How Your HVAC System Controls Humidity
Exhaust fan controls humidity

How Your HVAC System Controls Humidity 

Humidity is something that any Southwest Floridian is familiar with. During the wet season, we all know that wet and sticky feeling. It’s like you have just walked out of the shower but without that refreshing after effect. Sometimes the humidity is so thick it feels like walking through a blanket of water. It can make it impossible to cool off. 

With humidity having such big effects outside, what does it do inside?  Properly insulated homes help to regulate internal humidity and temperature. But insulation can only do so much. Humidity has a way of sneaking in where you don’t want it. Your HVAC system is a major key in keeping humidity down inside. Our team at Chill Squad wants you to have the knowledge you need to avoid humidity related issues. And some big problems come with high humidity inside. 

Before we dive on in, let’s take a look at what humidity is. Then, we can talk about how your HVAC helps control it inside. Finally, we will look at the negative effects humidity can have on your home. 

What causes humidity?

Humidity is a weather phenomenon and part of the water cycle. Water from lakes, ponds, the ocean, or even just a puddle evaporates. The hotter an area is, the more water evaporates. The more water an area has, the higher the humidity. The evaporated water shifts from a liquid to a vapor. This water vapor in the air is what causes humidity. 

Why does Florida have such high humidity? 

Florida is the perfect environment for humidity. Florida is near the equator. This makes us a subtropical location. It also means that we are in a naturally hot state. We already know that the hotter it is, the more water goes into the air. This is why during the hottest months of the year, it rains the most. The clouds collect all sorts of water vapor form below and turn it back into rain. As that water vapor travels up the clouds, it makes us all feel like we are swimming from our front door to our car. 

Our heat is not the only thing that influences our humidity. Florida is a peninsula. This means we have water on three sides of our state. On the Southwest coast, we have the Gulf of Mexico. On the east coast, we have the Atlantic ocean. The Gulf of Mexico is much warmer than the Atlantic Ocean. This creates even more humidity and heat on this coast than our east coast neighbors get. 

But Florida is also a swamp state. The Everglades, various sloughs, springs, and other water systems all increase humidity. Simply put, water surrounds and covers most of Florida. Because we have so much water, there is more that evaporates. This is what causes Florida to have such high humidity.

The Effects of High Humidity

High humidity is not just about feeling gross, sticky, and wet. Humidity brings with it a list of unwanted side effects. Respiratory issues and allergies increase when there is high humidity. Internal humidity above 55% also creates the perfect breeding zone for mold. 

Mold is a type of fungus with many different classifications. Mold comes in a variety of colors, textures, and levels of danger. Most of us are familiar with the great white shark of the mold world – black mold. Black mold is a blanket term for any mold that is black. Not all black molds are the same. When people say that black mold is dangerous, they are talking about a certain strain. The name of that strain is Stachybotrys chartarum. Stachybotrys chartarum affects your health in a serious way. It causes breathing trouble, allergies, and sinus headaches. In severe cases, it may cause mycotoxicosis. Mycotoxicosis is mold poisoning. People with respiratory issues or allergies are more prone to mold-related health problems. 

Luckily, it takes about 24-48 hours of heightened humidity to cause mold. So your bathroom or kitchen that is prone to higher humidity is not at immediate risk. 

How to Control Humidity Inside

Humidity is something Floridians have to live with. But you don’t have to be at its mercy. Opening your windows to allow the humid air to go outside can help. But in Florida, opening the windows can sometimes make things worse. Chill Squad can help you tame the beast with a few simple steps. 

Keep areas that are prone to humidity well ventilated. Bathrooms are especially susceptible to high humidity. This is because of the steam from your shower. Make sure all bathrooms have a vent and exhaust fan. Remember to turn the fan on when showering. If you do not have an exhaust fan, crack the door while showering. This gives the humidity somewhere to go. Chill Squad can also help you with installing exhaust fans. 

Keep your AC running at a good temperature. Cool air prevents humidity build-up. Chill Squad recommends keeping the temperature around 75 degrees. You can raise it to 78 when not home to save money. But anything above that will leave you at risk for too much humidity. Especially in the Florida summer.  

Your HVAC system also naturally removes humidity. The design of your HVAC system brings hot air out. The hot air contains the humidity present in your home. So when the hot air leaves, so does the humidity. 

It is impossible to get rid of all the humidity. But proper ventilation and a working HVAC system do a lot to keep it between 45-55%. That’s the humidity sweet spot. Knowing the percentage of humidity in your home can be tricky. With Chill Squad’s WiFi thermostats, you can know just by looking at a screen. If the humidity in your space is regularly above 65%, you may want to consider buying a dehumidifier. 

To avoid mold and other unwanted side effects from humidity, call Chill Squad. The best way to avoid humidity issues is good prevention. Chill Squad prides ourselves on keeping your needs number one. We are here to help arm you with humidity prevention. Our team also aims to keep your home or business cool while keeping costs down. You can have a cool, low humidity home while saving money. 

For more information on how your HVAC system affects the humidity in your home, call us at 239 – 256 – COOL. 

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Published: June 22, 2020
Author: Chill Squad Author