Since the 1970s, American households have doubled their energy usage, with 50 percent of energy…
“It isn’t the heat; it’s the humidity!”
How many times have you heard someone in Central or Lower Alabama say that phrase?
While we as Alabamians have a good grasp of humidity as it relates to weather, we can sometimes be clueless about how humidity impacts our homes via our HVAC systems.
Moisture often comes into our homes through the air outside. Rain, water, and moist air can enter through improperly-sealed doors and windows and poorly ventilated spaces, such as basements.
Moisture also exits our homes through activities such as running our heating systems at full blast during the winter months.
Humidification and dehumidification are often called the “Goldilocks” of HVAC because it’s important to get the moisture in the air at a level that’s just right.
What are Humidifiers and Dehumidifiers?
Simply put, humidifiers and dehumidifiers are similar in that they are responsible for transferring moisture into or out of an environment. If you’ve ever dealt with static cling to the point where your hair stands on end or walked into a room thinking it “felt” damp, you’ve experienced a place that’s one extreme or another: too dry or too humid.
Humidifiers and dehumidifiers work to get the environment of any room just right so you can maintain the cleanliness and comfort inside your home. The key is to use each item strategically so that your home or business keeps a high level of air quality.
The Basics of Ideal Humidity Levels Inside Your Home
The great thing about determining the moisture levels in your home is it’s fairly easy to decide on which one – a humidifier, dehumidifier, or both – is needed for your home.
A hygrometer, a relatively inexpensive tool available at most big-box retailers, can help determine the moisture levels indoors.
Once the hygrometer reports the moisture levels in your home, you can make a better decision about the additional equipment or services you need for a particular area of your home.
Health and Humidity: How Are They Connected?
EPA Recommendations on Indoor Moisture Levels
The Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, recommends indoor moisture levels be below 60% to prevent mold growth. Ideally, your home would be within a range of between 30% – 50%. If some places are higher, you might need a dehumidifier. If it falls below 30%, you might actually need a humidifier to put moisture into the air.
Health Problems That Arise From Moisture Imbalance
Because high moisture levels can result in mold, you should educate yourself on the potential impact on your family’s health. If you or your children have allergies, asthma, or suppressed immune systems, you could be particularly susceptible to mold.
On the other end of the moisture spectrum, people who suffer from psoriasis, eczema, or other skin conditions don’t benefit from being in an environment with arid air, as it could worsen their problems.
Do You Need Humidification or Dehumidification For Your Whole House?
Suppose your home’s bottom level retains moisture in the air, or you’ve discovered mold in a particular room. In that case, you might be able to deal with that by purchasing a smaller unit that humidifies or dehumidifies smaller square footage.
If your family routinely suffers from allergies, asthma, or other breathing problems, you might need to consider getting a whole-home dehumidifier or humidifier.
Whole-home dehumidifiers decrease the opportunity for mold and mildew to form. Humidifiers, however, prevent dry air from causing other issues, such as nosebleeds or static cling. Both humidifiers and dehumidifiers positively impact the air in your home by improving overall quality.
Can’t decide which one would be best for your home? Call Dixie, and one of our licensed professionals will give you some advice on finding just the right moisture levels in your home.
Call Dixie And It’s Done!
At Dixie Electric, Plumbing & Air, your satisfaction is guaranteed. For plumbing, electrical, or heating and air services, our highly trained technicians will do it right the first time, on time, every time. For coupons and discounts on all the services Call Dixie has to offer, click here. To schedule a service with Call Dixie, call 334.328.3570 for Montgomery, or call 334.246.4914 for Auburn. You can also schedule an appointment online.
For emergency service and immediate assistance, please call our 24/7 service line at 334.328.3570.