The level of humidity inside homes and buildings has a great deal to do with comfort and your family’s health. Under ideal conditions, its level should range between 30 and 50 percent, depending on the season and outdoor temperatures. Lower levels in the summer increase comfort, while higher levels in the winter help you feel warmer. Ideal levels year-round safeguard your health.
When Levels Are Too High
During the summer you’ll feel warmer and less comfortable because it takes longer for the moisture on your skin to dry. The human body cools itself down by sweating, and high levels slow the evaporative process. When water evaporates off your skin, it pulls a lot of heat away from it, which cools you quickly.
Excessive moisture in the air creates ideal conditions for mold and dust mite proliferation. Dust mite waste and mold spores are the most common triggers for allergy and asthma. Black mold, in particular, is a particularly dangerous strain even for people who don’t suffer from allergies.
Too much water vapor can exacerbate existing respiratory problems, like COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and bronchitis, along with emphysema.
When Levels Are Too Low
- Low humidity levels cause dry skin that may result in skin cracks, rashes and excessive itching. If the skin breaks, it’s not uncommon to experience localized infections.
- Just as the skin dries out, so does the respiratory system. Sore throats, sinus problems, and bloody noses are the direct result of air that’s too dry.
- Overly dry air causes small electric shocks between the skin and some surfaces, and while they’re not harmful to your health, are annoying.
- Dry air increases the risk of colds and flu. The protective coating around viruses and bacteria dries out quickly and they will infect tissues more easily, especially parched respiratory passages.
Managing indoor humidity levels is possible by using your central HVAC system, and keeping the levels optimal throughout the year helps prevent discomfort and illnesses. To learn more, contact Hartman Brothers Heating & Air Conditioning, providing trusted HVAC services for Fort Wayne homeowners.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in New Haven, Indiana and surrounding Fort Wayne area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about indoor humidity and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 260-376-2961.
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