The relative humidity of your home, usually just referred to as humidity, is a crucial factor in your home’s indoor air quality and comfort levels, which is why it is important to understand humidity and how it works.
Humidity is measured as the percentage of water in the air compared to the maximum amount saturated air at that temperature can hold. Note that at higher temperatures air can hold much more moisture.
The right humidity level for your home depends on your comfort. The general safe zone is between 30 and 60 percent, but most people prefer to be on the lower end of this zone. If your humidity is outside of this range on either end you will notice discomfort and will be at risk for respiratory issues.
Why is Low or High Humidity Dangerous?
When humidity is too low, under 30 percent, you will typically experience dry skin and a dry throat, which can lead to trouble breathing. Low humidity can be a problem in Arizona since it is often hot and dry for long periods of time.
High humidity isn’t usually an issue unless your home has poor ventilation and exceptional insulation. In a scenario like this, moisture can accumulate in the air and reach levels that will encourage mold and bacteria growth.
Controlling Humidity in Your Home
There are options to add humidity to the air in your home with humidifiers, and to take moisture out of the air with dehumidifiers. Depending on the issues with your specific home you may need just one or both to control humidity levels.
In general, whole-house systems are preferable to portable units as they are often more cost-effective and can cover your whole home. If you just have small issues with certain areas however, a portable unit may make more sense.
If you have any questions about humidity and how it works in your Phoenix home, please contact the professionals at Wolff Mechanical.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Phoenix Valley area of Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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