Top Things to Know About Controlling Humidity Levels within Your Home

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Any Cincinnati or Northern Kentucky resident knows that it can get humid in the summer here.

Many of us are aware of what happens when a home has too much humidity—humidity being the amount of water vapor that’s in the air.

We see signs of the extra condensation that can peel paint, lead to mold or can even rot woodwork. Excess humidity can even do damage to upholstery. We might not notice it as readily, but it can also mean dust mites, fungus, and an increase in allergy-related issues when there is too much humidity in the air in our home.

If your home is set up with the proper ventilation, you can keep this from happening, despite living in a city with naturally high humidity in the summer/spring. By turning your humidifier off or down, or even by taking advantage of a dehumidifier, you can lower humidity effectively in your home.

We can also use fans while cooking, and in the bathroom we can turn on fans to help exchange air. When the time is right, ask us for more information to see if a dehumidifier is right for you.

At the same time, we actually want a certain level of humidity…but just not one that’s too high! 

The optimal humidity range for indoor air quality is between 35 and 50 percent, with some experts citing a range of 40 and 60.

During winter, we know that humidity levels drop: cold air has less capacity to hold moisture, so with a dip in temperatures, we see a dip in humidity.

What happens if humidity levels are too low?

Our bodies are more sensitive to humidity than you might realize, we just often feel the discomfort or see the signs more in the summer or spring. When you have forced air heating, furnaces use combustion to create hot air. This can contribute even further to the problem within the home.

What are some signs you may be seeing when the humidity is low in your home?

It might be static electricity or even extra dry skin or hair. It might be a scratchy throat or itchy eyes. You might also have problematic sinuses—especially in the kids. In fact, if the humidity is too low, it can even worsen or prolong the flu or colds. At a certain point, we can see damage in our furniture or wood since the air is so dry.

From poor ability to heat the home to making the cold and flu even worse, getting a humidifier can help the problem.

Whole-House Humidifier to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Humidifers work through a reservoir that holds water. With cool mist humidifiers, air passes through the filter and evaporates some of the water into the room. With warm mist humidifiers, water is heating and then dispersed into the air.

A more effective, efficient and sustainable solution that can be better controlled is an whole house humidifier. These humidifiers compensate for the dry air we experience in the winter by working directly with your furnace. Vapor is distributed through your heated air and it then circulates throughout the house thanks to your duct system. Because it takes the entire house into consideration—rather than just working in one room as a portable humidifier would—you experience a more even and controlled humidity system.

Ask us about the humidifier that is best for your system, and that can actually help to make your existing HVAC more efficient, in many cases. 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.

Want to know more about the indoor humidity levels affecting the health of you and your family?

Ask us to help you see what your indoor humidity levels are, and how you can track your level on an ongoing basis. If you see any sign of condensation accumulating on your windows or mold, you know that you likely have too much humidity. If you have drier-than-normal skin or hair, or even irritated sinuses, you may be looking at humidity that is too low. In these upcoming months, if you notice more static electricity than normal, dried paint, or millwork that has cracked, let us know.

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