In an ideal world, the relative humidity level in your home should always stay somewhere between 40% and 50%. Low indoor humidity typically isn’t that big of an issue except for when the air gets extremely dry as this can potentially damage any wood and leather furnishings. Low humidity can also dry out your skin, hair, sinuses, and lips and also cause issues for anyone with asthma and other respiratory illnesses or even someone suffering from a cold or the flu.
High indoor humidity can be a much bigger problem as it can lead to water damage due to condensation forming inside the home. An even bigger issue is that the condensation can allow mold to start growing, especially during the summer months when your home is warmer. The potential for a serious mold infestation is why you should always take whatever steps are necessary to ensure the humidity in your home never rises above 60%. If you have issues with overly moist or dry air in your home, here are some simple tips that can help you to better manage your home’s humidity.
The Importance of Leaving Your AC On in the Summer
Your air conditioning system is the first line of defense against high indoor humidity in the summer because air conditioning doesn’t just remove heat from your home’s air but also moisture. Any time you leave your AC turned off for more than a few hours, the moisture content in the air will quickly build up to where your home becomes extremely hot and muggy. When the humidity level is high, your AC can start to struggle and not work nearly as effectively.
Turning off your AC at night and opening the windows can be even worse since this will allow lots of moisture inside. All of the moisture will then start to soak into your walls, furniture, and especially carpets, which can make it nearly impossible for your AC to ever dry out your home. For these reasons, never turn your AC off during the summer except on much cooler, drier days as this will make a major difference in how humid your home is.
Benefits of Installing a Whole-home Dehumidifier
In drier climates, air conditioning alone is often more than sufficient to keep a home’s humidity level in check. However, this isn’t always the case in Maryland since our summers tend to be extremely humid. If your home still often gets overly humid when your AC is running, you should definitely consider installing a whole-home dehumidifier. These units work alongside your air conditioning system to further dry out the air and will remove many more gallons of moisture from the air each day than your AC ever could.
In addition to removing moisture, a whole-home dehumidifier will essentially “pre-cool” the air before it moves into the air handler and blows over the AC evaporator coil. In this way, the unit will increase the effectiveness of your air conditioning and help it to cool more quickly. In turn, this can lower your energy bills as your AC won’t need to work as hard or run as often or as long.
How Whole-home Humidifiers Can Help You in Winter
Whole-home humidifiers can also be a huge help if the air in your home is often extremely dry in the winter. The colder the air temperature gets, the less moisture the air contains. This is why the air always feels much drier in the winter than it does in the hotter months. This problem becomes even worse any time your heating system is running.
A furnace doesn’t technically dry out the air, but it can pull cold, dry air into the home so that the humidity level decreases. When the furnace is running, air and combustion fumes are constantly being vented outside. This creates a pressure imbalance that pulls air from outside into the home through any cracks or gaps around your windows and doors or in the structure of the home itself.
There are several different types of whole-home humidifiers, all of which will work to add additional moisture to the air flowing through your HVAC system either before or after it is heated by the furnace. Most units will run the whole time your heating system is on so that you constantly have moist, warm air being pumped into every room. As such, your home won’t ever feel as dry so you will stay more comfortable and be able to breathe more easily.
At WK Mechanical, Inc., our indoor air quality specialists can help you quickly overcome issues with high or low indoor humidity. We install a range of whole-home dehumidifiers and humidifiers as well as other IAQ units like germicidal UV lights, air purifiers, and air scrubbers, and we can also handle all of your cooling and heating needs. Contact us today for more information or if you need any HVAC services in the Middletown area.