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.