Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky residents tend to know a lot about humid outdoor air, but did you know you also ought to have a certain level of humidity in your home?
The optimal humidity range for indoor air is between 35 and 50 percent, and in some cases, slightly higher. Typically, anything higher than that is when mold, bacteria, and other biological growths will thrive.
As we approach fall and winter, it’s the time of year when we know humidity levels will drop: cold air has less capacity to hold moisture, so with a dip in temperatures, we tend to see a dip in humidity.
Let’s explore 4 things you need to know if you’re considering installing a humidifier in your home.
1. Our bodies don’t react well when there’s not enough moisture in the air
Our bodies are quite sensitive to humidity, and that’s part of why you don’t want it too low. Because our health can be negatively impacted when humidity levels are too low, it helps to be aware of some of the signs you may have a moisture problem in your home.
People tend to know what it looks like when there is too much moisture in the air, but a few of the physical signs you can experience if there is not enough moisture in your air include:
- Extra dry scalp
- Dry or brittle hair
- Extra dry skin
- Scratchy throat
- Cracked lips
- Itchy eyes or almost “blurred” vision
- Sinus-relates issues or sinus symptoms that just won’t go away such as congestion
- Trouble breathing
- Poor quality of sleep
- Aggravated asthma or other respiratory conditions
- Worsened or prolonged colds or flu
Don’t think you have to put up with dry skin as we head into fall and winter, because you don’t! Many Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky homeowners are surprised to learn that itchy skin and dry or problematic nasal passages can be relieved when you add moisture back into the air at ideal levels with a humidifier.
Also, be sure to think of this concept in the reverse, though, too: when humidity levels are in fact in the ideal range, it also helps your body’s defenses against viruses and other illnesses.
2. Even our homes and furniture can be negatively impacted with humidity levels that are too low
Have you ever reached out to turn a doorknob and experienced a zap from static electricity?
That’s static electricity, and while it can also be seen with frizzy hair or clingy clothing, those sparks are another telltale sign you might not have enough moisture in the air in your home.
At a certain point, when there isn’t enough moisture in the air, we can see damage in our furniture or wood, too. So not only can your comfort levels and your health be impacted when moisture levels aren’t in the optimal range, but your furniture and flooring can be negatively impacted, too.
3. Humidifier installation makes your HVAC more efficient
Humidifiers help protect wood furniture and other objects in the home, but when you run a humidifier in the colder months, you’re quite simply increasing the level of moisture in the home.
That means your body will feel warmer, but the actual temperature doesn’t need to be as high. In short, that means you’ll feel more comfortable without having to uptick the temperature you’re maintaining. All in all, this principle helps you reduce how high the temperature is in your home by several degrees, which translates to savings that will quickly add up. When you combine the benefits of comfort and saving on your energy bill, it really is a win-win.
4. Humidifier selection and installation considers your entire home and how the space is used
There are several factors we’ll look at when it comes to recommending a humidifier that’s right for your home or business. The brand is important, but it’s important to know how the model works, the size of the space, ventilation in your home, how the space is/will be used, expected maintenance, and other factors.
Think of it this way: Lots of things contribute to moisture in the air, not just seasonal factors like the outside air. That includes the flow of people (i. e. whether or not a space has occupants and at what time and frequency); use of space, including showers, laundry, cooking, and/or other ways water is introduced into the air; refrigeration; dishwashing; ventilation obstacles; and certain plants that may be in the space. All these factors contribute to the moisture found in the air in your home, so all of them are taken into consideration.
Here’s a simplified example to illustrate this point: if we’re designing a space in a hospital or healthcare setting where surgery takes place, we have extremely specific indoor air quality standards we’ll need to meet and maintain. (So much so that the indoor air quality metrics will be displayed for the care team to see before and during any surgical procedure.)
Put simply, in this scenario, our team must design a solution that considers how the space is used, making sure the air can adhere to strict moisture control standards.
Yet another example of how every home needs to be approached holistically: new homes tend to have higher humidity in the short run, which is important to consider when choosing and installing a humidifier. All in all, we’ll take into account the size and layout of your home, ventilation, and the goals you have for indoor air quality—helping you to find a humidity system that suits your exact needs.
Let Greater Comfort Help You Achieve Ideal Humidity Levels
Greater Cincinnati homeowners: Ask us about the humidifier that is best for your house, your family, and your HVAC system. Since winter can bring about moist air in certain places of the home—while other places can have air that is too dry—we can help you better control humidity across your entire home.
If you have drier-than-normal skin or hair, poor quality sleep with no explanation, or even irritated sinuses, you may be looking at humidity that is far too low. Even without these physical symptoms, you can help your home feel more comfortable, reduce the chance for contracting illness, and protect your wooden furniture and flooring all fall and winter long.
Save $150 Off Humidifier Installation
Now through 10/31/2021, you can save $150 off your humidifier installation. (Terms and conditions apply.) To learn more or to request an estimate for humidifier installation, call the Greater Comfort Heating & Air Conditioning team at 859-491-4915.