in summer is in the range of 30-45%.
Keeping the humidity higher than 50% will make your house feel somewhat swampy and may lead to all sorts of problems such as condensation on the windows and walls and mold growth.
Keeping the humidity in check will also help you to feel less hot and sweaty in the summer months.
High humidity levels can also ruin your sleep, as you will likely wake up in the night feeling sweaty and uncomfortable.
What should the Humidity Level be when the Air Conditioning is On?
When you are using your air conditioning, you want your humidity to be around 30-45%.
This humidity range will ensure that your home feels comfortable and is not getting too moist in the summer air.
Hot, summer air holds more moisture than the air in the winter. So, you may find that your house naturally gets more humid in the summer than in the winter.
In the summer, you may want to make use of a dehumidifier to get your house feeling less muggy.
If the humidity is above 50% with the air conditioner on, your house is going to feel quite muggy, and your air conditioner will have to work harder to cool down the house.
Relative Humidity and How It Affects How you Feel
The term relative humidity means the ratio of the current humidity in relation to the highest possible humidity.
The highest possible humidity depends on air temperature, so it varies from day to day and season to season.
If you see 100% relative humidity, the air is saturated with water and cannot hold any more water. This means that it will likely rain.
It does not have to be 100% humidity for it to rain. It must be 100% humidity where the clouds have formed, way up high in the sky, to rain.
The humidity reading that we get on the ground could be much lower.
The relative humidity may make us feel very sweaty if the relative humidity is high. When the relative humidity is high, our sweat can’t evaporate into the air. This can give you that sticky, sweaty feeling where your shirt becomes drenched just from being outside.
When the relative humidity is low, you may feel much cooler because your sweat has a chance to evaporate into the air.
Reasons Why Your House is Humid When the Air Conditioning is On
If you feel that your house is very humid even with the air conditioning on, it could be because of various reasons.
Too Many People in the House
If you have friends or family over in the summer and notice that it is very humid in the house, it is likely just because there are too many bodies giving off heat.
If you have lots of people in one place and everyone is sweating, it will raise the house’s humidity.
You can try turning on a dehumidifier or moving the party outside, especially if there is a breeze!
You may notice that taking a bath or a shower can steam up your bathroom and create condensation on the walls and windows.
This steam can infiltrate the rest of your house, too, and cause it to be muggy. Ensure that you turn on the bathroom fan while you are in the bath or shower and leave it on for twenty to thirty minutes afterward. This will help the steam to dissipate and reduce that muggy feeling.
Like bathing, cooking can really up the humidity in your house.
This is especially true if you are boiling food on the stove; all of that steam has to go somewhere! Make sure that you use the fan above the stove while cooking and leave it on for a little bit after you’re done to help get rid of that humidity.
Your Air Conditioning Unit is Old
This is probably the most dreaded answer to this question… but your air conditioning unit might be old and not functioning correctly.
If your air conditioning unit is old or has not been adequately maintained, it may be failing to remove humidity from the air.
Your Air Conditioning Unit is not the Right Size
If your air conditioning unit is too big or too small for your home, it will not do its job correctly and will fail to cool and dehumidify your home.
For example, if you have a small home and an air conditioning unit that is too big for your home, that unit will turn on and off frequently and won’t run long enough to remove the humidity from the air.
If you suspect that your air conditioning unit has to be serviced or that it is not the right size for your home, make sure to check with a qualified HVAC professional.
Effects of High Indoor Humidity
A home with high humidity will be uncomfortable and cause you to feel sweaty all day.
High humidity is incredibly frustrating at night as it is likely to impact your sleep. High indoor humidity can also cause the following problems:
- Excess condensation on windows
- Musty smells
- Mold in high moisture areas like bathrooms or kitchens
- Water stains on your walls or ceilings
- Asthma or allergy problems caused by Mold
- Structural issues – the structure can rot when exposed to too much humidity
High indoor humidity goes way beyond feeling sweaty and can become a real problem when left to continue for long periods.
If you find that your home is consistently humid, make sure to talk to an HVAC professional.
Tips for Managing Humidity in your Home
The main tip for managing your home’s humidity levels is to use your air conditioner and ensure that it is working well.
Your air conditioning unit is also designed to regulate the humidity levels in the air. If you are running your air conditioner, but it is very humid, it is a good idea to have your air conditioning unit serviced to determine if the dehumidifying component is functioning.
You can also try the following tips to manage the humidity on a day-to-day basis.
Make Use of your Exhaust Fans
It can be annoying and loud to use your exhaust fan above your stove when cooking, but you might be surprised at how much it reduces the humidity when you’re cooking.
No one likes to be sweaty while they’re cooking, so make sure to turn it on whenever you use the stove!
Avoid Hot Showers
Hot showers are great, but they steam up your bathroom and can steam up your whole living space, especially in the summer.
Try to limit your hot showers or use cooler water – you may even find it refreshing in the summer heat!
Use a Clothesline
Using a dryer in the summer can steam up your house. By drying your clothes outside, you will reduce the amount of humidity coming from that dryer.
Drying your laundry outside can also save you quite a bit of money on your electricity bill.
If you don’t have access to an outdoor space, you could hang a clothesline or a drying rack inside your house. You may want to set up a dehumidifier near your drying station, which will help clothes dry faster and reduce the amount of humidity in the air from the drying process.
Use a Dehumidifier
This tip may kind of going without saying, but a dehumidifier is handy.
You can program some models to turn on only when the air reaches a specific humidity, and then the machine will turn itself off once the desired humidity level is reached.
Another good tip is to turn on your dehumidifier when you leave the house. The machines can be loud, so having it on when you are out is an excellent way to lower the house’s humidity without having to hear the machine.
Get Some Charcoal Briquettes
This tip may seem a little far-fetched, but many people swear by charcoal briquettes to lower humidity. Just buy some charcoal briquettes, the kind for BBQing, and place them in a basket in your home.
They will suck up quite a bit of humidity in the air. Change them out every 2-3 months for best results.
Making sure that your house is at the proper humidity level this summer will help to ensure that you’re sleeping well, feeling comfortable, and protecting your home from the damage that high humidity levels can cause.