Why Humidity Affects Your Home Comfort

Humidity can definitely affect your home comfort. As we all know Myrtle Beach is one of the most humid states in the USA. You know, those days you have to shower 5 times?

During summer months, high humidity makes the air in your home feel warmer than the temperature displayed on a thermostat.  I want to take a look at the effects of humidity, how it changes the feel of air, and what you can do to increase your comfort by controlling the humidity.

  • Hygrometers Now Better and Cheaper

One test instrument, called a hygrometer, is used to measure and diagnose humidity issues. Did you know that the first Hygrometers were manufactured with horsehair to sense humidity changes until the 1970s. This test instrument, called a hygrometer, is used to measure and diagnose humidity issues in your home.

Twenty years ago, a reasonably accurate hygrometer cost more than $2000. Today, reliable hygrometers are available for less than $100. The best hygrometer to get that will do the job right is to look for one that measures from 5% to 95% relative humidity (RH) and has a readout to the tenth of a percent or degree. Most hygrometers now measure humidity, dry and wet bulb temperatures, relative humidity, and enthalpy.

The Ideal temperature and humidity will depend on the location of your home, the homeowners age, and your temperature settings.

How Humidity Affects The Comfort Of Your Home

  • How to Measure and Compare Humidity and Temperature

To effectively evaluate current indoor conditions do the following:

  1.  Allow the room to stabilize with the system running for at least 15 minutes. 
  2. Set your hygrometer to display in humidity mode.
  3. Then simply take the readings.

For the most accurate results, do not measure near a wall or heat-generating appliances. Don’t take a measurement in the supply register airstream or directly in the sun. You will want to make sure you are using the hygrometer near the center of the room. Take temperature readings using the same test procedure, just press the button to display in temperature mode.

Take and record humidity and temperature in several typical rooms served by the same HVAC system. Then average the humidity and temperature measurements. If a room varies more than 3% from other rooms, search for the source of high or low humidity and temperature.

Compare the average building temperature to industry temperature and humidity standards. Most importantly, compare what you measured to what you  desire. Then figure out how to make the needed changes.

It seems like common sense but when the home humidity is low, find an opportunity to add humidity. When the home humidity is high, you’ll want to find a way to remove humidity.

Normally, you add humidity by installing humidifiers. You can also reduce humidity by lowering airflow. In cooling mode, system humidity removal may be increased by lowering the airflow over the cooling coil. Lower airflow decreases the coil, this increases humidity removal at the cooling coil and on occasion and especially in humid regions, you must control humidity by reaching outside the HVAC system and eliminating the problem at the building level. 

However there are a lot of variables depending on the type of system, size of system, and other things your unit may or may not have and it would need a professional diagnosis from one of our professionally trained comfort specialists here at Infinity Air Heating & Cooling. DO NOT TRY THIS ON YOUR OWN!

If you rent in an apartment or condo or multi unit complexes, unwanted moisture may enter or exit through roof and wall leaks. Moisture may seep into a building from surface water, rain, or landscape irrigation. Moisture may also enter a building from water vapor in soil that may wick or migrate inside. Too many house plants, depending on the type can also add humidity. Maybe not one or two plants but 7 or more maybe.

Internal sources of moisture include leaks from plumbing systems, or water vapor from showers, cooking, laundry, or plants.

The best solution to excessive moisture is to not allow it to enter a building in the first place. Once moisture enters a building, it requires significant cost and energy to remove it. Make sure to keep your landlord or property management company on top of this before you end up with a mold problem that could make you sick.

  • HVAC Systems May Cause High or Low Humidity

When it comes to discovering sources of high or low humidity in a building, most of us are surprised to find that HVAC systems are the force driving the problem.

That is when we are here to help! There are a few different things that can be a source of humidity in your home.

  • Return air leakage from unconditioned attics may be the worst source of added moisture in summer months. A 200 cfm return leak from a 120°F attic can easily raise the humidity in a home by 30% in several hours if humidity is high outdoors.
  • Supply duct leaks can also create moisture problems. When supply ducts are outside the building envelope and they leak, the amount of supply air may be less than the amount of return air in a building. This will cause negative pressure inside the building.
  • When buildings operate under negative pressure, moisture will be pulled inside whenever the fan is operating. This is especially true in the more humid regions of the country. Some building humidity levels are constantly high due to this effect.

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