Want to know the secret to staying comfortable all summer long without racking up high electricity bills? Manage both your home’s temperature and humidity levels. Of course, lowering the thermostat helps, but for the greatest impact, you need the right level of humidity. It’s like how a drier day feels so much better than a muggy, sticky one.
Let’s dive into humidity and how you can maximize your home’s comfort with simple, portable air comfort solutions to reduce costs in the long run.
First things first: What’s humidity?
Humidity is the measurement of water vapor in the air. The higher the humidity, the heavier and more oppressive it’ll feel. Relative humidity is measured as a percentage.
The right humidity levels help your home feel cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
How do I check my humidity levels?
Checking your home's humidity levels is easy with a pocket-sized digital hygrometer. Readings around your home might vary; basements and bathrooms are often damp.
What’s the ideal humidity level for my home?
The Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Mayo Clinic recommend a humidity level from 30-50% for respiratory health and mold prevention. Don’t stray from this range, going too high or too low spells trouble.
What’s so bad about high humidity?
Too much moisture makes your home feel stuffy and can cause structural damage and negative health effects.
Humidity encourages the growth of mold, bacteria, and dust mites. This can be particularly harmful to folks with allergies or asthma. Water vapor can saturate walls and ceilings, causing the paint to peel and woodwork to rot.
What about low humidity?
In addition to dry skin and chapped lips, dry air can cause a host of problems:
- It makes you vulnerable to viruses! Per Immunology Professor Akiko Iwasaki of Yale School of Medicine, “Dry air is a key factor that impairs a person’s ability to fight off respiratory viral infections.”
- It dries out sinuses, which can trigger asthma, bronchitis, and sinusitis (Cleveland Clinic).
- A lack of moisture can cause flooring or wood trim to become brittle and crack.
I live in a dry climate. What should I do this summer?
An evaporative cooler could be the answer as it cools and humidifies while consuming very little energy. Using the power of evaporation to bring an icy-cool breeze into hot and dry spaces, you can reduce the temperature by up to 15°F without turning on the AC. Look for quality portable air coolers that are made for indoor or outdoor use. Enjoy your backyard or living room without ever needing to break a sweat!
If you’re looking for more bang your buck, you might want to consider indoor portable evaporative air coolers like the Honeywell CL30XC that doubles as a convenient humidifier during dry winter months.
I live in a humid climate. What should I do this summer?
Air conditioners simultaneously cool and dry the air for ultimate comfort. Sure, it’s easy to switch on the central AC, but if you’re just in one room, why pay to cool down the whole house? For an energy-efficient option, try a portable air conditioner like the Honeywell MN4CFS0 to stay dry and cool. Imagine what you can do with the money you'll save using targeted cooling versus whole-house cooling!
Want even more savings? Basements are naturally cool and a great hangout spot during hot summers. If you plan on spending time in your damp basement while saving on air conditioning, you can get an ENERGY STAR certified portable dehumidifier to keep out the moisture and mold while keeping energy cost low.