Stepping inside from the heat to an air-conditioned home or office is something we all appreciate, and air conditioning can definitely make those hot summers more bearable.
Recommended humidity levels are between 30 and 50 percent, although the humidity outdoors can sometimes reach as high as 94 percent. Think of it this way: about 7,300 litres of water will pass through the typical house, just from the humidity, according to Tarion.
And humidity at 60 percent during the winter doesn’t feel the same as 60 percent humidity in summer. It’s all to do with heat, water, and pressure interacting and RH, or relative humidity is a much more accurate indicator of how hot it really feels. Air conditioning is considered an essential investment to most of us to help cope with those high humidity level, although there are several other reasons why AC is useful.
Your air conditioner can help to offset some of the risks to your health and your property that high humidity levels can have. Air conditioning can help us on a daily basis as these five reasons indicate:
1) Preventing Damage to Your Home and Belongings
One of the priceless paintings by Raphael was actually damaged by an air conditioning unit that wasn’t working properly. Because the gallery owners just didn’t realize how important AC is, one of the world’s great works of art was badly damaged. The air conditioner that was being used in the art gallery just wasn’t able to cope with the hundreds of humid and warm bodies that were crowding around the painting, trying to get a peek at it.
Your kitchen cabinets and any sensitive items such as musical instruments and electronics should be kept away from an environment that is very humid, or one that has little humidity. The Raphael story is a good example of just how important and costly this can be. You really run the risk of damaging your furniture, clothing and other belongings if you don’t effectively monitor and regulate the humidity levels in your home. And of course, your home can lose its value over time, if it’s suffered damage caused by the humidity being too high.
2) Unwanted Guests Come With High Humidity
Pest control and humidity go hand in hand, and by lowering your humidity levels by about 50 percent, you can help prevent an infestation of dust mites.
Bugs and pests are also attracted by organic decay, which tends to increase if your humidity levels are higher. The small creatures in your neighbourhood look at your house as being a source of free food if you allow your humidity levels to increase in the summer. Once they notice those high levels of humidity, you may find it a challenge to get rid of them.
3) Toxicity and High Humidity
Formaldehyde and other potentially dangerous chemicals can seep out of your furniture and other belongings, and into the air, you are breathing. The rates at which these chemicals seep out is increased if you have higher humidity. You are probably allowing more of these chemicals into your home if you don’t have AC, and are risking your health and safety.
Mould starts to appear pretty quickly in a humid environment as it needs water to grow, and many types of mould are only present in areas that have high humidity. Many moulds are harmful to people, and even if not harmful they can be unpleasant and unhealthy.
4) Humidity Can Make You Sick
High humidity just isn’t good for your immune system. Not everyone is aware of that, although most of us know that low humidity during the winter generally isn’t the best thing for our health. It’s probably one of the most important reasons to have an air conditioner in your home.
Increased levels of mould spores floating around in the air can often lead to an adverse reaction in people, and of course, many allergy sufferers are going to find their condition worsens because of the extra pests and dirt in the air. If you have respiratory issues, an air conditioning unit is highly recommended to reduce the levels of humidity in your home, as your doctor will probably tell you.
5) Humidity Affects Your Mood
The connection between high humidity levels and a poor mood has been explored in more than one study, most notably in 1975 by Persinger. And it’s not too hard to see why this is so.
The negative experiences that are outlined above and that are all a result of humidity levels can affect people significantly and can make your life quite miserable. If your overall life is uncomfortable and inconvenient, you are obviously going to feel that much more miserable or depressed. And if you have ever been uncomfortable and miserable sitting on a hot bus with no air conditioner, you know just how true that is.