High levels of humidity can make it feel warmer than the thermometer indicates. Floridians are familiar with the heat index, which combines the temperature and the relative humidity to determine the ‘feels like’ temperature outdoors. Just as high levels of humidity can make the outdoors feel several degrees warmer, high levels of humidity in the home can make temperatures feel warmer as well.
Your thermostat might indicate temperatures around 78 degrees, but you may feel much warmer if your humidity is not under control. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to help lower humidity in your home for a more comfortable living environment.
First, make sure that your air conditioner is properly sized. Bigger is not always better when it comes to A/C systems. More information can be found here as a general guide for choosing the appropriately sized air conditioner, but a good air conditioning contractor will take into account several other factors in addition to the square footage of your home. They’ll also consider the local climate, the position of windows (as well as type and size of windows), the amount of insulation in your home and the number of individuals residing in the home.
An air conditioner that is too large will not run as long as other air conditioners, but will start and stop often, and won’t run long enough to effectively remove humidity. This may lead homeowners to set their thermostat at lower temperatures. A/C systems that are too small will run constantly and labor to cool your home, costing you more money on your energy bills. Make sure that your contractor does his or her due diligence in determining the appropriate sized air conditioner or heat pump.
Some other steps you can take to lower indoor humidity include using ceiling fans to cool down. They won’t lower the temperature, but fans make you feel cooler. Just make sure that you turn it off when you leave the room.
Use exhaust fans in the bathroom and over the kitchen stove. Cover pans when cooking. Take shorter showers using cooler water. Reduce the amount of plants in your house. Make sure your dryer vents to the outside. If you use a humidifier and notice high humidity levels, turn it down or turn it off completely. You may also consider using a dehumidifier.