What is Humidity and How Does Humidity Affect Your Home?

how to control high humidity in home

What is Humidity and How Does Humidity Affect Your Home?

You’ve heard your neighbors complain about high humidity on hot sticky days, but what exactly is humidity? And why would you care how humidity affects your home? Learn from expert technicians in Charlotte with experience mitigating the effects of problematic humidity in homes.

What is Humidity Anyway?

how to control high humidity in homeHumidity is the amount of water vapor present in air. You typically can’t see humidity. This is because water vapor, which is the gaseous state of water, is usually invisible to the human eye. However, you can feel changes in the humidity of the air around you, and you can see the impact of humidity on both your home and your body.

When scientists measure humidity, they are measuring the likelihood for precipitation, dew, or fog—all of which is related to the amount of water vapor present in the air as is related to the temperature of both the air and the water vapor. The amount of water vapor needed to achieve saturation increases as the temperature increases.

Humidity outside the home affects all of nature. Humidity in your home affects home temperature, comfort levels, skin and hair, the structural components of your home and your home’s air quality.

What Happens if Your Home Is Not Humid Enough?

When you’re in your home, you want to keep the humidity balanced, protecting the quality of the air inside your home. When the humidity is low, the air is too dry, which means you experience throat and lung irritation. It also causes flaky skin. It even affects your wooden furniture, causing drawers to loosen, and the way doors fit into door frames. Extreme low humidity damages woodwork, as if evidenced when hardwoods in the home warp, shrink and even separate, causing gaps and buckling.

What Happens if Your Home is Too Humid?

High humidity causes both health and home problems. This is because mold loves humidity; it is one of the factors mold needs most in order to grow. Mold is linked to both health problems and damage to your home.

Mold spores grow when the humidity is too high. This is true in both cool and warm temperatures. In addition to high humidity causing mold, high humidity also can result in water stains on your walls and ceilings, window condensation, and a general clammy feeling. Have you ever been down in a basement that felt chilly, and the walls and furniture were damp to the touch? High humidity, especially in basements, can be very problematic.

Why Is My House Humid?

Charlotte is a naturally humid part of the country, so we rely heavily on AC systems to solve problems related to humidity. This is because the humidity level in your home is controlled by your air conditioning system. Your AC unit should reduce the amount of humidity circulating inside the house by removing water (see the water that exits the AC unit and drains outside of your home?), but if you do not have an AC unit or your AC unit is not working properly, you will see an increase in humidity in the home.

However, if your air circulation in the home is not good, or if the humidity in sections of your home (typically in a bathroom or basement) is too much for your AC unit to keep up with, you will see high humidity problems in these parts of your home. A bathroom that is not well ventilated may be too moist for the AC to properly dry it out, and a basement with poor ventilation may never truly dry out unless you take steps to use a powerful dehumidifier or hire a restoration company to help you dry it out.

Another common cause of excess moisture is leaks. Keep an eye out for leaky pipes, cracks in the roof, or other signs of water leakage in places you should not see evidence of water.

Need Help With Humidity Problems?

Live in the Charlotte area? Can’t seem to dry out that basement or recover that musty bathroom? We’ll help you combat humidity before it causes expensive damage to your home and your health.

Article Summary

Quick question & answer: Why is my house humid? 

Your house might be humid because Charlotte has a high humidity. If your AC unit is not functioning correctly to combat it, the humidity in your house will increase. Bathrooms with poor ventilation may need a powerful dehumidifier. Another cause of humidity could be a leaky pipe or leaky roof.

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