Anyone who has spent any time in Kansas City in the summer knows the weather can be brutal. Temperatures often reach the triple digits, and with the high humidity, the heat index reaches even higher. The recent extreme summer weather we’ve experienced has been no exception.
While the high temperatures can be uncomfortable, the high humidity is the real trouble maker. The EPA recommends maintaining a relative humidity level between 30 percent and 50 percent, but on a sultry Kansas City morning the humidity can reach as high as 90 percent. While most people are aware of the annoying effects of high humidity, such as frizzy hair and a sticky feeling on their skin, many are unaware that excessive humidity can cause a range of serious issues. Humidity prevents things from drying completely, which can allow mold, mildew, fungus, and dust mites to grow and thrive. Excessive humidity can ruin clothing, books, leather items, carpeting, woodwork, and more. It can create an unpleasant musty smell. But even worse, excessive humidity can also cause health problems, such as allergies, asthma, sleep problems, and a depressed immune system. It can also cause bloating and swelling.
So how do you survive the summer in Kansas City without suffering the effects of humidity? An air conditioner is the best way to combat both heat and humidity. Warm air holds more moisture than cool air. As an air conditioner cools the air, it also extracts the humidity. However, in order for your air conditioner to effectively remove humidity it is critical that it is properly sized for your home. This is a situation where bigger isn’t necessarily better. If an AC system is oversized for your home, it will kick on and lower the temperature but it won’t run long enough to achieve the proper humidity control.
Another option for battling humidity is to install a humidifier. If you need to reduce the humidity throughout your home, a whole house dehumidifier, which works in conjunction with your air conditioning system to keep humidity at an optimal level, is a great option. Adding a whole home dehumidifier can be more energy efficient than relying on your air conditioner to do all the work. It can also reduce the stress placed on your air conditioner. In some cases, you may need a little extra humidity control in specific areas, such as a damp basement. In these cases a cabinet dehumidifier can help manage the high humidity area while your AC system keeps the rest of the house comfortable and dry.