Humidity that’s either too low or too high can create problems for a home’s structure and foundation. Excessively high humidity can lead to mold problems and a home environment that feels uncomfortably stuffy. In contrast, excessively low humidity results in static shocks, as well as dehydration, skin and health problems.
There are easy ways to test for humidity in your home. One method is to buy a hygrometer, a small device that tests relative humidity. Because manual versions require some adjustments, electronic versions are simpler to use.
Another method, to check low humidity, is to get some ice cubes — about four — and place them in a cup on a counter away from sunlight and sources of heat or cold. Keep the ice out of the kitchen and bathroom.
Let the glass sit for about three minutes. When time is up, look for condensation on the outside of the glass. The colder temperature inside the glass should clash with the warmer air outside, creating a layer of condensation. If you see none, this means that humidity is so low that condensation is evaporating quickly.
Finally, there are some visual clues you can look out for. Dry skin, chapped lips and drinking more water than usual are signs that humidity is too low. In contrast, mold spots, condensation on windows or water droplets from a faucet that won’t dry up even after a few hours may indicate humidity is way too high.
A humidifier or dehumidifier will take care of these issues. During the summer, your air conditioner can serve as a dehumidifier if it’s not a swamp cooler. Swamp coolers actually add humidity, which is why they’re popular in very dry areas. These are not appropriate for Kansas City’s humid summers.
If you have more questions about how to test for humidity in your home, contact Overland Park Heating & Cooling, Inc. We’ve been assisting people in the Greater Kansas City area since 1983.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Overland Park, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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