There’s a unique art for finding the optimum atmosphere for comfort in your home. For many, nothing’s worse than the high levels of summer heat and humidity when there’s no means of temperature control.
Surprisingly enough, though, discomfort in such conditions is the least of your worries. Nevertheless, high humidity can cause significant damage to your home and your health if not kept under control. Here are just a few things you should be thinking about.
Concentrated Volatile Organic Compounds
Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs are chemicals that are naturally found in many everyday household products. You might find these VOCs in:
- Vinyl flooring
- Composite wood products
- Cleaning products
- Dry cleaning
- And a host of other things you may not have thought about.
While VOCs are always present in the home, excessive humidity levels can create an environment where their toxicity is more concentrated. Combined with high temperatures, they can create off-gasses that cause long-lasting effects to your health, especially if exposed for a prolonged period.
Increased Exposure to Allergens
High levels of humidity also create a breeding ground for other health hazards. Here are just a few of these allergens that can become an irritant for those in your household:
- Dust mites
These are the primary causes of indoor allergies that thrive in such environments. In addition, when the humidity level reaches too high, they can increase exposure to these irritants leading to more severe reactions.
Higher Energy Costs
A natural response to discomfort is to crank up the air conditioner, automatically increasing your energy usage. Unfortunately, this action results in higher energy bills that can significantly impact your financial health, especially if you live in an area that gets excessive humidity regularly.
Damage to Your Home’s Infrastructure
Moisture can be a serious threat to other areas of your home as well. Over time, excessive humidity can cause:
- Wooden floors to warp
- Paint to peel prematurely
- Condensation can leave unsightly stains on walls
- Offensive odors in closed-off areas
Look Out For Your Household
As humans, we have a natural defense mechanism that helps us to fight excessive humidity. When the levels reach too high, our bodies will begin to sweat, shedding the excess moisture. This function keeps us cool, and for most of us, we can manage pretty well. But when we are sealed in an enclosed space, our natural responses may not be effective enough to keep us comfortable.
When that happens, you may have to help it along. Ideally, you want to maintain a good balance of temperature and moisture in your home. Keeping your humidity level at 55% or below can help.
In addition, you must have good fresh air circulating throughout your home to keep the humidity at an optimum level. If that’s not possible, it may be wise to invest in a good dehumidifier to extract the moisture from the air. It will help keep the mold, bacteria, and mildew from developing and reduce the exposure of VOCs in your environment.