As the seasons change and the temperature fluctuates, humidity can be a constant issue for homeowners. Maintaining the right level of humidity in your home is crucial for both your comfort and health. Too much or too little humidity can cause a host of problems, from dry skin and allergies to mold growth and damage to your furniture. That’s why it’s important to understand how humidity works, how to measure it, and what steps you can take to ensure your home has the proper humidity level year after year.
Humidity is simply the amount of water vapor in the air. When there is too much moisture in the air, it can feel damp and muggy. This type of humidity is common during warmer months or in areas with high humidity levels, such as near bodies of water. If you own a waterfront property, you might notice higher humidity levels than homeowners who live inland. On the other hand, dry air can also be a problem, causing skin irritation and respiratory issues. Most homes are affected by fluctuating humidity levels, which can be caused by various factors such as weather conditions, heating and cooling systems, location, and ventilation among other factors. That’s why it’s important to understand how to measure humidity in your home.
Your home’s HVAC system likely has a built-in humidity sensor, but it’s always a good idea to have your thermometer serviced and calibrated regularly to ensure its accuracy. Optimal indoor humidity levels should be between 30-50%. Anything below 30% is considered too dry, while anything above 50% is too humid. You might notice slight changes throughout the day even with the best HVAC system running. For instance, your thermometer might read anywhere between 25-55% humidity. However, keep in mind that these levels may vary depending on personal preference and the climate in which you live.
Solutions for Humidity Issues
There are various steps you can take to maintain the right level of humidity in your home year after year. Some solutions include the following.
Using a Dehumidifier
If you live in a humid area, investing in a dehumidifier can help regulate moisture levels in your home. These devices work by drawing moisture out of the air and collecting it in a tank that can be emptied periodically. In addition to using a dehumidifier, you can also run your AC unit on a regular basis, as it also works to remove moisture from the air.
Using a Humidifier
On the other hand, if you live in a dry climate, using a humidifier can add moisture to the air and prevent dryness and irritation. Similar to dehumidifiers, they come in different sizes and can be placed in specific rooms or used to humidify your entire home. A whole-house humidifier that is connected to your HVAC system can be the most effective solution to balance both humidity and temperature levels in your home.
Ensuring proper ventilation in your home is also crucial for maintaining healthy humidity levels. This includes opening windows and using exhaust fans when cooking, showering, or doing laundry. Also, regularly changing your HVAC system’s air filters can help improve ventilation and prevent moisture buildup. If you notice any areas in your home that are more prone to moisture, such as the basement, consider installing a ventilation system or using a dehumidifier in those specific areas.
Regular HVAC Maintenance
Having your HVAC system regularly serviced and maintained is key to preventing humidity issues in your home. Trained technicians can ensure that all of your HVAC system’s components are functioning properly, including the humidifier or dehumidifier if you have one installed. For instance, refrigerant levels that are too low can cause excess moisture in the air, while a dirty condenser coil can prevent proper dehumidification. Consider reaching out to an HVAC repair service for help if you notice your home is suddenly more or less humid even while running your HVAC system.
Prepare for Humidity Changes Now
By understanding humidity and taking preventative measures such as using dehumidifiers or humidifiers, practicing proper ventilation, and regularly maintaining your HVAC system, you can ensure a comfortable and healthy living environment for you and your family. At IBBOTSON Heating & Air Conditioning Co., we’re proud to offer IAQ and HVAC services in Arlington Heights, IL, and the surrounding areas. To help keep your home comfortable year-round, we also offer emergency HVAC repair services, AC repair, furnace replacement, and so much more.
Don’t wait until humidity becomes a problem call IBBOTSON Heating & Air Conditioning Co. and start taking steps to manage it now!