Highs And Lows: Understanding Humidity In The Home

In regards to home maintenance, you may focus on landscaping, cleaning the interior, and washing your siding and outdoor surfaces. While necessary, other tasks are important for keeping your home functional and safe. Humidity inside the home is most likely something you do not focus on. However, imbalances in humidity can damage your home and affect your health all while being a sign that there is an underlying issue with your heating and cooling system. Here are a few things you need to know about humidity in your home.

High Humidity Is Bad

First and foremost, you need to know what is actually considered high humidity levels. Most experts believe 45 percent is ideal. If a hygrometer or your thermostat is reading 50 percent of higher, your humidity is too high in the home.

High humidity means you have an excess of moisture in your home. This moisture can cause paint to peel, wood to warp, and mildew and mold to grow. High humidity is also uncomfortable, decreasing the function of your air conditioning system.

There are a few possible causes of high humidity in your home. In most cases, your air conditioning system may be oversized. A larger AC unit may run long enough to reach your cooled temperature, but turn off too quickly, before it has a chance to pull both the heat and the humidity out of the air.

Improper insulation, broken window seals, and even leaking ducts in your HVAC system may also cause humidity to rise in the home. Installing a dehumidifier can help, but make sure a technician evaluates your system to ensure there are no leaks in the ductwork and that your system is sized properly for your home.

Low Humidity Is Bad

Living with high humidity in the home can be problematic, but low levels of humidity will also pose a problem for you, your family, and your home.

Without a healthy amount of moisture, your skin and hair may become dry and brittle especially during the cooler seasons when you are heating the home. Dry, itchy patches on the skin may develop in addition to chapped lips, scratching noses, and itchy throats.

Inside your home, low humidity can affect wood cabinetry, flooring, and furniture. The lack of moisture can cause wood to shrink and warp. You may notice doors in the home and cabinet doors are not lining up and the hardwood floor planks are separating at their seams.

It is normal for humidity levels to drop when you are heating the home. If levels become too low, your central heating system may require maintenance or repairs. Installing a humidifier in the home can help balance humidity out to a healthy level. Contact a service, like Weather Control Air Conditioning, Inc., for more help.