It’s Not The Heat, It’s The Humidity!

The Effects on Oklahoma City HVAC

How often have you heard “it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity!” and thought to yourself, “That’s nuts! It surely is too hot here whatever the humidity!” Well, that may certainly be true, and neither high heat nor high humidity is comfortable, but the repercussions of high humidity can be more than just a bit of discomfort. Left unchecked, it can cause a host of issues for your home.

Let’s start with what humidity actually is – the accumulation of moisture in the air. You know what this feels like. It’s thick, stifling, and it sort of makes you feel like you’re breathing Jell-O! Not only that, but if the humidity is high when it’s hot, it feels even hotter. The natural reaction, of course, is to crank up the air conditioner. This is generally quite helpful, not only because it primarily cools the air around you, but air conditioners are also designed to secondarily remove water vapor from the home. While this may sound like merely a comfort benefit, it’s so much more. Excess moisture in the home can lead to several issues, including: 

1) Musty smell – Think of how a laundry basket full of towels begins to take on an odor after a few days of being in a damp pile. This is the same concept.

2) Mold – Dark, warm, and wet makes the ideal environment for mold to thrive. Hot days and windowless areas (i.e. basements, attics, crawl spaces, etc.) lay the foundation, and damp air seals the breeding ground deal. 

3) Warped Wood – Too much air moisture will cause floors to warp, doors to stick, and furniture to wobble about. If it goes unchecked for too long, rot will begin to set in.

4) Standing Water – Excess condensation will form on windows with too much humidity. When it gets to be too much, it will begin dripping, which will again lead to warped wood and possibly rot, not to mention an attractive area for mosquitoes.

While these scenarios seem extreme, with a little forethought, they can easily be avoided. Ideally, you’ll keep the humidity level in your home at less than 60% for comfort and safety reasons. To ensure that you do not go above this threshold, we recommend that you have your HVAC system serviced regularly and address any issues immediately. It’s more cost-effective and much better for the longevity of your equipment to be proactive, rather than reactive. To learn more and schedule an appointment with an OKC Metro air conditioning service expert, call us today.