It’s no surprise to those that live here that Florida is extremely humid. Because of the heat and the average 74.5 percent humidity, it’s important to keep our homes dry and comfortable. This preserves our sanity, as well as the value of our property. It’s important to strike a balance, though, because low humidity can also cause discomfort. So, you should understand the optimal humidity settings for your home.
Florida the second most humid state in the U.S., beat out only by Alaska. (It seems odd, but it’s true!) Along with adding fans to provide moving air, a whole-home dehumidifier is also an excellent choice for Florida homes.
Why Optimal Humidity Settings Are Crucial
Humidity can increase the growth of mold and mildew in your home. It can also provide the perfect environment for bacterial and viral infections. In some people, it can aggravate allergy symptoms. Mold and bacteria can eat away at organic matter, ruining your carpets and wood molding.
If the humidity in your home is too low, it can cause dry, itchy skin, irritate your sinuses, and cause you to feel cold when temperatures are fine. It can also dry out your furniture and woodwork and increase static electricity levels.
Optimal Humidity Settings According to Experts
According to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the maximum indoor humidity setting for any residential property is 65 percent, as outlined in Standard 55-2020, Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy (ANSI Approved).
This standard doesn’t provide a minimum recommended humidity level, stating that “skin drying, irritation of mucous membranes, dryness of the eyes” may set that limit according to the individual.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), however, recommends a range of 30 to 50 percent, with a maximum of 60 percent.
Reducing Humidity in Your Florida Home
With our year-round high humidity, Florida homes require a well-tended HVAC system to keep moisture and temperatures within the optimal levels. There are a few ways to reduce the humidity in your home if it’s too high.
Run your air conditioner: If well-maintained, your AC system should remove the excess moisture from your indoor air. Make sure you change the filter every three months and have the coils cleaned annually for optimal efficiency.
Install a whole-house dehumidifier. Running your air conditioning system in the cooler months of fall and winter may be an uncomfortable way to remove excess moisture. In this case, a whole-home dehumidifier added to your HVAC system proves to be an excellent alternative.