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Atlantic Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Inc. Blog

How Does Relative Humidity Affect Home Comfort?

We live in Dover, DE, which means we’re no strangers to high humidity in the summer and low humidity in the winter. They can have a huge effect on your indoor air quality, almost as much as your air conditioner or heater. Indeed extreme humidity levels on both ends of the scale can force your HVAC system to work harder than it should, and increase the chances of a breakdown in the future. How does relative humidity affect home comfort? We’ve provided a quick breakdown below.

What Is Relative Humidity

We measure humidity in terms of relative humidity, a percentage that gauges the levels between rain (100% humidity) and air with no moisture in it at all (0% humidity, which almost never happens on this planet). Generally speaking, human beings need to humidity levels to be between 30% and 50%. Higher temperatures tend to increase the humidity, while lower temperatures tend to reduce it, which is why the air tends to be muggy in the summer and dry in the winter.

Too Wet or Too Dry

When the air gets too humid, the amount of moisture keeps our sweat from evaporating off of our skin, which is our body’s primary means of keeping cool. We thus tend to feel hotter as our internal temperature goes up, and since the sweat doesn’t leave our skin, we feel wetter and clammier as a result. Dry air, on the other hand, makes our skin feel cracked and itchy, as well as drying out our sinuses and making us more vulnerable to sickness. (Static electricity becomes a big problem with low humidity levels as well.) Heaters and air conditioners can compensate for this somewhat, but neither is made to address humidity levels, and attempting to compensate puts a lot of unnecessary strain on them.

If you think your home could benefit from a humidifier or dehumidifier call on Atlantic Refrigeration to do the job!

 

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