Do You Need a Dehumidifier?
Posted on: July 13, 2015
When people complain about soaring temperatures, they often make a remark along the lines of, "It's not the heat, it's the humidity." It's a familiar phrase that reflects just how uncomfortable people can become when weather conditions are both hot and muggy. If the temperature was the same in two different cities but one city was more humid than the other, residents in the humid city would definitely feel more hot and unpleasant.
On the other hand, if your environment is too dry, you can feel equally uncomfortable. Think of how your eyes and throat can get scratchy in a low-humidity environment and how much better you feel when you run a humidifier or enter a steam shower or sauna.
If you think you've been experiencing more than your fair share of high humidity in Florida, you're correct! It turns out that Florida is the most humid state in the U.S., according to researchers at the Florida Climate Center at Florida State University. Florida has high humidity because of its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. In fact, Florida is practically considered a tropical environment.
What is Humidity?
Humidity happens when the air is saturated with water vapor. You will grow uncomfortable under such conditions because when your body is trying to perspire and cool you down, it's harder for the moisture to evaporate if the air is already muggy.
In essence, the air is too moist to take in your perspiration too, so you stay warm despite your body's efforts to naturally cool down.
Technicians use a device called a hydrometer to measure humidity levels. When you contact a professional HVAC technicianto evaluate your home or business for humidity, he or she will use the hydrometer to help determine how serious it is, which helps in selecting a dehumidifier.
Problems with High Humidity
Besides feeling uncomfortable and too warm, there are more serious problems associated with high humidity. If you have asthma or allergies, the excess moisture can make them worsen.
High humidity can also cause damage to your home. Too much moisture tends to encourage mildew and mold to grow.
You may first notice signs of the problem in the form of rotting wood, musty odors or condensation on windows. It's best to take care of this as soon as possible because mold can pose a great health risk to humans and their pets.
Problems with Low Humidity
As noted, Florida is the most humid state in the U.S., so you will likely not encounter too much low humidity here. However, it's worth keeping in mind that when humidity is very low, it can also affect your health and well being.
The first signs that there is a problem with low humidity in your dwelling can include dry skin, chapped lips, eczema, a sore throat, congestion or even frequent nose bleeds. If you have allergies or an illness that low humidity will tend to exacerbate, your medical provider may recommend that you bring a portable humidifier into your room (such as the bedroom or a home office) so you can get some relief.
At David Gray Heating & Air, we know firsthand how homeowners and business owners in the greater Jacksonville, Florida area and beyond can grow uncomfortable when the humidity gets too high. If you have been putting up with high humidity for too long now, you should know that the problem can be easily remedied when you install the proper equipment. For more information on dehumidifiers and HVAC systems, please contact the professionally trained experts at David Gray Heating & Air today.