Did you know that humidity can play a large role in affecting the temperature of a room or home?
You might typically associate humidity with summer, a tropical location, and the uncomfortableness of warm sticky air, rather than a heating and cooling system.
Believe it or not, humidity plays a large role in the temperature of your house throughout the year, and has a great effect on the temperature of the air coming from your HVAC system.
What is humidity?
We were all taught in science that when water cools, it freezes and turns into ice, and when it heats it evaporates into water vapour.
While we may be familiar with ice and how it affects our environment, we’re less familiar with the effects of water vapour, and how it can influence our environment and its temperature.
Humidity is the percentage of water vapour that is in the air.
When there is lots of water vapour in the air – or high humidity – it is harder (and it takes longer) for your body’s sweat to evaporate.
High humidity in warm weather
Put simply: during high humidity, the air is already saturated with water vapour that it can’t take anymore, hence that sticky, uncomfortable feeling.
High humidity in cooler weather
Humidity isn’t reserved only for warmer temperatures. It can be present throughout the year, but evokes a different sort of effect. During cooler temperatures, when relative humidity is high, you might notice windows fogging up in the home. This condensation builds and you can see it on windows.
Humidity, however, is not as severe in winter or cooler temperatures simply because cold air holds less moisture than warm air.
In the home, humidity is just as influential of the temperature as it is outside. To keep humidity levels balanced in the home, many heating and cooling systems can be fitted with humidifiers.
What is a “normal” level of humidity?
Levels of humidity are normally represented as a percentage: the higher the percentage, the higher the volume of moisture is in the air.
While we know that high humidity levels can leave us feeling uncomfortable, levels that are too low can also affect us. If humidity is too low, it can take its toll, drying out skin, lips, and hair, and resulting in itchy throats and even static electricity!
It’s commonly said that the ideal “range” of humidity in the home is between 40 and 60%.
In winter, the air cools and the water vapour in the air condenses into liquid. (And in very cold climates, it can freeze into ice.)
Without water vapour in the air to trap any heat, the heat will instead escape through every nook and crack of your house and rise up to the top of your roof. Without a decent humidifier installed, your HVAC system will be working in overdrive to keep your house warm. Humidifiers make your heating and cooling work much more effectively and efficiently. In addition, dry air can result in sinuses, cracked lips, and a dry throat.
Just as humidifiers add water vapour and humidity to your home, dehumidifiers do the exact opposite. To make your system effective at cooling your home, they remove the water vapour from the air so it can cool down quicker and remove that sticky, humid feeling we all know.
Summer may seem far away, but you don’t want to be stuck in the middle of a heat wave and discover your heating and cooling system isn’t fitted with an effective dehumidifier!
How balancing humidity equates to energy savings
By having a proper humidifier and dehumidifier installed in your HVAC system, you can save on energy usage and costs.
Efficient appliances make all the difference when it comes to savings on those monthly and quarterly household bills. With an effective system balancing humidity throughout the year, you can lower the thermostat and therefore the effort of your system while still remaining comfortable.
Is your heating and cooling system working to its fullest potential?
For more than 28 years, Coolro has been working closely with a variety of industry trades. We create efficient heating and cooling solutions for both commercial and domestic projects.
With a wealth of knowledge and experience, we’re the best choice when it comes to assessing your current HVAC system. With smart solutions, we’ll balance humidity throughout summer and winter, keeping you comfortable year-round, and for many years to come.