According to Current Results Nexus, Jacksonville, Florida, has the second highest humidity level in the United States, falling closely behind New Orleans. What does this mean for your home and family? And is there anything you can do to combat the negative effects of such high relative humidity?
Let’s take a look at the simple Do’s and Don’ts to consider when living in a humid area like Jacksonville. With a few simple changes to your home and lifestyle, you can make life more comfortable.
DO drink plenty of water when you’re outside, especially if you’re going to be active. High humidity causes your body to lose fluids more quickly through sweating, and you need to drink water to replenish these lost fluids.
DO wear natural fabrics like cotton and linen when you’re going to be exerting yourself in humid weather. Synthetic fabrics don’t breathe as well as natural fabrics, causing you to sweat more than necessary. Also, wear lightweight, light-colored, and loose-fitting clothing to allow for air circulation around your body while you’re outside.
DO wear sunscreen when you’re going to be outside. Moisturizing sunscreen helps your skin to hold on to moisture, keeping you from burning and losing additional fluids.
DO keep medications like diabetes test strips and glucose monitors out of the heat. High levels of moisture make these tools less effective. Keep them in a cool place in a tightly sealed container.
DON’T drink caffeinated, sugary, or alcoholic beverages when you’re going to be outside. Caffeine, sugar, and alcohol act as diuretics, flushing out valuable fluids and interfering with your body’s natural temperature regulation. Instead, drink water when you’re outside.
DON’T stop exercising on a regular basis just because it’s hot outside. If it’s too hot and humid outside, move your workouts indoors where it’s air conditioned to keep your body fit during the hot summer months.
DON’T leave children or pets in closed, parked vehicles for any length of time.
In addition to these tips, you can also make your home more comfortable in the high Jacksonville humidity.
How To Best Handle Humidity
Change Your Filters. Your air conditioner works best when it has a clean filter. As it does its job, your filters will be loaded with more and more particles. As this happens, the air flow in your air conditioning system becomes restricted. If you don’t change that filter on a regular basis, especially during the hottest, most humid months of the year, your air conditioner won’t perform well and your home will feel hotter and more humid.
Service Your Air Conditioner. You can handle changing your air conditioning filters when they get dirty but if you want to keep your home cool and comfortable all summer long, it’s a good idea to schedule maintenance that goes beyond changing filters. Regular maintenance like cleaning the coils and drains, changing the refrigerant, and checking for airflow problems can not only keep you be more comfortable but also keep your air conditioning system in good working order for much longer which will save you money in the long run.
Use Exhaust Fans During Moisture-Producing Activities. When you are cooking, washing, showering, and bathing, you produce a lot of moisture inside your home. If you don’t provide a way for this moisture to go outside, it will make your home feel just as muggy as the outside air. Therefore, switch on an exhaust fan while you’re cooking and showering, and make sure your dryer exhaust is cleaned out and directed outdoors.
Avoid Setting Your Thermostat to the “Fan On” Position. When your thermostat is set to the “Fan On” position the fan blows around the clock, whether or not your air conditioning system is running. One of the results of this setting is that much of the moisture your system just removed from your indoor air will be blown right back into your house before it has a chance to drain away.
Check Your Indoor Moisture Levels. Even though you might be tired of Jacksonville humidity, your goals should not be to eradicate humidity completely. The ideal moisture indoor humidity level is between 40 to 50 percent, compared to about 75 percent as an average outdoor humidity level in Jacksonville. Adding a dehumidifier to your air conditioning system can be a good way to reduce humidity, but make sure you’re not removing too much moisture. An HVAC technician can help you determine your current and target levels.
As you can see, there are many things you can do to live more comfortably in humid Jacksonville, Florida. By drinking plenty of water, wearing appropriate clothes, modifying your outdoor activities, changing your air conditioner’s filters, using your exhaust fans, and checking your indoor humidity levels, you can keep everyone in your household comfortable, even during the dog days of summer.
For more information about keeping your home comfortable, contact us at Snyder Company Heating & Air Conditioning. We’ve been serving the Jacksonville area for more than 40 years and look forward to serving you.