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Why Humidity Makes Summer Worse (And How You Can Stop It)

fan-in-the-faceFlorida is known for its hot summers. Make that hot and humid summers. It’s one thing to have a hot day. It’s quite another when the humidity level is high. An 80°F day can feel like it’s 10° hotter—or maybe it is 10° hotter?

We’re going to explain exactly why humidity can make summer heat much less pleasant. But we’re going to go farther, however, and tell you how you can fix high humidity levels in your home so you can have an easier time keeping cooling through any humid day.

Humidity—It’s Like Wearing a Blanket in Summer

First, humidity doesn’t make the day hotter. An 80°F summer day is an 80°F summer day no matter if it’s the most humid day or the driest day of the year. What humidity does is create the feeling of higher heat because it traps heat inside the human body. Basically, high humidity is the equivalent of throwing on a blanket during a heat wave. With all that heat still trapped, you’ll feel much hotter.

Humidity is usually measured as relative humidity, which is how saturated the air is with water moisture. 0% relative humidity means no moisture at all. 100% relative humidity means the air can’t hold more moisture, which usually means it’s raining. When the air has relative humidity higher than 60%, it’s considered too humid. (Below 30% is too dry, by the way, which has its own set of problems.) All that saturated moisture is what traps heat inside your body, because it’s more difficult to release heat through perspiration.

Controlling Humidity in Your House

Ideally, you want balanced relative humidity. Most people are comfortable at around 45% relative humidity, and this is the target you want for your house on a humid day. The best way to reach that goal is with a whole-house dehumidifier. Your AC has some dehumidification properties, but it’s not able to handle the muggy Florida days—it takes a dedicated dehumidifier to do the job.

A dehumidifier works similarly to an air conditioner. It circulates refrigerant and evaporates it inside the ventilation system. By evaporating the refrigerant, it causes moisture suspended in the air to condense as water along the evaporator coil, lowering humidity levels. The moisture is removed and the air is re-heated (the process also cools the air) so it won’t interfere with the AC’s performance.

Not only does a whole-house dehumidifier make you feel more comfortable on humid days, it will save you energy because you won’t need to run the AC as much. When dehumidifying the home results in you feeling 8 to 10° cooler, that often means you can shut off the air conditioner. There are other benefits as well: balanced humidity prevents water damage in your house and stops the growth of mold and mildew, which are persistent and sometimes harmful problems in the Florida climate.

To arrange for professional installation of a whole-house dehumidifier in Clearwater, FL or the surrounding areas, speak to our HVAC specialists. Since 1988, we’ve helped locals beat the heat—and the humidity. Experience the Balanced Air difference!

Rely on the HVAC company with 30 years of history: Balanced Air, Inc.

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