How does humidity affect your body (and your wallet)?

How humidity impacts your health and pocketbook.

PHOENIX - The first thing that comes to a lot of people’s minds when you ask about humidity is how frizzy their hair can get.

But there are some potentially harmful effects of the humidity on your body -- and even your wallet.

The yearly rite of passage is best known as monsoon.

“The biggest effect of humidity is, of course, we sweat more,” said Natasha Bhuyan, MD, a family physician of One Medical Group in Phoenix. Humidity makes it more difficult for our bodies to cool off.

“In the humidity, [sweat] doesn’t evaporate,” she said. “It just sits on our skin.”

So, the body keeps sweating, and you lose fluids, salt and electrolytes -- risking dehydration.

Humidity also affects respiratory issues such asthma and allergies. It even aggravates arthritis.

For more monsoon coverage: 12news.com/monsoon

You’ve heard people say it before: "’I know when a storm is coming, because I feel it in my knees. I feel it in my hips,’” Bhuyan said. “There is actually some truth to that.”

She said air pressure changes, which bring the humidity, directly impact your body, and it makes some pains worse.

From the pain or sweat, you may be looking for some relief.

“Your air conditioner is going to have to work a lot harder to cool the air,” warned Mike Donley, owner of Donley Plumbing and Air Condition.

That means this weather pattern could end up costing you a pretty penny.

If you set the air back a few degrees before leaving the house, it’s “not a great idea,” he said, at least not when humidity is high.

Even trying to make your home a few degrees cooler in humid air puts extra strain on your AC.

Another tip: The AC fan should not be permanently on.

“You want to turn it to the auto position so it only comes on with the [AC] comes on.”

That’s because the unit holds on to the condensation it pulls from the air.

“And the air blowing across it will pump more moisture into the house and make it more humid.”

A look on the dry side: There are some aesthetic benefits to humid conditions.

Your hair may be frizzy, but moisture is good for your hair and your skin.

You’re also less likely to get a bloody nose.

And the moisture and cloud coverage makes for stunning sunsets! Make sure to use #BeOn12 on social media to share your sunset photos with us.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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