Humidity and our Computers

By Jennifer Leitzke, Membership Coordinator, Tampa PC Users Group

As we reach the middle of summer in Florida, computer users should take some additional precautions while traveling with their computers and electronic items. The beautiful tropical climate we live in also brings that wonderful humidity. Computers and humidity do not mix well. When caring for or carrying your convenient portable computer items, make sure to allow time for your items to acclimate. Acclimate is defined in Webster's dictionary as: to accustom to a new climate or to new conditions. Example would be when you are inside a cool room and go outside and put on your sunglasses, they fog up on you. Just think what the temperature/humidity change does to your computer circuits and LCD screen. From the house, to the car, to the office, to the restaurant, all different temperatures and all different climates. A suggestion was given, to allow your computer items 1 hour to acclimate to avoid harm.

I made several calls around Tampa to engineers and air-conditioning specialists this week, and I was told the following information:

Rooms where computers are kept ideally should maintain a temperature of 70-82 degrees. You don't want to get much hotter than that. Commercial computer rooms keep their humidity levels at around 50%. Homes and offices can be a little more flexible, to 65-75% humidity. More humidity than that is not very good. They suggested possibly resizing your room air-conditioner or getting a dehumidifier to better control the environment.

Take a minute and read the article written by Lawrence J. Magid from the Los Angeles Times, detailing a recent trip of his and how humidity & heat threw a wrench into his situation. u