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What You Should Know About Winter Indoor Humidity Levels

Winter Indoor Humidity Levels

Winters in Florida may not be as extreme as those experienced in other regions, but at times there are still days and nights that may seem colder than what you’d expect. You’re probably already familiar with true winter air. Not only is it cold, it’s dry and uncomfortable, as well. This is because cold air can’t hold much water vapor, so the colder the air, the drier it is. For this reason, many homeowners use humidifiers in the winter to increase indoor humidity levels. Too much moisture also has its disadvantages, so it pays to make sure your home has just the right level of indoor humidity for the winter. Anthony’s Cooling and Heating, a trusted air conditioning and heating services provider, expounds on this here.

The Best Indoor Humidity Level for Winter

No matter where you live and what the climate is like, much of your home’s indoor comfort and the performance of your HVAC system will depend on the amount of humidity present in the air. According to the Mayo Clinic, the ideal indoor humidity level for both health and comfort is between 30% and 50%, though this may vary by season. In the summer months, for example, relative humidity should fall between 30% and 45%. Winter, on the other hand, will require levels lower than 40% to prevent condensation from forming on the windows.

What Happens When the Air in Your Home is Too Dry?

Low humidity can cause a number of adverse effects. For one, it makes the air inside your home too dry. This can result in:

  1. Higher energy costs. Constant exposure to dry air pulls moisture from your skin, leaving you cold despite the warm temperature inside your house. This cold feeling may force you to turn up the heat even more, which means more energy is consumed. To keep your heating and electric costs to a minimum, make sure you deal with dry indoor air promptly.
  2. Increased health risks. Dry air can cause asthma and allergy symptoms to worsen. It also allows cold and flu viruses to spread more rapidly inside your home. Are you prone to sinus infections during the winter? Or perhaps you suffer from dry skin, chapped lips, and respiratory discomfort. You’ll be even more susceptible to these symptoms if your home has low humidity levels.
  3. Property damage. Did you know dry indoor air can also damage your home? It can draw the moisture from wood and other building materials, making them brittle. The same goes for furniture, flooring, trim, and window and door frames. With enough exposure to dry air, they can crack and become damaged.

The good news is that dealing with this problem can be easy. You can, for example, invest in a humidifier from a trusted local expert in heating services and indoor air quality solutions. You can either get an individual humidifier or a whole-home unit. Use its auto ON/OFF feature or a timer to run the system in short, intermittent bursts. This prevents the humidifier from running for long periods and causing excessive humidity.

Any gaps around windows and doors should be caulked or sealed to prevent dry air and cold drafts. Another option is to bring in more humidity naturally through daily household activities. Air drying your laundry, cooking on your stovetop, showering with hot water, and keeping indoor plants can all help increase the water vapor present in your indoor air.

What Happens When the Air in Your Home is Too Humid?

A high level of humidity in your home is just as problematic as a low one. In fact, it can lead to a whole host of problems, including:

  1. Mold growth. Dry air pulls the moisture from your home’s wood elements and building materials, but humid air does the reverse. It contains a larger amount of water vapor, exposing your furniture, walls, and flooring to excess moisture instead. This encourages mold growth and rot, which can weaken the building materials and compromise your home’s structural integrity. In this case, it’s better to add ventilators or invest in dehumidifiers for your home. Anthony’s Cooling and Heating can help you with this. We’re not just an expert in air conditioning installation–we can also handle your indoor air quality needs.
  2. Muggy conditions. When indoor air is too humid, your home becomes uncomfortably hot, which makes it difficult to sleep. Not only that, it might force you to run your air conditioner harder and longer. This in turn leads to increased cooling bills. Simply opening the window and letting fresh air into your home can help lower the humidity level, but there are also more effective solutions available to you. You just need to turn to the right pro to do the job.

Work with a Trusted HVAC Company

If your home feels too dry in the winter (or too humid in the summer), you should consult a reliable HVAC company like Anthony’s Cooling and Heating. Whether you need air conditioning installation or indoor air quality solutions, we’ve got you covered. We understand that there’s more to air quality than comfortable temperatures–it can influence your health, as well.

Our indoor air quality specialists are professionally trained and have the right equipment to maintain thermal comfort in your home, as well as safer, cleaner indoor air. But to give you a personalized solution, we’ll first need to perform a comprehensive assessment of your home’s indoor air. You should consider scheduling air quality testing with us. This way, we can match you with the solution that best fits your home and needs.

Other Reasons to Work with Anthony’s Cooling and Heating

Along with our worry-free air quality testing service, Anthony’s Cooling and Heating also offers high-quality air conditioning, along with heating and electric services. In fact, we’re recognized and accredited as one of Florida’s leading HVAC system service providers. We’ve won the 2020 American Standard Award, and because we’re Google Guaranteed and A+ Rated by the Better Business Bureau®, you can always expect us to deliver more-than-satisfactory results in every project we take on.

When you work with Anthony’s Cooling and Heating, you’ll have greater peace of mind knowing your HVAC, electrical and indoor air quality needs will be met in a timely and efficient manner. Trust us to provide a smooth, stress-free experience from start to finish. We proudly serve the areas in and around Palmetto, FL. Call us today at (941) 347-0779 or fill out this contact form to schedule your HVAC evaluation.