If the worst part of summer was the sun, then being indoors all day wouldn’t be a problem. The real problem is the humidity, which can linger for hours into the night, making it hard to sleep or feel comfortable.
For asthma sufferers, though, it’s more than just discomfort. Humid air is harder to breathe than normal air, which can aggravate the usual asthma symptoms (which are bad enough already). In this post, we’ll go more into depth on what high humidity means for asthma sufferers and how you can fight back.
What is High Humidity?
First off, what do we mean when we say “high humidity?” Although we certainly know it when we feel it, there’s actually a measurement of humidity called the relative humidity index. Everything between 30 and 60 percent moisture is considered satisfactory, while 45% is the ideal level of comfort. Anything below the range is going to be too dry (which comes with its own slew of problems), and anything above the range is too moist. Devices like whole-house dehumidifiers help to bring this range down to a normal level, doing so accurately with automatic sensors.
How Humidity Makes Asthma Worse
The problem with humidity and asthma, then, is that the humid air is capable of trapping pollutants and allergens, such as dust, pollen, and mold. These contaminants can trigger asthma symptoms, turning your own home into a leading cause of your asthma attacks! High humidity also encourages the growth of mold and keeps dust mites alive, which can be a problem even for non-asthma sufferers.
How to Fight Back
On its own, an air conditioner will naturally remove some of the humidity from the air. For very humid climates, however, this might not be enough. The best choice at that point is to consider installing one of the previously mentioned whole-house dehumidifiers. These will bring your entire home down to a healthier level of humidity. It’s also far superior to the portable dehumidifiers that can only treat one room at a time and need to have their water tanks emptied regularly.
You’ll also want to make sure that bathrooms are properly ventilated, since they naturally create higher than normal amounts of humidity and even mold. Exhaust fans can help with taking some of the humidity out of your bathroom.
On the other hand, running the AC all day with the windows and doors closed just recycles the same air over and over. This means that any contaminants floating around in the home can still be circulated throughout it, even if the humidity has been lowered. To combat this, you can try opening the windows to let in fresh air, but that will be inefficient since you’ll have to cool the air again. Energy recovery ventilators can do this for you while working seamlessly with your AC, so there won’t be any inefficiencies in the process.