How to Control the Humidity in Your Home

living room furniture with a piano.

Summertime in Texas means hot, sticky, muggy weather.

We all know a properly air conditioned building feels drier and cooler than hot, humid outdoor air. Our professionals at AiRCO Heating & Air Conditioning want to help you understand how you can better control and manage humidity in your Austin home.

What Is Relative Humidity?

Relative humidity refers to the amount of moisture that exists in the air, which is calculated as a percentage of the amount needed for complete saturation at the same temperature. That’s why winter indoor air is typically dry and summer air feels moist. 

The ideal humidity for a Texas home is between 30 and 50 percent, which provides the perfect level of comfort for most people. In winter, many times humidity levels drop below that range, causing chapped lips, dry skin, and sore throats. In the summer, if humidity gets too high, it can overwhelm you, leading to sticky and hot discomfort.

Why Is High Humidity a Problem?

The reason why you feel uncomfortable in hot, humid environments is your skin can’t naturally release your body heat through sweating as easily if the outdoor temperature conditions are humid. That’s why people can tolerate higher temperatures in dryer climates much more easily than higher temperatures in humid climates.

From a health standpoint, high humidity can often make you feel lethargic and unproductive. It’s also much easier for you to overheat and experience heat exhaustion or even heat stroke when temperatures are both hot and humid.

Inside a home, however, high humidity can cause rapid growth of things like mold and fungus. These are common allergens for many people that can cause respiratory distress or allergic reactions.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), high humidity—and the mold it creates—can damage wood furniture, your drywall, and other parts of your home. On the opposite side of that spectrum, overly dry temperatures in the winter can also cause permanent damage to wood furniture and musical instruments. Therefore, it’s critical to keep your indoor air humidity at the proper levels.

How Can I Manage My Humidity Levels?

There are several ways you can ensure your humidity levels stay within the 30 to 50 percent range year-round. Here are a few ideas to consider:

Install a whole-house dehumidifier. For Texas homeowners, perhaps one of the most important things to install is a whole-house dehumidifier. These systems can consistently monitor humidity levels and work to pull out excess humidity on a regular basis. Be sure your dehumidifier is in good working order. 

Our heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) professionals at AiRCO Heating and Air Conditioning can help ensure the condensate drain is clear and unclogged, your evaporator coils are clean, your humidistat is working properly, and your air filter is clean.

Maintain your air conditioning system. Your air conditioning (AC) system can help you manage your humidity levels and indoor air quality (IAQ). It will do a better job if it’s regularly cleaned, inspected, and tuned up, particularly before the hot summer season sets in. Schedule your appointment today with our AiRCO team to have your air conditioner inspected.

If your HVAC air filters are regularly replaced and the system is clean, air conditioners will work more efficiently and effectively and help you control your indoor humidity levels, as well as save you in energy costs.

Install ductless air conditioners. If you have certain areas of your Round Rock home that remain warmer and muggier than others because they were newly added or sit in an unusual place within your floor plan, you may want to install a ductless air conditioning system in that room or area. A ductless air conditioner can help control humidity because it removes heat from the air. Cooler air naturally holds less moisture than warmer air.

Call Your Indoor Air Quality Experts Today!

Our experienced team at AiRCO Heating & Air Conditioning in Austin, TX, would love to tell you more about our dehumidification systems, as well as assist with any indoor air quality issues you may have. Request service online or call us at 512.537.1234 to learn more about our services and products.

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