How to Choose between a Humidifier and a Dehumidifier

August 23, 2016


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

st louis man researching hvac products

If you do, a humidifier or a dehumidifier is what your home may need. Your house should have a relative humidity level of 30-60 percent, depending on what time of the year it is. In winter, 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 may need a dehumidifier. So, you may need both a humidifier and dehumidifier and use them according to seasons.

How Does Humidity Affect Our Health?

Extremes of relative humidity in the atmosphere affects human health adversely. If the air inside your home is dry, the residents may have dry skin and may suffer from other types of dermatitis. 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, nosebleed, 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 conditioners.

How Relative Humidity Affects Your Home

When the air indoor air is too dry, wood, leather and other natural materials inside your home may get affected. You should use a humidifier to maintain relative humidity at around 40 percent. This will help prevent loosening of wooden frames and windowpanes, and the cracking of leather furniture.

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. This indicates that your home would benefit from a dehumidifier.

Choosing a Dehumidifier or Humidifier

It is important to choose the 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 the ones that are integrated with your HVAC system. You can also choose between hot mist and cool mist models.

When choosing a dehumidifier, you should be careful about the capacity. You can choose between portable and a whole house dehumidifier. Do not forget to check the safety listing before you purchase a humidifier or dehumidifier.

St. Louis Heating and Cooling

Most humidifiers and dehumidifiers come with a host of features, and you may find it difficult to choose the one that best suits your needs. It is best to discuss your situation with a St. Louis heating and cooling expert. At Scott-Lee Heating we can inspect your home and suggest the best possible solution. Call (314) 200-0788 to speak with a service technician at Scott-Lee today!