Top tips to living in a humid climate
Singapore is hot and humid. AND if that wasn’t enough, this small city state is located one degree north of the equator that pulls in an average sweaty humid conditions of 84 percent. Thus, making it a hotbed for high risk sun-related illnesses, and needing extra devices to ward off mildew, mold and other harmful bacteria.
Sweating is part of daily life in Singapore.
There are two seasons in Singapore (the rainy and dry season). The weather forecast is a consistent hot & humid, so living in steamy tropical weather, will have all parts of your body sweating. And I mean all parts, like back of the knee kind of sweat.
It’s beyond the meat sweats.
Figuring out how to keep cool, healthy and create a suitable living lifestyle in humid conditions, is paramount for surviving the sauna like climate.
How our bodies responds to humidity …. it’s Science.
When we overheat our nervous systems reacts by changing our blood flow and breathing patterns. It also signals to millions of sweat glands to get to work by secreting water and chemical compounds. This is our bodies natural response to cool us down.
When the surrounding air is humid, our sweat will not evaporate into the air. Think of the humid air, like a wet sponge. It can’t soak up any more liquid. Hence our poor clothing takes one for the team. Soaking in our sweat at best it can.
A Survivor’s Guide on How to Live in Humidity Comfortably
Humidity for many is uncomfortable, so we seek cooler areas (air conditioning). But living in an airconditioned environment isn’t exactly healthy, as is living in high humidity being a health risk. So, how do we find the correct balance?
What Should the Humidity in a House Be?
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Of course everyone’s comfort level is different, but the EPA Environmental Protection Agency advises the relative humidity should be between 30-50% HR. This will provide the ideal rate for health and comfort.
A simple way to measure a room’s humidity is to use a hygrometer. This easy to use tool will assist in managing the right temperature levels.
This device assists year round. If you live in a seasonal climate, a hygrometer is helpful in winter, when the relative humidity indoors should be 40-50%.
Bonus Tip: These devices help keep the right humidity for keeping instruments at their ideal temperature (pianos, guitars, etc).
How to strategically live in humidity
Keep the sweaty, sauna-like weather conditions outside.
If you’re moving to a year round humid climate or live in seasonal humidity. It’s best to have a home with;
- proper ventilation (HVAC system)
- good insulation (HVAC system)
- air conditioning (air cons)
These key factors will make a huge difference on keeping good health, preventing mold and mildew on furniture, walls, and on clothes.
Don’t forget to use your senses when inspecting a potential house to live in as well. You can usually feel damp air, smell mold instantaneously and see mold on walls. When mold is present, it’s a good indications of water damage or leaks.
What is Causing Humidity in the Home?
The obvious guilty party is the weather. Change in temperature and increase in the relative humidity are the culprits.
Besides the weather. It could be, what is lacking inside a home that can be the issue (installation, ventilation and air conditioning). If that’s the case, the only way to win over humidity, is to renovate and upgrade. Which could be upgrading the ventilation, replacing moldy and mildewy walls, putting in windows, upgrading leaky pipes, and or installing an air conditioning system.
How to Decrease Humidity in your Home
A little humidity is good, but not when it becomes uncomfortable and unhealthy. Here are solutions to decrease the heat and lower the moisture in the air.
Throw shade on your windows.
Stop suffering from indoor heat by keeping the sun away with a good set of blinds, (black out) curtains or solar screens. They will drastically keep the heat down and you and your family cooler.
While blackout curtains are the eye masks for rooms (and assist in getting a good night’s sleep) they may not be your decorating style. Lighter colored curtains are a great alternative as they reflect sunlight. Darker colors absorb the heat from the sun.
Best Home Fashion curtains offer an array of sizes and colors of curtains that are energy efficient, and of high quality.
Solar screens are another option. Solar shades by Springblinds can make custom sizes and have a lot of variety of colors.
Keep it breezy.
Dust mites and mold & mildew thrive in humidity and stale environments.
Stale and moist air are the breeding grounds for mildew, mold, odor and allergens. Let’s not forget the little critters (ants, cockroaches, silverfish) they invite to the moisture party too.
Stop bacterial growth and critter invasion by improving the ventilation immediately.
It’s vital to have proper ventilation when living in humidity. So keeping it breezy with ceiling and standing fans, are your answers to keep stale air at bay.
Create a cross breeze of air through your home. By putting a large fan in a window that blows air out and opening a door or a different window and placing another fan that blows air in. This will generate a cross current of air flow.
A good window fan that has both, an exhaust and intake setting with multiple speeds like Bionaire window fan will help keep a refreshing stream of air flowing.