As many people in North Carolina know, humidity that is that awful number the weather forecasters give that describes how sticky it is going to be the following day. While humidity is known for the discomfort it can cause, countless people try to counter it just by blasting their air conditioners.
But humidity does more than just make the air feel sticky; it can also affect how people perceive temperatures. For example, 90 degrees with high humidity is far more uncomfortable than 90 degrees and low to no humidity. For this reason, humidity can have a surprising amount of influence on people’s utility bills. Luckily, HVAC companies have learned to use this fact to their advantage, controlling humidity in order to lower bills.
Sound crazy? Let’s explain how it works.
Humidity and Utility Bills
In the summer, when humidity is very high, the home temperature can feel excessively warm, even at reasonable temperature settings. Many people turn up their air conditioning in response to try and gain some comfort, and the system itself is forced to work harder to make the air cool. The reverse happens in the winter. The low humidity can make the house feel very cool, causing people to raise their thermostats to try and get warm. Since your HVAC system has to work harder to keep your home temperature comfortable, utility bills can drastically increase.
Reaching a Reasonable Humidity
In the summer, it is advisable to use a dehumidifier to reduce the amount of moisture in the air. In the winter, a humidifier can be helpful as well. With the help of these machines, you should strive to keep the humidity between 40% and 50% relative humidity for maximum comfort. At these levels, the air should be comfortable for the occupants, while also avoiding problems such as nosebleeds at one extreme or mold at the other.
If you are used to humid summers, such as throughout North Carolina, you should notice an immediate difference in your comfort level and utility bills.
Humidity does not just make the air feel uncomfortable, it can also have a major effect on utility bills. When you understand this connection and work to counteract it, you will reap a number of benefits, both for your own comfort levels and your utility bills.
Want to learn more about using humidifiers and dehumidifiers to control humidity and your skyrocketing utility rates? Talk to a Blanton’s professional today.