If you are a homeowner, you already know how much the weather and climate affects your monthly expenses. Apart from a mortgage, the cost of keeping your home at a comfortable temperature for everyone is the next most expensive part of owning a home. People who live in humid climates will have an entire plethora of new issues and expenses added to their life. So what exactly is humidity? What does it do that makes it so costly to deal with? And what are some ways that you can increase your home’s climate efficiency and your energy savings? We will discuss all of this below.

What is humidity?

It may seem like an obvious question, but it’s worth asking nonetheless. Humidity is the cause of a number of problems, such as mold in the bathroom, mildew in the basement, and simply making people feel uncomfortable in the home. Humidity in the home has a more concrete effect as well. The higher the humidity is in your home, the more heat it can hold -- and vise versa. Not only does it effect personal comfort it also determines the speed at which sweat evaporates. In order to keep everyone comfortable, humidity needs to be controlled, just like the actual temperature. If it is a hot, sunny day, and the humidity is rising within your home, that means the air inside will hold more heat. Therefore, the air conditioner has to work harder and run longer, to get the air in your home to a comfortable temperature and humidity level. And, as you already know, this creates higher energy costs. Summer isn't the only time to consider humidity. Wintertime humidity also impacts your energy costs, but this is because there is not enough of it. If the air is too dry, it can’t hold as much heat as air with more moisture. For that reason, your home’s furnace needs to work harder to offset the difference, and to get the air inside your house to a comfortably warm temperature. Once again, this means higher energy bills.

What can you do about it?

Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to keep things comfortable without breaking the bank each month. To be more humidity-conscious, install a weather station that lets you always know what the temperature and humidity levels are, both indoors and outdoors. Then you can adjust as necessary. For a good rule of thumb, keep the humidity level between 30% and 45% during the warmer times of the year. And for the colder months, set it between 45% and 55%. You can buy a humidifier and a dehumidifier to help adjust as necessary. If the air in your home fluctuates, it will help stabilize the humidity levels throughout your home. Do this with a fan during the summer. You will appreciate the breeze during hot days in any case. During the winter, on the other hand, there should be as little moving air as possible, and the outside of your home should be sealed off.