Because the amount of water vapor present in indoor air directly impacts both comfort and a healthy environment, humidifiers and dehumidifiers play an important function in many households. Per Environmental Protection Agency recommendations, indoor humidity should ideally fall in a range between 30% and 50%. However, natural outdoor humidity in many locales averages below or above that recommended indoor range. Here’s why that’s a problem and how humidifiers and dehumidifiers can help.
- Low indoor humidity makes it hard to keep homes warm during the winter, as dry air doesn’t hold heat effectively. Heating costs rise as the furnace runs longer cycles. Dry air also exacerbates physical discomfort such as dry, scratchy skin and asthma symptoms. Colds are also more frequent, as the common cold virus replicates in low humidity.
- Indoor humidity above 50% makes a house feel muggy during the summer, as water vapor retains heat energy. Your air conditioner runs longer cycles to keep you cool. Indoor mold growth is nurtured by humid conditions, releasing toxic spores into the home environment. Airborne allergens such as dust mites replicate in higher humidity, and mildew formed by indoor condensation thrives.
Making the Choice Between Humidifiers and Dehumidifiers
- Here in Eastern North Carolina, average daily outdoor humidity exceeds the EPA-recommended indoor range most of the year. To compensate for these natural conditions, dehumidifiers are the most appropriate solution for indoor comfort and health.
- Most home dehumidifiers draw humid indoor air through a coil that’s circulating pressurized refrigerant. As the airflow contacts frigid coil surfaces, water vapor naturally condenses out of the air and dried air is released. A digital humidistat sets the exact desired relative humidity.
- Portable humidifiers and dehumidifiers are both available as stand-alone units suitable for single rooms. Whole-home dehumidifiers, conversely, install inside your HVAC ductwork and extract humidity from circulating airflow to control comfort and air quality throughout the entire house.
Ask the air-quality experts at Jackson & Sons for more information about home humidifiers and dehumidifiers.The Four Most Common Commercial Heating Issues » « What Are the Links Between Cold Weather and Furnace Performance?