What Should the Humidity be in My Home?
Are you noticing sweating walls around your house? Have you detected mold problems in parts of the structure? Do you have a hard time with indoor comfort levels in spite of using your air conditioning unit non-stop? Humidity in home settings can contribute to many of these issues, and managing moisture levels may be a challenge. Some basic information may help you to decide on the best steps to take.
Proper Indoor Moisture Levels
Relative humidity, RH, refers to how much water vapor is in the air in comparison to the amount that can be held by the air at a particular temperature. In most climates, the ideal RH is between 30 and 50 percent for indoor settings. You can purchase an inexpensive instrument called a hygrometer to measure your indoor moisture levels if you want to keep track. It’s also possible to install HVAC controls that monitor this reading.
What Can I Do About High Humidity in the House?
Our Florida climate makes us more susceptible to high RH levels indoors. Measurements alone won’t solve the issue. However, your home cooling system can help. As your AC unit cycles on, the evaporator coil gets icy cold and causes moisture to condense. This dehumidification process is enough for some homeowners. However, it’s important to realize that your AC has to run long enough to do this job adequately.
It’s easy to worry about your cooling costs as your air conditioner runs longer. However, a short running period won’t permit much moisture to condense. In fact, it could lead to that moisture evaporating into the air again. Make sure that your system is on for at least 15 minutes at a time. If your unit won’t keep running long enough, you may need to have the sizing evaluated. An oversized system might seem like a great way to keep the house cool, but it can cool so efficiently that it shuts off quickly and doesn’t perform an adequate job of dehumidification.
What About Dehumidification During Lower Temperatures?
There are times when the balmy temperatures make it unnecessary to run the AC. However, the moisture can still be a problem, causing damage to your home and problems with your health. A dehumidifier is an option, a system that works to moderate RH levels independently of the AC. There are advanced AC systems that include dehumidification functions in the absence of cooling as well. Look for products that integrate with your existing AC unit, or consider upgrading to a more advanced unit.
Check Your Air Quality
In addition to addressing problems with your home’s RH, you may want to think about an air quality evaluation. Mold is a primary concern in our climate, a common issue because of the moisture levels. Testing your indoor air will help in identifying the concentration of mold in your airstream while also pinpointing other pollutants. Adding an air cleaner to your HVAC system can provide the filtration needed to keep spores from spreading extensively.
Merritt Heating & Air Conditioning can help you evaluate your RH and your related equipment and options in your Jacksonville Beach, FL home. We can provide you with helpful solutions based on air samples as well. Call our team to get started.