“It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity” is a common refrain here in Arkansas. The truth is that both elements play a role in our comfort at home. Keeping your humidistat set at the proper home humidity level is an important consideration for all homeowners.
A house that’s too humid can trigger asthma and other allergic reactions from the various microscopic organisms that thrive in homes with high humidity. A home with too much humidity can actually cause rot inside the walls and attract a myriad of insects, including termites. Insects thrive in damp environments. Windows collect moisture, even in the winter. When that humidity is combined with warm temperatures, it is a “perfect storm” for mold, mildew and dust mites. Keeping your thermostat set at 50 percent or lower will help relieve those issues.
On the other hand, when humidity drops too low, down below 20 to 30 percent, a whole different set of problems develop. You will notice little sparks and small shocks of electricity especially if you drag your feet along a carpet. Your skin will become noticeably dry and nasal passages will become dry and irritated. Wood products in your home may also crack from the dry air, which usually occurs during the heating season.
There are solutions for both problems. In the summer, a high-efficiency central air conditioning system should remove most of the humidity in a home. Coupled with a humidistat, you can set it and forget about it. For problem areas like basements, consider a portable dehumidifier or air vents to allow some of the trapped moisture to escape. Carpets are known to trap and hold moisture; consider removing them and replacing ceramic tile or wood floors.
In the winter when humidity drops, a humidifier can be installed in your furnace ductwork to add a specific amount of humidity to your home’s airflow. A reputable HVAC dealer can discuss and help provide you with solutions for your humidity problems.
To discuss how you can control your home’s humidity, please contact us at Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal. We have been serving northwest Arkansas residents for more than 40 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Northwest Arkansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about home humidityand other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock