With just a few weeks left of spring, many homeowners are beginning to feel the effects of summer humidity on their bodies and homes. It’s a good idea to start planning now before the humidity rises.
Learn the benefits of dehumidification and how to choose the right dehumidifier to keep moisture at bay.
What is Humidity?
Humidity is simply moisture that is in the air.
What is Relative Humidity (RH)?
Relative Humidity is the amount of moisture in the air (at any given temperature) compared with the maximum amount of water it can hold at that temperature when completely saturated.
Let’s say you have a 1 cubic foot box of air at 70°F and it can hold 8 grains of moisture. If it is completely saturated with 8 grains of moisture, its relative humidity would be 100%. If there are only 4 grains of moisture in the box, the relative humidity would be 50%.
The amount of water that a cubic foot of air can hold changes when the temperature changes. This is due to the fact that air expands when it gets warmer and contracts as it gets colder.
When the outside temperature drops significantly, the air gets drier. Conversely, when temperatures increase in the spring and summer, the amount of humidity in the air rises (partially due to increased evaporation rates).
What is the Ideal Humidity Level?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Relative Humidity is healthiest and most comfortable between 30 and 50%. It’s important that you keep relative humidity below 55% in the summertime.
Too much or too little moisture in the air can damage your home and its possessions, including floors, walls, ceilings, paint, wood, books and art.
Dry air can aggravate sicknesses and cause chapped lips and dry, itchy skin.
Humid air creates sticky situations and unwanted mold, mildew, and dust mites, especially concerning for those with allergies.
The easiest and more effective way for managing indoor humidity levels is with professional installation of a whole-home humidification system. Unlike portable dehumidifiers, whole-home systems are installed directly into your HVAC system, out of sight, out of mind.
5 Benefits of Dehumidification
1. Lowers Energy Costs
By helping your HVAC system run more efficiently, you will use less energy to condition the air in your home. When the air is humid, your air conditioner has to work extra hard to remove the moisture from the air. This extra moisture can contribute to dirty evaporator coils and clogged condensate drain pans and drain lines. Maintaining healthy indoor humidity levels will not only lower your monthly energy bill, it will also prevent condensation and corrosion issues and extend the lifespan of your HVAC system.
2. Improves Comfort and Indoor Air Quality
A dry home is much less hospitable to common allergens, such as dust mites, mold, and mildew. A whole-home humidification system improves skin, hair, and respiratory systems. You’ll notice everyone breathing easier, and feeling healthier and more comfortable.
Additionally, running a whole-home humidification system significantly reduces the amount of dust in the home, mitigating allergies and reducing the amount of time spent cleaning.
3. Mitigates Mildew, Mold, Smoke, Dust Mites, and Pests
In addition to preventing the growth and development of mold and mildew in your home, dehumidification systems will also get rid of all the associated “musty” and “rotting” odors.
4. Prevents Wet Spots on Ceilings and Walls
Condensation in bathrooms and kitchens is a major problem for most homeowners. By having a quietly running humidification system in the background, you won’t have to worry about moisture problems on your furniture, walls, and ceilings.
5. Prevents Rust and Corrosion
Moisture can create problems for any metallic or electrical components in your home. If you want to protect your expensive electronics, furniture, and other objects susceptible to moisture problems, invest in a whole-home humidification system for your home.
Why do we need dehumidification?
The air around us contains water, even if you cannot directly see it or touch it. In our indoor environments, multiple sources add to the quantity of water in the air, including cooking, cleaning, and showering.
When all of the steam and liquid gets into the air, there’s usually not a pathway outside. Modern homes are more insulated than ever before. This is good in one sense—energy savings. But it’s bad in another sense—high humidity and poor indoor air quality.
How to Choose the Right Humidifier
You can choose a small, floor model, or a central, whole-home humidification system that is installed into your existing HVAC system.
Ultrasonic humidifiers create a mist. If not cared for properly, they can disperse microorganisms and minerals.
Evaporative humidifiers create moisture by blowing air through a moistened material. The tank should be periodically maintained to make sure there is no bacterial growth.
Steam vaporizers create water vapor by electrically heating water and then cooling the steam before dispersing it. They produce less airborne contaminants than ultrasonic humidifiers, but like evaporative humidifiers, their tanks must be periodically maintained.
While portable dehumidifiers can help you reduce the amount of moisture in the air, they normally only work on a small area of the home at a time. They also won’t turn be able to detect the humidity levels and automatically adjust themselves like a whole-home humidification system can.
Whole-home humidification systems work for the entire home and automatically turn on whenever they are supposed to. They also require a lot less maintenance and don’t create an eyesore.
Since they are installed directly into your existing HVAC system, you won’t even know they are there. Plus, your technician will inspect and tune-up your humidification system as part of your regular HVAC tune-up.
Improve your indoor air quality even more by installing an air purifier into your HVAC system. Some air cleaners actually capture and kill these microorganisms, usually with the assistance of a DNA-scrambling ultraviolet light (UV Germicidal Air Irradiation).
If you have any questions about whole-home humidification or air purification systems, don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at OnTime Service.
For more information on how to keep water out of the home and basement, read about the Benefits of Sump Pumps.
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