The humidity level in your home can influence both your health and the quality of your indoor space. If you’re feeling stuffy and don’t have allergies or a virus, your home’s humidity level could be too low. It’s common for air to dry up in the winter, causing unhealthy side effects, like irritated respiratory tracts and skin problems.
Your home can suffer from inconsistent humidity levels as well. Cracking or popping sounds coming from wooden objects mean they’re drying out, which can permanently damage your home. Furthermore, dry air feels cooler, so when you turn your thermostat up to stay warm, energy consumption increases. Under ideal conditions, your indoor humidity level should range from 30 to 50 percent for the most comfort.
Options to increase indoor humidity include portable humidifiers and whole-house systems. Portable units involve more work, often use more energy and don’t distribute water vapor evenly. A whole-house system can solve these limitations, but may require the expertise of an HVAC professional for system size selection and installation.
HVAC pros use hand-held meters to measure the humidity level on a room-by-room basis. Digital hygrometers give accurate and nearly instantaneous results. After charting and examining the results, you’ll learn whether you’ll benefit from adding a humidification system to your home, as well as what kind to add. You’ll also learn about different types of humidistats and their options,
Keeping indoor humidity within its optimal range is dependent on outdoor temperatures. Your home needs less humidity as temperatures drop. When temperatures fall below zero, it’s important to reduce indoor humidity to prevent condensation on walls, in attics and on windows. Choosing a humidistat that operates your humidifier independent of the heating system assures constant comfort.
If you’d like more information about how humidity can affect your health and your home, contact Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal. We’ve been providing HVAC services for Northwestern Arkansas homeowners since 1968.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Springdale, Arkansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about humidity levels and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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