Humidity is a major factor in home comfort and indoor air quality. A balanced humidity level in your home can improve the efficiency of your furnace or air conditioner and create a healthier living environment.
According to the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, the optimal humidity level for a work or living space ranges between 25 and 50 percent. Humidity that is lower than 25 percent creates problems with static electricity, dry sinuses and chapped skin. Any woodwork in the home, such as window and door frames or cabinetry, may crack as well. A humidity level over 50 percent brings about condensation on windows and pipes, increased incidences of asthma and other respiratory conditions, and can lead to serious mold problems that may require the services of a professional remediation service to remove. High humidity encourages dust mites and cockroaches to reproduce as well.
An air conditioner can remove some of the home’s humidity, but its primary function is to cool the air. As a result, a home with central air conditioning may still be clammy during months when the furnace rarely runs but the air temperature is too cool to use the air conditioner. An older or oversized A/C also may have a difficult time removing humidity.
There are two pieces of equipment that help to balance humidity in the home: a whole-house humidifier and a whole-house dehumidifier. The humidifier attaches to the furnace and pumps the proper amount of moisture into heated air, creating a warm and comfortable indoor climate during the cold and dry-air winter months. Similarly, most whole-house dehumidifiers attach to the central air conditioning system. They pull moist air in from every room, remove the moisture and then send dry air out. The dehumidifier works with the air conditioner during the hottest days of summer, but can also be set to work when the air conditioning isn’t on.
The Mississippi River Valley has a unique microclimate that holds humidity throughout most of the warm months. Ernst Heating and Cooling can evaluate your home’s humidity level and recommend the right equipment that will balance humidity for a healthier, more comfortable home. We provide quality services to southwest Illinois communities, among them Alton, Bethalto, Troy and Edwardsville.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Hamel, Alton, Glen Carbon, Highland, Greenville, and Troy, Illinois and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about balancing humidity and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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