One problem we seldom suffer from, here in Yuma, is excessive outdoor humidity. Our city holds several “weather extremes” records, among them being that we’re in fact the least humid, and have the lowest frequency of precipitation, anywhere in the contiguous United States.
Indoors, though, it can be a different story. For those who need to manage humidity levels inside the home, having a positive impact can be as much about breaking old habits as about doing anything new.
Clammy outdoor environments can be uncomfortable, with sticky skin and sweaty clothes practically unavoidable. That said, those effects only impact comfort. Elevated indoor humidity can impact our health, ramping up symptoms for allergy sufferers – itching, sneezing and coughing – and posing dangerous challenges to people with pulmonary and respiratory disorders.
Dr. Michael Ruff, an allergist with the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI), comments that “Humidity promotes mold growth and dust mite population growth. Both are significant indoor allergens and can set off allergic sensitivity and can trigger rhinitis and asthma.” The importance of managing humidity, then, cannot be overstressed.
The AAAAI further advises that a 50 percent humidity level, or lower, is likely to provide symptom relief. It’s worth noting, though, that other problems can manifest when indoor humidity is too low. Maintaining a balanced moisture level is the goal.
Reduce humidity by trying the following:
- Use a dehumidifier. While this may sound like a real no-brainer, people who are unfamiliar with dehumidifiers are often amazed by how well they work.
- Increase ventilation. Drawing in the dry outside air, and expelling the damp indoor air, naturally decreases retained atmospheric moisture.
- Vent problem areas. Use extractors to discharge heavily moisture-laden air from areas such as bathrooms where showers are taken, and the kitchen.
- Size your air conditioner. ACs remove humidity, as well as cooling the air, but they must be sized correctly to give optimal performance.
For more advice on how to manage humidity levels, and to arrange for a technician to check on the sizing of your air conditioner, contact Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric today.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about humidity levels and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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