Humidity is just as important as temperature when it comes to keeping your home comfortable. Unfortunately, the part of the world we live in means that those levels are always fluctuating. In the summer, it’s muggy and gross. In the winter, it’s dry and crackling. Neither is an optimum condition to be in. Luckily, you can control moisture levels in your household air as readily as you control the temperature with the timely addition of a humidifier and/or a dehumidifier. Here’s a quick breakdown covering how they work.
Relative Humidity Levels
We measure humidity as relative humidity, which is ranked as a percentage. The higher the percentage, the more ambient moisture can be found in the air. Human beings are most comfortable when the relative humidity levels sit between 30% and 50%. It’s when they rise above that for fall below that that trouble occurs.
Low humidity levels mean that the air is dry enough to start leeching the moisture off of your skin, as well as the surroundings in your house. That can result in a number of unwelcome features:
- Dry, itchy skin and chapped lips.
- Static electricity, resulting in nasty shocks,
- Dried sinuses and mucous membrane. This is a serious concern since it leaves your body more vulnerable to colds and illnesses.
- Higher heating bills. Dry air feels cooler than it is, which means the heater needs to work harder to warm your home. The strain on the system goes up, along with higher monthly bills as a result.
Whole-house humidifiers solve the problem quite nicely. They’re very simple in concept: a pad or wick soaked with water from a reservoir, over which a fan will blow. That sends moisture vapors into your ducts whenever necessary, allowing you to moisten the dry air to any level you wish.
High humidity levels usually occur in the summer. When the relative humidity rises above 50%, there’s too much moisture in the air to let the sweat evaporate off of your skin. That creates the wet, gross feeling we sometimes experience in the summer, as well as making the air feel hotter than it is. High humidity levels often mean:
- The temperature in the air feeling hotter than it is, forcing you to run your air conditioner for longer and raising bills accordingly.
- Lack of comfort as your sweat won’t dry off your body.
- The growth of mold and bacteria in your home.
Dehumidifiers work in a manner similar to air conditioning, but with a focus on the humidity instead of the temperature. By lowering the temperature of the air, it can remove the excess moisture — tailored to your needs — and bring the swamp-like atmosphere in your home down to something resembling comfort. In addition to making your home feel more comfortable, it can reduce the strain on your AC, helping it function more effectively and lowering your monthly cooling bills in the bargain.
Design Air, inc. can install humidifiers and dehumidifiers throughout your Wycoff, NJ home. Contact our team today to learn more!