How Can You Manage Your Home’s Humidity?
Indoor humidity is a drag. It tends to put everyone in a sluggish mood; it makes relaxing extremely difficult — after all, you are sweating inside your home! High humidity can influence the health of those with asthma and allergy sensitivities. Let’s zap that excess moisture right out of the room, and look at ways to manage your Tennessee home’s relative indoor humidity.
At AA Air Company, we always strive to find ways to improve your comfort and energy savings. We believe you should control your homes environment, and it starts with your indoor air quality (IAQ) and relative indoor humidity.
How to Manage Your Home’s Humidity
First of all, let us answer the main question: what humidity level do I want in my Knoxville home?
Typically, you want your humidity between 30 and 50 percent for ideal comfort levels, but the answer can be different for every person! It’s like the temperature — some like it hot and others like it cold. The ideal humidity level for you can depend on health considerations, the furnishings in your home or equipment in your business or office, the layout of the building, and the perceived comfort level at differing temperatures and humidity levels. What might feel muggy in the summer could feel comfortable in the winter.
A relatively inexpensive instrument called a hygrometer can measure the indoor relative humidity at your home or business. This can help you determine what range of humidity will suit you best. Some of the newer thermostats offered by AA Air Company have the capacity to measure humidity as well.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), reducing indoor humidity levels to below 60 percent helps control the growth of mold and reduces potential heath problems associated with mold exposures such as allergic reactions, asthma and other respiratory issues.
Your air conditioner (AC) removes humidity from the air, but this is not always sufficient to maintain ideal humidity levels in the home. In the spring and fall, you may not be running your AC, but could still be suffering from high humidity in your home. The best recommendation for managing the excessive humidity levels in your home is to install a whole-house dehumidifier. This device works separately from, but complementary to your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment to reduce moisture from the air before it circulates through your Knoxville home.
A dehumidifier helps to keep your home comfortable all year long. It operates similarly to your AC unit in that moisture is collected by a refrigeration coil within the device. This excessive moisture is then drained and the conditioned air is distributed throughout the home.
Signs that you have too much humidity at home:
- Moist or sticky air
- Musty smells in your clothes and/or closets
- Damp smell in the home
- Condensation on the inside of your windows
- Wet walls
- Biological growth (in either the home, attic, or crawlspace)
Too much humidity in the air can cause:
- Poor indoor air quality that could lead to illness
- Mold, mildew, and bacteria growth
- Worse, or more frequent, symptoms for asthma or allergy sufferers, depending on your triggers
- Damage to your home from extensive exposure to moisture
It’s not generally a problem needing to be solved in Tennessee, but sometimes health or environmental concerns dictate that humidity needs to be added to the air. This is more common in the winter months when cooler air results in less humidity. There are a few different options for whole-house humidifier systems, but they all essentially add moisture to the air in your central heating system to increase humidity levels to the desired range.
A properly designed and installed humidification system can make a significant difference in a home, but only if designed and installed properly. A poorly installed system can cause a world of headaches for the unsuspecting homeowner. Improper humidification and design can lead to mold or bacterial growth throughout the home or attic. Equipment failure due to poor installation can lead to leaks and damaged ceilings, wall, insulation, framing, or even roofing.
Signs that you do not have enough humidity at home:
- Asthma and allergy symptoms might worsen, depending on your triggers
- Dry skin and chapped lips
- Wooden floors or furniture which dries out and cracks
- Your home never feels as warm as the thermostat indicates
A lack of humidity can cause:
- Sickness to spread more easily
- Home damage from dry/cracked wood
- Increase in utility bills
Fix Your Ducts!
Before considering a whole-house system to add or remove humidity from your home, first ensure your home and ductwork is properly sealed and insulated. No system can keep a home comfortable if these things are not up to standard. Schedule an appointment with AA Air Company to have one of our professionals inspect and seal your ductwork so we can determine the next step to maintaining ideal humidity levels in your home.
Call Your Air Quality Experts Today!
In both humidification and dehumidification, there are a wide range of products and price points to consider. At AA Air Company, our professionals will walk you through the selection and design process. We take into account the many variables involved in creating the perfect system, so you are comfortable through all of the seasons in your Knoxville, TN, home. Call 865-689-5290 or request service online today to learn more about tackling humidity.