December 12, 2016

Do you find your house too damp in the summer and too dry in the winter?

st-louis-hvac-humidifiersYour home should have a relative humidity level of 30-60 percent, depending on what time of the year it is. In winter, the use of heating systems can reduce the humidity by over 30-40 percent. On the other hand, in summer the humidity may be as high as 60 percent. If the relative humidity is below 30, you may want to invest in a humidifier to keep your family comfortable; however, if it touches 60 or more, you need a dehumidifier. You may need both a humidifier and a dehumidifier and use them according to the seasons.

How Humidity Affects Your Health

Extremes of relative humidity in the atmosphere can affect your health adversely. If the air inside your home is dry, you may experience dry skin and other types of dermatitis such as peeling, itchy skin, or chapped lips. These may be the first signs that you need to invest in a humidifier. Other health problems caused by dry air include dry sinuses, congestion, nosebleeds, a persistent cough, and sore throat.

If the air is too moist, it can aggravate allergy and asthma symptoms. Your air conditioning system can sufficiently humidify the air; however, you may need a dehumidifier during spring and fall when you are not operating your air conditioner.

How Humidity Affects Your Home

When the indoor air is too dry, wood, leather, and other natural materials inside your home may be affected. Use a humidifier to maintain relative humidity at 40 percent and to prevent cracking of musical instruments and leather furniture. It will also prevent the loosening of wooden frames and windowpanes.

If the air is too moist, it can promote the growth of mold and mildew, especially in poorly vented places such as showers, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and areas under the sink. You may notice window condensation, wet stains, and a musty smell in the house, indicating that you need a dehumidifier.

Choosing a Dehumidifier or Humidifier

It is important to choose a humidifier that is the right size for the space where you plan to use it. There are various types of humidifiers available in the market including tower, tabletop, console, and whole house humidifiers. Whole house humidifiers are integrated with your HVAC system. You can also choose between hot mist and cool mist models. When choosing a dehumidifier, consider the capacity. You can choose between a portable and a whole-house dehumidifier. Do not forget to check the safety listing before you purchase a humidifier or dehumidifier.

Humidifiers and dehumidifiers come with a variety of features and you may find it difficult to choose the one that best suits your needs. Discuss your options with a St. Louis HVAC expert. Call Scott-Lee Heating Company at (314) 200-0788 for more information.