Managing your home’s humidity across Indiana’s extreme seasons

With Central Indiana’s hot summers and frigid winters, the humidity levels in the air of your home can play a large and important role in your overall comfort.

Expressed as a percentage for the amount of water vapor in the air, the right relative humidity levels will keep your home feeling cool in the summer and warm in the winter while helping your heating and cooling systems work efficiently to maintain temperatures.

While each home’s optimal humidity level will vary based on personal comfort preferences, most people will find themselves acceptably comfortable with levels between 30-60%, while a sweet spot of 45-55% is generally recommended.

How humidity changes

With Indianapolis experiencing drastic temperature changes throughout the year, our humidity finds itself varying wildly from season to season as well. In the summer months, warm air is able to hold and maintain more moisture, leading to high humidity. Winter air is much dryer, causing lower humidity levels.

Too much or too little water in the air can do more than just affect your day-to-day comfort. Extreme humidity levels create optimal conditions for airborne bacteria and viruses to flourish and can take a toll on your health or your home.

Winter warnings

Telltale signs that your home’s humidity is too low this winter include dry, itchy skin or chapped lips. You might get shocked from increased static electricity, have a bloody nose or experience other sinus and respiratory issues. Asthma and common cold or allergy symptoms may worsen, and low humidity levels will leave you feeling even colder than the temperature really is — leading you to crank the thermostat and spend more on your heating bill.

Your home’s well-being can take a hit from low humidity, too. Wood floors, furniture and moremay shrink, warp or crack and wallpaper could peel if levels get too low.

Summer symptoms

High humidity at any time of year can lead to not only discomfort, but serious health risks. Excess moisture in the air can encourage the growth and spread of molds, mildew, fungi, bacteria and viruses, putting asthma and allergy sufferers at an increased risk of frequent symptoms.

That muggy, uncomfortable feeling from high humidity can make our Indiana summers unbearable. A common response is to turn up the air conditioning — unnecessarily increasing your energy bills when just a slight adjustment in humidity level would go a long way toward improving your home’s comfort.

Solutions from Hoosier Indoor Air

So, what can you do to better regulate the levels of humidity in your home throughout the year?

Small, single-room humidifiers or dehumidifiers might seem like easy options, but require consistent maintenance and management on your part and just don’t have the capability to regulate humidity across an entire house.

A whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier by Bryant will monitor the humidity level in your home and automatically operate in conjunction with your HVAC system based on your comfort preferences. With these solutions in place and your indoor humidity at an optimal level, you’ll find yourself not needing to set the thermostat as low in the summer or high in the winter as you’re used to — while still staying comfortable no matter the season, extreme temperatures or humidity we’re facing.

At Hoosier Indoor Air, we’ve been helping keep Greater Indianapolis families comfortable in their homes since 1974. As a Bryant Factory Authorized Dealer and Circle of Champions Award winner, you can be assured we’ll deliver superior products and an unmatched level of customer service. If you’re interested in improving your home’s comfort, contact our team today to schedule a free estimate for humidity control options in your home.

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