Our San Antonio winters are just a short respite from the long, hot and humid conditions that prevail most of the year. It won’t be long until we’re faced once again with how to keep comfortable without lowering the thermostat so much that our utility bills go through the roof. One of the best ways we know is by correctly managing humidity levels.
Humidity Makes Us Feel Warmer
When temperatures rise, the warm air holds more moisture. That higher humidity level makes it more difficult for the perspiration on our skin to evaporate and cool us off. When that happens, our first impulse is to lower the thermostat so we feel cooler. But the best remedy is to reduce humidity.
Relative Humidity in Your Home
Generally relative humidity — that is, how much moisture is in the air — in your home should be between 30 and 50 percent. In the summer, it’s best if humidity is less than 40 percent, while in the winter, it can be a bit higher to prevent static, and to soothe nasal passages, throats and skin, which tend to dry out with lower moisture.
If you’re not sure of the humidity levels in your home, you can buy an inexpensive hygrometer at the home store. These will help you monitor levels all year long and take measures to raise or lower humidity as needed.
As summer approaches, you can try some of these tactics to keep humidity lower in your home.
- Take shorter showers. In general, run water for shorter times whenever possible.
- Use an exhaust vent (to the outdoors) when cooking.
- Fix leaks as soon as you detect them.
- If you have a lot of plants, put them in one room and close the door.
- Install a whole-home dehumidifier. Portable dehumidifiers may help some, but they have to be moved around. Whole-home models do a better job of augmenting your air conditioner’s efforts to dehumidify your home’s air.
If you’d like to know more about managing humidity levels, contact Beyer Boys. We serve San Antonio and the surrounding area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Antonio, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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