How the High Heat Index and Rising Levels of Humidity Can Impact Air Quality this Summer3 minute read
Summer offers a much-needed break from life’s stressors—kids enjoy time off with friends, families plan outdoor fun, and we all soak up the sun. But, with a high heat index—defined as the measure of one’s discomfort due to the combination of temperature and humidity—rising levels of humidity pose a threat to our plans, home, and health.
It’s Not the Heat, It’s the Humidity
That’s the age-old saying. And while it may often be positioned as an old wives’ tale, it’s true—a high heat isn’t the only issue, it’s the heavy, moist, humid air that accompanies it! So, what is humidity, and why do we fuss over it so much? Here’s a quick breakdown.
Humidity is a result of excess moisture lingering in the air. Think of that feeling after a rain shower. That leftover moisture causes the air to feel thick and heavy, creating a breeding ground for irritants like mold, pests, and contaminants that can enter your home, destroy your belongings, and damage your Indoor Air Quality. There’s a whole lot more at stake than high levels of humidity and hair frizz—and the effects of global warming could be to blame.
Though it’s the humidity that affects us, it’s the heat that exacerbates our reaction to the moist, muggy air. Since our bodies rely on the air around us to absorb accumulating sweat, rising levels of humidity can make it harder for us to cool down. And when it’s hot out, that excess moisture blocks our pores, making the temperatures feel even higher than forecasted.
What does this heat and humidity combo mean for our air and health? With the summer season starting earlier and lasting longer as each year passes, this mugginess not only poses as a growing threat to our outdoor air, but to our home, too, putting our below-grade spaces, wooden fixtures, Indoor Air Quality, and respiratory health at risk.
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Top Home and Health Risks Associated with High Levels of Humidity
Heat Stress, Heat Stroke, and Dehydration
When high temperatures and humid air mingle, the risk of heat-related illnesses rise. From minor threats like dehydration to serious medical concerns like heat stress, high heat and levels of humidity make it hard for us to retain water, impacting our natural instinct to regulate body temperature. As climate change promises to continue this trend as the years go on, these heat events put our air quality at greater risk, exposing us to pollutants, like ozone and allergens, that can further harm our health.
Mold Growth and Airborne Spores
Mold thrives in areas with moisture, where levels of humidity read higher than our recommended Healthy Humidity Zone (between 40–60%). By prioritizing important dry basement solutions like waterproofing, homeowners can balance the humidity levels in basements and crawl spaces, actively reducing the contaminants in their air that can lead to unwanted asthma and allergy symptoms, like a scratchy throat or dry skin.
Unlike humans, pests thrive in moist environments with high levels of humidity. Not only can these pests be a pest, they can also carry various illnesses and allergens that further threaten our homes and health. Common summer pests, like cockroaches and silverfish, don’t stand a chance in spaces with balanced levels of humidity combined with dry basement solutions!
Invest in Healthy Air for Year-Round Self-Care
Your home should be an escape from the day’s high heat and rising levels of humidity!
With AprilAire, you can breathe easy knowing your home and health are protected from threats that thrive in moist, humid environments. AprilAire Whole-House Dehumidifiers help balance levels of humidity and safeguard your Indoor Air Quality!
That’s not all—Healthy Air in your home can benefit your family in so many ways. From better sleep to virus protection to improved cognitive function, AprilAire whole-house Healthy Air solutions are your ticket to a happy, Healthy Home season after season!
It’s Always Healthy Air Season
Luckily, no matter what’s happening outside your window, you and your family can stay protected from Indoor Air Quality threats and enjoy a wealth of benefits, like virus protection, allergy relief, better sleep, and energy efficiency!
When life won’t give you a breather, AprilAire can! With AprilAire Whole-House Dehumidifiers installed by a certified AprilAire Pro, there’s peace of mind knowing that you’re always breathing Healthy Air.
To start your path toward creating a Healthy Home environment, take the first step and Find a Pro near you today.