If you’ve ever stepped outside during a hot summer’s day and felt overcome by mugginess, then you’ve experienced the powerful effects of humidity. Measuring the humidity is how we determine how much water is being held in the air in a given area.
Most people understand that humidity affects the temperatures outside, but what about inside? Humidity traps warm air and can make your home feel even hotter during the summer months. Similarly, too much humidity in the home can be uncomfortable during winter because too much water in the air can lead to condensation on your windows and other glass surfaces.
Humidity can have a huge effect on how comfortable the temperature in your home is during every season. Our guide will give you all the details you need to know about how humidity affects the temperatures in your home, and how you can stay comfortable in every season.
What is Humidity?
Humidity is how we measure how much water vapor is present in the air. You may have heard weather forecasters talk about relative humidity, and that is a more complex concept.
Simply put, relative humidity measures how much water vapor is present in the air at any given temperature and pressure. Understanding the humidity outside can help you plan how you should dress on any given day.
Understanding how humidity affects the temperature in your home can help you take the steps necessary to achieve a humidity level that’s comfortable and energy-efficient.
Does Humidity Affect You Inside?
Humidity does affect you and the temperature inside. High levels of humidity during the already warm summer months can cause your home to retain too much heat and make it harder to keep it cool. Too much humidity in the home can also lead to mold growth and other problems that can cause health issues. During the warmer months, it’s best to keep the humidity in your home to the 50% mark.
In the winter months, you’ll want the humidity to be even lower- generally under 40%. The reason for this is that if you have too much moisture in the air it can cause condensation on your windows, doors, and other glass fixtures. That condensation can lead to mold growth and wood rot if it’s left for too long.
Does Reducing the Humidity Also Reduce the Temperature?
Reducing the humidity in your home will also reduce the temperature, which is what most homeowners want in the summer months. The reason for this is that as the air temperatures cool they simply can’t hold onto as much moisture as warm temperatures.
Lowering the humidity in your home will cause the air in your home to become dryer, which will cause a drop in temperature. Dry air can’t hold in heat as well because of the lack of water molecules.
Does Warmer Air Hold More Moisture?
Warmer air can hold more moisture. This is largely because of the speed at which the molecules in the air are moving, and can be a difficul concept for many people.
The basic thing to understand is that the molecules in the air speed up as temperatures rise. The warmer the air, the faster the molecules are moving. These molecules have a greater chance of being in the gas phase due to their speed and are therefore able to hold more water vapor than slow-moving cold air.
What’s the Difference Between Absolute Humidity and Relative Humidity?
Absolute and relative humidity are both terms that deal with how much water vapor is present in the air. Absolute humidity refers to how much water vapor is in the air. In more complex terms, absolute humidity measures the mass of water vapor in ratio to the mass of dry air.
Relative humidity calculates how much water vapor is present in the air compared to how much water vapor the air could potentially hold. Relative humidity can change based on the temperature and pressure of the air.
How Humid Should it be Inside a House?
The humidity in your house needs to be within a certain range in order to keep your environment comfortable. Too much humidity in your home can cause problems such as mold growth or wood rot. Too little humidity can cause dry skin and lips, scratchy throats, and increased static electricity.
The best range for humidity in your home is between 30-60%. However, it depends on the season as well. In the summer, your humidity should be more around the 50% mark, and in the summer it’s best to keep the humidity below 40%.
How to Control the Moisture/Humidity in a House?
Thankfully, you don’t have to be a bystander to the humidity in the house. There are ways to control the humidity and moisture in your home to help keep the environment comfortable. Here’s a brief list of the ways you can get that pesky humidity under control.
Dehumidifiers are a great tool for getting the humidity under control in your home. Use them in problem rooms such as your basement, kitchen, and bathroom where humidity tends to congregate.
2. Use Proper Ventilation
In the summer, all you need to do is open your door or window and a wave of humidity will rush into your home. However, there are other things you’re doing that are increasing the humidity in your home without even realizing it. Cooking creates steam which can turn into humidity.
Taking a hot shower and running a washer and drying can also increase your humidity. Turn on a fan when you cook or take a hot shower, and try to reduce how frequently you do your laundry.
3. Use Plants
If your home doesn’t have enough humidity, then moving some plants into the home will help increase the humidity levels. Plants release moisture into the air, along with carbon dioxide, so they’ll help increase the quality of your air as well as the humidity.
4. Use Insulation
Insulation helps protect against cold and warm temperatures affecting your home, but it can also help prevent excess humidity from getting inside as well. Add extra insulation or weather stripping around windows, doors, and other problem areas.
5. Use an Air Conditioner
Air conditioners are perfect for combating humidity in the summer. They don’t just cool down the air. Air conditioners work to remove moisture from the air as well and will help bring down the humidity in your home.
Installing a Heat Pump is a very practical way to control the temperatures year-round, but also it can help with the humidity too.
If you’re experiencing too little humidity in the home, then you can try using a humidifier to add moisture to the air. You can also try cooking more to create more steam and running a hot shower.
Read Related: Why Is My Heat Pump Freezing Up In The Summer?
How Does Humidity Affect Temperatures in the Winter?
Humidity has a large effect on how you feel in the winter. Relative humidity measures how much water vapor is present in the air based on the temperature and pressure, and this is what the weather forecasters talk about when they mention the humidity.
Higher humidity levels will make you feel even colder in the winter. The reason for this is that the water vapor will begin to condense on your clothing, which can cause you to feel damp. Being wet and cold is a miserable combination.
Conversely, lower humidity levels won’t cause as much condensation on your clothing or exposed skin which can help you feel a little warmer. The humidity will play a large role in how much layering-up you need to do when going outside.
Jamie is the Founder of My Home Dwelling. He is a homeowner and enjoys sharing his homeowner tips with others. He has real estate experience working as a new home construction Realtor. Jamie has worked on numerous residential construction sites helping with interior and exterior renovations. He loves refinishing furniture, DIY home projects, and sharing his knowledge online.