Unlike in other parts of the country, maintaining a healthy humidity level in your Arizona home may become an issue in the summer and the winter. This region has two short rainy seasons when indoor humidity levels climb, but for the rest of the year, air inside homes tends to be too dry.
Healthy humidity levels range from 30% to 50%. During the spring and early summer, humidity levels drop below 10% outdoors. Once the monsoon season starts, humidity levels climb. In the fall and winter, humidity levels increase as storm systems from the northwest bring showers and storms with them.
Either extreme of humidity isn’t good for you or your home. Too much humidity supports mold, mildew, fungi, dust mite populations and bacterial growth. Wooden objects start to swell. Too little humidity causes skin cracks and increases susceptibility to viral and bacterial infections. It also damages anything made from wood.
How to Manage Humidity
The first step in achieving a healthy humidity level indoors is to use a hygrometer, a device that measures the amount of moisture in the air. As you monitor it, you will find that the longer and more often your air conditioner and furnace run, the drier the air becomes.
As it approaches 30% and below, you may need to increase the humidity to maintain comfort and health. You can do so by:
- Stop using bathroom fans to remove steam from the shower.
- Simmer a pan of water on the stovetop.
- Bring living houseplants into your interior environment.
Each of these steps will help augment the humidity, but a simpler alternative involves using a central humidifier that attaches to your HVAC system.
Alternatively, if your indoor humidity is climbing to more than 50%, you may need to use portable dehumidifiers. Like central humidifiers, central dehumidifiers are simpler, and they more efficiently keep the humidity level healthy year-round.
If you’d like more information about a healthy humidity level in your home, contact Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company. We provide HVAC and air-quality services for Yuma-area homeowners.