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Humidity: Everything You Need To Know

Must-Know Information About Humidity and How It Can Affect Your Home

Everyone knows that high levels of humidity can be uncomfortable. It can make it nearly impossible to cool off in the summer and impossible to get warm in the winter - not to mention that sticky, clammy feeling. But not everyone realizes that humidity can have a huge impact on their home’s furniture, air quality, and structural integrity as well. Even excessively low indoor humidity can cause a range of problems for the home and its occupants. 

Fortunately, with understanding and the right tools, managing indoor humidity levels can be a breeze. Read on to learn all about humidity, why it matters, and how to control it.

Why Humidity Matters

The humidity level inside a home is important for several reasons. If it’s too high - that is, if there’s too much water vapor in the home’s air - moisture can seep into walls, floors, and furniture, first causing swelling and warping, then eventually leading to rot and deterioration. Mold, mildew, and bacteria can also take hold and spread in moist environments, lowering the indoor air quality.

If the humidity is too low, wood can dry out, shrink, and crack, potentially causing severe damage to floors, windows, and furniture. Very dry air can also lead to nosebleeds, eye and respiratory irritation, and the spread of viruses and other airborne contagions. It even increases the presence of static electricity, which can damage electronics.

How a Humidifier Can Helphumidifiers

If the home’s air is consistently too dry, the clearest solution is to install a humidifier. A humidifier will release water vapor into the air to help keep the humidity within an acceptable range - typically between 30-60%. A whole-home humidifier that works with the home’s existing HVAC system will ensure that every room gets the humidity it needs.

There are a few ways to tell if the home needs a humidifier. If the home’s thermostat has a humidity sensor that reads 30% or less, that’s a fairly obvious sign. Other possible signs include dry skin, itchy eyes, congestion, sinus issues, or nosebleeds - provided that any other causes of these symptoms have been ruled out by a healthcare professional.

How a Dehumidifier Can Helpdehumidifiers

Likewise, a dehumidifier may be necessary if the home is constantly too humid. Some signs of excess humidity include condensation on the indoor side of windows, a feeling of dampness on carpet, upholstery, or bedding, musty odors, or if food like crackers or chips gets soft and stale too quickly after being opened.

Dehumidifiers, much like air conditioners, pull water vapor from the air by converting it into condensation, then subsequently drain it away. They also come in whole-home versions that can be integrated with the home’s HVAC system. And since excessively high indoor humidity is a fairly common problem in Michigan and can cause property damage and a range of health issues, homeowners would do well to consult with their trusted HVAC contractor about testing and managing their humidity levels.

About AirLux Heating & Cooling

AirLux Heating & Cooling takes great pride in its clear communication, quality workmanship, and fast turnarounds. This team offers up-front pricing, a 3-year labor warranty, and 24/7 emergency service. They are also trusted air quality experts, so don’t hesitate to call them anytime for humidifier services in Niles, MI!