How to beat the Heat and Humidity in Maryland
We’ve all heard the popular phrase “It’s not the Heat it’s the HUMIDITY!” We use this in humorous situations but in part it is very true. Simplified Humidity is the density of water in the air, the greater the density the higher the humidity. This causes us to feel hotter, breath harder and struggle to just get comfortable. Here in Maryland we are famous for the high humidity. There are some steps to try and see if they help you fell more comfortable and possibly SAVE on your next utility bill!
Some even say that humidity was actually a driving force in inventing and increase efficiency in Air Conditioning. When humidity is extreme and prolonged it can even lead to mold. With many Marylander residents and businesses owning basements with little light and low air flow mold can become an issue. With newer HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems the humidity control is inside the system and the water which is pulled out of the air is drained away automatically. However older systems and parts of the house which are not controlled by the air handling unit can still have high humidity. Also in cases of extreme heat the air handling unit may be able to keep the temperature down however the humidity may still be too high.
1) Do NOT set the thermostat to “Fan On” in high humidity days. This “Fan On” actually pulls and circulates air which is higher in moisture often before the condensed water can drain away.
2) Internal Sources like our Bathrooms create a lot of moisture with baths. Hot, Hot, Hot baths and especially showers put a lot of moisture in the air. You can see this everyday when it condenses on the mirror making it harder to see. So consider the temperature and length of time that you take a shower.
A smaller impact can even be smaller running water sources like washing hands, face and brushing teeth which are very important to good hygiene but allowing the water to run and run while not actually using the water is wasteful and costly on the water bill but also puts more moisture into the air creating higher humidity.
The Kitchen is another room which can create more moisture. While cooking we boil water which is exactly the opposite of what we want. This boiling (especially with an open top pot) is forcing moisture into the air. Perhaps consider the size of the pot and water needed to boil that pasta for two? Maybe we can use a smaller pot with less water, which will heat faster and use less water. Cleaning veggies and foods before eating is important however keeping this as short as needed is as simple as turning off the water when not in use. The outdoor grill and BBQ is a great way to reduce both heat and humidity while creating a great meal. The Dishwasher is a great time saving and germ reducer in our lives but this too can create heat and if venting internally into the Kitchen can create moisture / steam which the air readily absorbs. Using the dishwasher at the right times and making sure it has a full load are good ways to reduce the amount of times you need to run the dishes. Perhaps the best way to reduce the use of the dishwasher is to not create excessive dishes in the first place. If this isn’t a four course meal perhaps putting dessert on the same plate as dinner is acceptable, reusing that dinner cup or glass for a drink before bed will mean one less cup in the dishwasher.
Our Washer and Dryers both create heat and moisture so having these up to date and used wisely is another way to reduce the moisture. Air Drying clothes in the house adds to the issue and washing hot loads and leaving them to sit in the open washer allows moisture to evaporate into the air.
While some Maryland counties, communities and associations do not allow hanging clothes, if yours does consider this alternative.
3) Exhaust Fans and Windows. This may seem like a contradiction of opening a window but in extreme confined locations (like a bathroom right after a long shower) the best way to get rid of that moisture is through an open window, forcing the hot air and moisture out of the closed room instead of opening the door and allowing it to move throughout the entire house. Exhaust fans work great when properly installed and vented to the outside. These are often in the bathroom and in the kitchen, above the pot of boiling water, stove or cook top grill.
4) Change or clean Filters. As moisture collects on the filter, the air handler has to work harder and this can cause premature wear on the heating and cooling system. Filters in poor conditions can also mean higher utility bills. Changing your filter is relatively simple and inexpensive. Consult your manual or contact us if we can be of service.
5) Get a checkup! Older systems are less efficient and lack the technology to do the best job. They also can have worn parts (especially bearings), be undersized for that new addition or simply be behind the times of innovation, If you have any questions we would be glad to help out and the best way for that is to join our regular maintenance plans. We will come out and asses your situation, needs and concerns in a professional, polite and caring manner.
6) If your business or home does not have a sufficient system consider a stand alone dehumidifier.
While most new more efficient MONEY saving Heating and Cooling units contain humidity control internally, some of the older units do not and therefore homeowners and even businesses rely on a dehumidifier. With the power source disconnected – It’s an excellent idea to remove any parts to clean and dry them as completely as possible. As even the humidifier itself can be a source of mold and mildew. The water “container” itself can be a source mildew and mold. Cleaning, Drying and even treating this with a cleaner or bleach solution can remove the offenders.
Annapolis to Pasadena to Baltimore – Maryland has Humidity
We have a lot of climate conditions and range here in the state. For example the waterfront of Annapolis may not feel as humid as downtown Baltimore due to the Chesapeake Bay breeze. The forest cover and cool streams that run through Davidsonville and Pasadena and parts of Bowie will feel cooler and less humid than the downtown Bowie and center at Waugh Chapel Crofton and Gambrills area. However it seems all of Maryland is effected by humidity on some level throughout the summer so we hope that our simple experiences in the Heating and Air Conditioning field will help to save you some money and help you feel a little more comfortable through the humid Maryland Summers.