Especially if you live in Maryland, the relative humidity in the air can have a serious effect on the comfort you experience inside of your home and the condition of your HVAC units. Properly managing your indoor humidity should be a summer priority, as it will make you more comfortable and preserve the well-being of your home.
Relative Humidity 101
The term relative humidity is used to describe the amount of water vapor in the air inside or outside of your home. Relative humidity is represented as a percentage of the amount of water needed for saturation at the same temperature. As the temperatures fluctuate, air’s ability to hold onto water changes as well. On average, in the summer months, your home’s indoor humidity should be between 30-45%. In the winter, you should keep humidity under 40% to prevent condensation from forming on the windows. The high relative humidity will keep your home warm in the winter and cold in the summer.
Why Does the Humidity Level Matter?
If the humidity levels in your home are too high, your home will be much less comfortable to live in. High humidity levels can also lead to damage to your home, from wallpaper to flooring (and everything in between). With low humidity levels, ozone production increases and respiratory infections become more common. With higher humidity levels, you face an increased threat level of:
- Allergic rhinitis and asthma
- Chemical reactions and negative interactions
In the summer, you should avoid using humidifiers and use your air conditioning unit to get rid of indoor moisture. You should also ensure that you turn on exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom to suck excess moisture out of the air. In the winter months, you should utilize an indoor room humidifier and consider adding small houseplants to your most-used rooms. If you struggle to maintain proper humidity levels, you can also add a whole-house humidifier.
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