Hot sticky summers and cold, snowy winters in Northeast Ohio can make the task of balancing humidity in your home a challenge. However, since both too much moisture in your indoor air and too little can damage your health, as well as your home and its furnishings, it’s certainly worth the effort. With a good humidity control plan and the proper equipment, you can maintain indoor humidity levels within an ideal range of 30 to 50 percent through all four seasons.
Excessive indoor humidity, typically a summertime problem in Northeast Ohio, will not only make your home less comfortable, but can result in moisture stains, wood rot, mold and mildew as moisture condenses on surfaces and is absorbed into walls, carpets, wood flooring and furniture. An overly moist environment also promotes the growth of bacteria and dust mites, which along with mold and mildew, can impact health, especially in people who have asthma, allergies or other chronic health conditions.
Running your air conditioning, particularly if it’s a newer, two-stage system, can help in balancing humidity, since some moisture is removed from the air as a side effect of the cooling process. Good ventilation in humid areas of the home, such as bathrooms, laundry rooms and kitchens, is important. If these measures alone don’t bring humidity below 50 percent, a dehumidifier is likely your best next step, preferably a whole-house model that can help in balancing humidity throughout the home.
During winter, air is typically very dry, a problem that is amplified by the drying effects of the typical home heating system. Humidity levels below 30 percent can dry and crack wood flooring, furniture and trim, as well as produce static electricity, a hazard to electronic equipment. Dry nasal and bronchial passages are more susceptible to the invasion of viruses and bacteria, making respiratory infections more common. Adding a whole-house humidifier to your HVAC system can ensure optimal humidity levels.
For more information on balancing humidity in your home, please contact us at Stack Heating & Cooling. We’ve been serving the home comfort needs of homeowners in the greater Cleveland area since 1976.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio 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.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock