Learning About Home Humidity ControlWith the technology available to us today in the heating and air realm, it’s possible to achieve extremely precise comfort levels in the home. Advanced thermostats and better HVAC systems all around allow us to pinpoint our temperatures to our exact liking at all times of the year, regardless of the climate we live in. At Airtime Heating & Cooling, we’re here to remind you that this theme extends further than just the raw temperature of your air. Our indoor air quality solutions also include another vital area: Humidity, which can have a broad effect on the way a given room or home feels compared to the actual temperature. Particularly in a dry climate like Utah, ensuring the proper levels of moisture in the air is very important. Let’s look at what these levels are, the effects if they aren’t met, and some ways you can go about changing yours.
Optimal Humidity LevelsWhen we talk about humidity levels, we’re really discussing “relative humidity,” which refers to the level of water vapor in the air as a percentage of the total saturation point of that air. In general, you want your relative humidity level in the home to range between 30 and 50 percent – you can easily test these levels using a hygrometer, which can be purchased at any Home Depot or similar hardware store. In some climates, humidity will ebb and flow fairly significantly based on what season it is. Winter might see dryer air, with relative humidity levels below 30 percent, while the hot sun can lead to levels well above 60 percent in the summer.
Effects of Improper LevelsOccasional departures from the optimal humidity ranges won’t do much damage, but homes that are consistently outside of this range could present some issues. These issues are found in both personal health and in problems with e home’s structure. They include:
- Skin problems: Conditions like eczema, chapped lips or psoriasis can be significantly worsened by air that’s too dry.
- Mold or mildew growth: On the other end of the spectrum, air that’s too humid can lead to mold and mildew growth in the home – this, in turn, can cause significant respiratory illnesses and other health conditions.
- Smells: Too much moisture from an overly humid home will produce a dank, musty smell that can make certain people feel sick.
- Wood damage: Wood in the home can crack or splinter if it’s too dry, but can also warp if its infused with too much moisture.