HVAC Tips / October 20, 2020
4 Tips to Keep Your Home’s Humidity at a Comfortable Level
From mold growth to allergy and respiratory problems to general discomfort, high humidity impacts the quality of your home’s air in several ways. Fortunately, high indoor humidity is not a problem that you have to live with. Discover some tips that will help you in creating a solution to manage the humidity levels in your home.
1. Install a Humidistat
The first step for solving high humidity is establishing a way to reliably measure humidity levels so you can be sure your efforts produce results. A humidistat is a device that can integrate with your HVAC system to display the current relative humidity in your home. Relative humidity is the amount of moisture in the air compared to the total sum that it can hold at a given temperature.
Some humidistats are standalone devices, while others integrate into smart thermostats so you have all your information in one place. Humidistats can activate or deactivate your air conditioner and dehumidifier, control duct dampers, and perform other relevant functions in response to the current humidity level in your home. Ideally, you want your humidistat reading to stay between 30 and 50 percent.
2. Take Advantage of Ventilation
Ventilation is also essential in maintaining proper humidity levels. If your home is not well-ventilated, moisture in the air is more prone to condensing on cool surfaces, including hard-to-reach areas like behind your walls. This condensation can lead to mold growth over time and even water damage to surfaces such as drywall.
Warm, moist air travels upward, so hire an HVAC contractor to inspect your attic ventilation. You should also take advantage of manual or mechanical ventilation options such as exhaust fans in your bathrooms and range hood. Cooking, showering, and using appliances such as dishwashers and clothes dryers increases humidity as well, but ventilation can offset this effect.
3. Maintain Your Air Conditioner
In most homes, air conditioners play the most important role in managing indoor humidity levels. However, your AC needs a little help to do this as efficiently as possible. Maintenance tasks like cleaning or changing the filter regularly, cleaning the evaporator coils, and keeping the outdoor condenser clear of obstructions will promote airflow that improves your AC’s humidity management.
If your air handler does not have a variable-speed blower, it runs at a constant rate every time the HVAC system is in use. Some systems allow the homeowner to adjust the fan speed manually, which can be useful for those with indoor humidity issues. Reducing the fan speed gives your AC more time to dehumidify the air that circulates through the system.
4. Invest in a Whole-House Dehumidifier
In particularly humid climates, your HVAC system may need an add-on known as a whole-house dehumidifier to keep your home comfortable. A whole-home dehumidifier goes between the return duct(s) and your air handler to remove excess moisture from the air. Moisture goes in a reservoir that the homeowner empties themselves or goes outdoors through a drainage pipe.
A significant advantage of whole-house dehumidifiers is that they reduce the dehumidification load on your air conditioner. Your AC can run more efficiently, and your air continues to be dehumidified to a comfortable level even when you do not use your air conditioner. Many dehumidifiers even feature remote control so you can have precise control over your indoor humidity.
In terms of comfort, the humidity level in your home is just as important as the temperature. Use these tips to monitor and control your home’s humidity, and contact Mauzy Heating, Air & Solar for quality HVAC service and repair. We look forward to seeing you!
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