Humidity may be low in the Southwest, but that doesn’t mean that moisture isn’t an issue. In fact, moisture can be a major issue even in very arid areas. In less humid climates like Arizona and Nevada, moisture in the home typically comes from the concrete pads the homes sit on.
Usually, it is an issue of moisture rising up through the soil and condensing in the extreme temperature shift from soil to dried concrete; however, the moisture can also come from the concrete that was not allowed to cure properly. Flooding building pads to address soil compaction issues is another cause.
Either way, the result is the same — a musty smell and likely some mold. In fact, according to HomeAdvisor, the top ten states for mold include both Nevada and Arizona. But, that isn’t all. Moisture also affects your home’s temperature. Here’s how.
One effect of moisture in the home is that it creates humidity within the house. The higher the humidity, the more heat the house can hold. This can create a situation in which the air feels heavier and hotter inside than out. Adding a dehumidifier may be necessary to pull that moisture out of the air and keep the humidity low.
The extra moisture in the air can make it more difficult to cool. In the end, the air is holding heat and any air conditioning or central air you have needs to run longer to offset the warm, wet air.
Humidity may make a room hotter, but there is also an issue of comfort. For instance, when the moisture is high in a room, it makes sweating more difficult. According to the Berkeley Lab’s Home Energy Pros, indoor humidity should be kept around 45 percent — trending a bit lower in summer and a bit higher during the winter.
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