When you live in Florida, most of your focus is on whether or not your home is cool enough. However, your indoor air quality is about more than just temperature. If you want to be truly comfortable, it’s also important to pay attention to your indoor humidity levels. Explore our guide to find your perfect humidity level and learn how to adjust the humidity in your house.

Is Indoor Humidity Important?

Humidity is one of the most overlooked parts of air quality, but it plays a very important role in how your air feels. When the air is too dry, it pulls moisture from your body with each breath, so you can end up with a sore throat, itchy eyes, and dry skin. If the air is too humid, your body struggles to regulate temperature properly. The higher the humidity is, the warmer your air will feel. High humidity can make your indoor air feel unpleasantly hot and sticky, especially during the summer months,

Humidity also plays a big role in the condition of your home and your furnishings. When your air is overly dry, it can cause wood to shrink, splinter, warp, and crack. Over time, this can damage wood furniture, or it can even cause problems with the wooden framework of your home. Excessively dry air also makes static electricity more common, so your carpets and metal fixtures might shock you more frequently.

High levels of humidity are problematic, too, though. When humidity gets too high, mold can easily grow. This can result in dangerous mildew, fungi, and other organisms growing in your home. They can cause major respiratory problems and lead to issues like headaches, fatigue, and trouble concentrating. If you get certain types of dangerous mold in your home, you might have to deal with a lot of costly mold remediation.

Finding the Ideal Humidity Level for Your House

There are a lot of considerations that go into finding the right humidity for your home. Depending on your situation, industry experts recommend anywhere from 35% humidity to 70% humidity. Any humidity below 35% leads to damaged wood, while any humidity above 70% leads to mold growth. You don’t necessarily need to panic if your humidity levels go outside of those ranges for a few minutes, but letting your home sit at unsafe levels for lengthy periods of time will lead to problems.

For most Tampa homeowners, the trickier part of setting a humidity level is finding one that’s personally comfortable. Different people like different levels of humidity. Some may want to keep humidity low because it reduces their AC bills and makes the air feel refreshingly crisp. Others find that their skin feels softer and their house feels more home-like when humidity is high. Research on the ideal humidity levels finds that most people feel comfortable with humidity in the 40% to 60% range.

Things You Can Do to Adjust Your Indoor Humidity

If your indoor humidity isn’t at appropriate levels, a lot of different options are available to you. Depending on your situation, you might want to try one of these methods for controlling humidity.

Seal Air Gaps

A lot of humidity comes into your home from the outdoors. Tampa’s outdoor humidity can easily reach 80%, and on days when it’s raining, it might go even higher. To help avoid excessive humidity in your home, you need to make it as airtight as possible. Check to see whether there are gaps around your windows or doors and apply weatherstripping in these areas. Some older homes may also have cracks around baseboards and ceilings that can let more humidity into your house. Sealing these air gaps is great for both reducing humidity and lowering your utility bills. It has the helpful side effect of making it more efficient to heat and cool your home.

Address Any Leaks or Ventilation Issues

The other systems in your home can end up affecting your humidity levels. The most common culprits of excessive humidity are slow leaks or unventilated bathrooms. These can slowly drip water into your walls over time or release huge clouds of steam every time you shower. Poorly designed home systems can end up making the humidity in your home far too high.

To address these issues, start by checking your home for leaks. Look to see whether your water meter is changing even when you aren’t using water, and test for moisture in your walls, floors, and ceilings. If you find any leaks, make sure to fix them as soon as possible. When dealing with poorly ventilated bathrooms, you have multiple options. The quickest and easiest choice is opening a window to let out steam. However, if you don’t want to let Tampa’s warm, muggy summer air into your house, you’re better off installing a ventilation fan. This manually pushes steamy air outside to improve the humidity indoors.

Add Some Humidifiers or Dehumidifiers to Your Home

If your house naturally tends to have high or low humidity levels, it might be worth looking into some ways of managing humidity. There are a variety of lifestyle changes that you can try. Natural dehumidifiers, like baking soda or cat litter, can absorb moisture, so some homeowners like to set small containers of these substances around their houses. If your humidity is too low, adding houseplants or occasionally boiling water on the stove can add more humidity to the air.

Actual humidifiers and dehumidifiers are even more effective. These machines come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some styles use passive humidification methods, like slowly evaporating water into the air. Others may be more industrial equipment with a motor that circulates air and manually adds or removes water from the air. Whatever style you pick, these can be a convenient and very effective way of managing your home’s humidity.

Install a Whole-House Humidifier or Dehumidifier

If a personal humidifier in your bedroom or a dehumidifier in the bathroom isn’t enough to get your humidity to reasonable levels, you may want to invest in a whole-house humidity control system. These are systems that connect to the rest of your HVAC system. As air circulates through your ductwork, the system can add humidity to your air or remove it.

Make Sure Your HVAC Unit Is the Proper Size

Your HVAC unit plays a major role in managing humidity. As your AC unit runs, it extracts extra moisture from your air. Your heater doesn’t remove quite as much water as your AC, but it does remove small amounts of humidity when it warms the air. To properly manage your humidity, your HVAC unit needs to be the correct size.

If it’s too large, it will only run for minutes at a time, and this doesn’t give it enough time to properly remove humidity. Meanwhile, an undersized HVAC unit can run for hours at a time and remove too much humidity. Switching to a properly sized unit can make it much easier to manage your humidity levels.

If you’d like help balancing the humidity inside your home, Air 24/7 Air Conditioning & Heating is happy to assist you. We can help with things like installing dehumidifiers or finding the right HVAC unit size for your property. Our talented technicians also provide a variety of other HVAC services in the Tampa Bay region including AC repair, heating maintenance, and duct cleaning. Contact Air 24/7 Air Conditioning & Heating to learn more about our offers.


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