Maintaining the right humidity levels in your home is important to your health and well-being, as well as to maintaining a properly functioning home and its contents. Depending on the climate you live in, you may have issues with low indoor humidity in the winter or high humidity in the summer. And in some places, both may be a problem. A licensed HVAC contractor (heating ventilation and air conditioning) can install a humidifier, dehumidifier, or a unit that can do both jobs and you can choose between a single room unit or a whole home system, depending on your needs. However, it is important to keep these units properly maintained or serviced so as to avoid any mold or mildew problems associated with moisture.
Low Relative Humidity
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, “below 30 percent relative humidity, people can be uncomfortable and can suffer from dry mucus membranes which can lead to nosebleeds and infections. In general, low relative humidity is only a problem during the winter months, when the outside air contains very little moisture. It is this dry outside air entering the home through cracks and openings in the building shell that causes the inside air to become dry. The greater the amount of outside air which leaks into the house, the dryer the indoor air becomes. By air-sealing and using energy-efficient construction, uncontrolled air leakage is greatly reduced, a more controlled indoor environment is created, and moisture can be maintained at acceptable levels without the use of a humidifier. Humidifiers require maintenance to avoid becoming breeding grounds for biological contaminants.”
In addition to health concerns, low humidity in the home can also contribute to problems with electronic equipment, delicate musical instruments, precious art work, antique furniture, and hardwood floors.
If your home’s humidity levels need to be regulated to improve your indoor air quality, talk to your local home improvement expert or a heating and cooling contractor who can help you make the right decisions for your home.
Related article: Relative Humidity and Why It Matters In Your Home
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