Indoor humidity, or the amount of moisture in the air inside your home, can affect comfort, health, and even your home’s structure and contents. Airborne moisture levels can vary greatly throughout the year, but managing humidity levels seasonally isn’t difficult if you follow this guide:
Warm Season and High Humidity
Warm air holds more moisture, so as the outdoor temperatures rise, your indoor air can become uncomfortably sticky. Allergens like mold, mildew and dust mites also thrive, and this can trigger allergic reactions in anyone with sensitivities. Excess humidity can also warp your home’s structural members, wood trim and floors, and condensation can stain drywall and peel paint. To control high humidity in the spring and summer seasons:
- Run your air conditioner. During the normal cooling process, an air conditioner condenses water vapor out the air and expels it outdoors.
- Use your exhaust ventilation. Normal daily activities like cooking, cleaning and showering put more water vapor into the air, so use your kitchen and bathroom ventilation fans to send moist air outside.
- Install a dehumidifier. If humidity is still too high, consider having a whole-house dehumidifier installed. These units are added to the HVAC system and have a humidistat that allows you to set a desired humidity range.
Cold Season and Low Humidity
Cold air doesn’t hold moisture well, and running your home’s furnace can make your indoor air even drier during heating season. This lack of moisture can cause itchy skin and respiratory discomfort and distress, increase the spread and your susceptibility to viral and bacterial illnesses, and dry out and crack your wood furniture, floors and trim. To boost the amount of water vapor in your air and alleviate low humidity in the colder seasons:
- Add two houseplants per 100 square feet of living space, and water them regularly.
- Run portable humidifiers in the bedrooms at night.
- Have a whole-house humidifier installed on your HVAC system’s air handler to introduce a controlled amount of moisture into your heated air.
For more tips on managing humidity levels in your Indianapolis home, contact us at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).