Setting the Right Indoor Humidity for a Healthy Household
The quality of air inside your home can contribute to the overall well-being of your family. Not only does it define your level of comfort, but it also helps contribute to everyone’s overall health. An imbalanced amount of moisture in the air can invite allergens, bacteria, and viruses, that can cause any number of allergies and even some respiratory illnesses.
But with the right kind of home air conditioner system, you can combat the challenges you face in maintaining a good indoor air quality. This is particularly important for us West Australians as we come into the summer months and the hot Perth sun. In this article, learn about the role of your AC system to the humidity in your house and ultimately, the health and comfort of your family.
What is humidity?
The Bureau of Meteorology define humidity as the amount of water vapour in the air. It is usually measured by dew point and relative humidity.
Dew point refers to the atmospheric temperature at which water droplets begin to condense enough for fog or dew to form. It basically tells you how much moisture is present in the air. A high dew point temperature means a greater atmospheric moisture content. Keep in mind that a comfortable dew point index depends on which city you are in. What is comfortable to people in Perth might not be comfortable for people in Broome or Kalgoorlie.
Relative humidity (RH), on the other hand, is the partial pressure of water vapour in the air compared to the maximum possible vapour that the air can hold at that temperature. It is expressed in percentage. It basically tells you how close the air is to saturation. If the RH is 70%, it means that the air is 70% saturated with water vapour.
It is good to remember that warm air holds more moisture than cool air. So, if the quantity of atmospheric moisture stays the same but the temperature rises, the relative humidity falls. On the other hand, if temperature falls, the relative humidity increases.
It is important to know both dew point temperature and relative humidity because they are vital in managing the humidity level in your house.
How your body reacts to humidity
If there is too much water vapour in the air, your body’s ability to cool down takes much longer than normal. You feel hotter as your body works harder to help evaporate the moisture from your skin. It also becomes harder to breathe because the dense air caused by the humidity increases airway resistance in your body. Not only that! High humidity also incites fungi and mould growth, which can be a cause of various diseases as well.
Conversely, low humidity causes your skin to dry, invites viruses and disease-causing microorganisms, and makes you and your family prone to colds or other respiratory illnesses.
Maintaining a good humidity level at home
As mentioned above, indoor humidity can affect your family’s comfort and health. As a rule of thumb, it is recommended to maintain a humidity range between 40 – 60%. Anything lower or higher than that can make you uncomfortable or worse, susceptible to sickness.
Of course, it is important to remember that the quality of indoor air also depends on the activities inside your home (if someone is cooking, the air becomes more humid), your physical activities, the type of clothing you’re wearing, and of course, the time of year).
Nevertheless, whether it is summertime or winter, it is important to take advantage of a good home air conditioning system to remove unwanted moisture from your indoor air. In those hot summer days where humidity is high and you feel a lot warmer, regulate the indoor air with a reverse cycle air conditioning system that can cool multiple rooms at once. You won’t have to wait long for the temperature to standardise inside your home so your family will feel comfortable no matter what room they are in.
Another good option is an evaporative air conditioner like Breezair and Braemar. This type of AC draws air from water filled filter pads, works perfectly even with open windows, and are perfect to maintain an allergen-free environment.
If you are looking for a lower-cost option that can help you maintain the ideal humidity level inside your house, why not try a split type home air conditioning unit? Not only does it perform its cooling and heating job well, it also comes with air purifier to further eliminate dusts and allergens from indoor air. Our Super Spring sale is the perfect opportunity to grab a bargain, and ensure your system is installed and ready to stay cool this summer. For more information about getting the best air conditioner, visit our shop at Ambience Air or speak to the air conditioning experts today.