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January 19, 2023

Each season brings different temperatures and humidity levels for homeowners in Marin, Sonoma, and Napa counties. When it comes to being comfortable in your home and keeping your family healthy, humidity can play a major roll. Do you know what your home’s humidity level is? The average American is indoors 90% of the time, making keeping indoor air at optimal moisture levels very important. What is the ideal humidity level for your home and why does it really matter?

How Marin, Sonoma, and Napa County Humidity Changes Throughout the Year

Like the colors change with each season, so do the humidity levels. In the North Bay Area, winter doesn’t impact the humidity levels as much as it does in other parts of the country; however, with colder weather, can come drier air, and that can have an impact on you, your home, and your family.

The least humid months we have in our area are early fall, and the most humid months, are late winter and early spring (that is much different than other places in the country). In the spring not only comes flowers blooming, but also comes more moisture in the air, which can affect your home. The average humidity in the North Bay area is around 75% with the most humid month being in March.

What is the Ideal Humidity Level for Your Home?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that you keep the humidity in your home between 30 and 50%. You need to reduce the humidity in your home if it is above 50%, but especially if it gets to 60% or higher.

We have reviewed before how dry air can affect your home and family, and the same is true with air that is too damp. High humidity can lead to HVAC issues, mold and mildew, and damage to your home and belongings. Mold, mildew, bacteria, viruses, and more, thrive and grow when humidity levels are in excess of the recommended levels mentioned above. Not to mention, when the air in your home is too damp, it can be uncomfortable.

How Can High Humidity Affect Your Home and Family?

Now that we have reviewed what the ideal humidity level is for your home and how it changes throughout the year, as we look towards some of the most humid months we will face, it’s important to understand that high humidity doesn’t just make things uncomfortable, it can have negative effects on your home as well.

Below we review some of the reasons you will want to keep your home’s humidity within the ideal levels.

  • Your Family’s Health: Mold can cause significant health problems for you and your family. Molds produce allergens and irritants that can create allergic reactions, cause asthma attacks, and lead to other ongoing health issues. With moisture and humidity comes mold, in fact, mold and mildew thrive in damp conditions.
  • HVAC System Issues: High humidity can cause long term damage to your HVAC system, and make your unit need to run longer to get to ideal temperatures and humidity levels. The constant usage of your air conditioner can cause it to deteriorate more quickly than it should and can also cause the air filter and other parts of your air conditioning to become blocked with condensation, causing a potential freeze up.
  • Rotting and Other Damage to Furniture and Belongings: Anyone who has ever experienced humidity knows that the excessive moisture can lead to things becoming soggy and fragile. When your home is not within the ideal humidity levels, rotting, peeling, and other damage can happen to your walls, hardwood floors, furniture, windows, and all other belongings.


How to Keep Your Home Within the Ideal Humidity Level

When it comes to adding moisture to your home you can do that with humidifiers, plants, and other methods. Reducing humidity in your home can be solved by adding a dehumidifier, using vents and exhaust fans, having an HVAC system that is maintained with a clean air filter, and resolving any areas throughout your home where moisture may be entering through.

When it comes to your Marin, Sonoma, or Napa County home’s comfort, Bragg Cooling, Heating & Plumbing can help. We know that you rely heavily on your HVAC system for year-round comfort. Our experts are here to help with your indoor comfort needs and make sure you enjoy peace of mind no matter the season.

Whether you are looking to replace your AC, fix a broken furnace, or tune up your comfort systems, you can count on our experts for quality solutions that will help you enjoy improved indoor comfort and greater energy efficiency. Contact us today.



November 8, 2022

In the North Bay Area the fall and winter seasons don’t impact the humidity levels as much as it does in other parts of the country; however, with colder weather, can come drier air, and that can have an impact on you, your home, and your family. While our humidity levels average to be around 75% throughout the year, when you turn on your heater for the season, that can make your home less humid, which can lead to skin irritations, illnesses, and damage to your home. We are going to take a look at some ways you can combat dry air in your home.

How Dry Air can Impact You and Your Home

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that you keep the humidity in your home between 30 and 50 percent. Before we jump into how to combat dry air in your home, we thought it would be a good idea to review why it is important to try to keep your home at ideal humidity levels in the first place.

The average American is indoors 90% of the time, making keeping indoor air at optimal moisture levels very important for a number of health reasons. Some health problems associated with dry air include: respiratory issues, sore throat, dry and irritated skin, higher stress levels, and increased risk of illness.

Dry air can not only impact the health of you and your family members, it can have effects on your home as well. If your home is dry, it can cause structural damage, especially to wooden components of your home by taking the moisture out of them, create static electricity, and damage your belongings by making them brittle, which can lead to them cracking and breaking.

How to Combat Dry Air in Your Home

While we seem to battle the humidity most of the time here in Marin, Sonoma, and Napa counties, as we reviewed above, having air in your home that is too dry, can be a bad thing. There are things you can do to combat dry air in your home and keep your humidity levels within the desired range.

Add houseplants to your home. Houseplants are a great way not only to increase humidity levels, but to purify your indoor air as well. Plants are effective natural humidifiers. They absorb moisture through their roots and circulate it through the stems to the leaves, resulting in moisture being released into the air through the leaves. The soil for the houseplants also holds water that slowly evaporates and can increase humidity levels in your home.

Only use your heater when needed. When it comes to humidity within your home, the warmer air is, the more water vapor it can hold. Cold air holds less water vapor. With that in mind, it may seem like when your furnace is on, there should be more humidity, but the fact is, since the furnace pulls in air from the outdoors, the colder outside air is what causes the indoor humidity to drop. Try to use your heater only when it is needed, to prevent the dryer air from coming indoors.

Make sure your doors and windows are sealed properly. As noted above, the outside air can directly impact the air inside your home. To combat dry air in your home, you should ensure your doors and windows are sealed properly and are not letting any air inside. Check for gaps and drafts and resolve them if you find them.

Add a humidifier to your home. Humidifiers can make a difference when it comes to adding some of the seasonal depleted moisture back into your home’s air. A humidifier’s job is to add humidity into the air; thus, it will do just that. When the air seems too low in humidity, a humidifier can help you combat that dry air in your home and add some moisture back into it.

As we said, in Marin, Sonoma, and Napa counties, we don’t have to face air that is as dry as it is in other places of the country, but as the cooler breezes set in, it can have an impact on your home’s air and comfort levels.

At Bragg Cooling, Heating & Plumbing we know that when it comes to your comfort, you deserve the best solutions at the best value. All of our technicians and installers are Bragg employees dedicated to providing you with personalized solutions that meet your goals and budget. We are here for all of your Marin, Sonoma, and Napa County heating and cooling needs. We can also help you improve your home’s indoor air quality.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment.


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