When it comes to indoor air, one often overlooked aspect is humidity. While many people understand the importance of comfortable temperatures and air quality, achieving optimal humidity levels is more of a challenge. To understand how this can impact your air conditioner and your comfort and health, take a look at the following helpful information.
3 Ways Humidity Affects Your Home
1. Health Issues
Ideal humidity levels for indoor air are between 30% and 40% in the spring, fall, and winter, and no higher than 60% in the summer. When humidity levels exceed these limits, the risk of issues like mold and mildew growth and pest activity increases significantly.
As a result, any member of your household with allergies may experience more frequent allergic reactions. If any member of your family has other respiratory conditions, like asthma, they may also notice more regular and severe attacks or difficulty breathing due to increased humidity levels.
2. Air Conditioner Performance
High humidity levels can also take a toll on your air conditioner. Your cooling system cools the indoor air and also functions as a passive dehumidifier by keeping moisture in the air lower during the summer months. However, if your air conditioner system is not running properly or is not sized correctly, it cannot effectively reduce the humidity to a comfortable level. This makes the home still feel stuffy and damp even though the temperature may actually be cool.
As a result, you may find yourself setting your thermostat to lower temperatures in an attempt to remove the humidity, only to feel no more comfortable while your energy bills increase. You can limit your risk of this issue by first having your cooling system checked annually by a certified HVAC technician. If the technician determines that your AC system is working properly, he (or she!) may suggest that you use a portable dehumidifier to remove excess moisture or have a whole house dehumidifier installed in your home.
3. Property Damage
Excessive humidity can also harm your home. For example, moisture can seep under interior paint and wallpaper, causing them to bubble, crack and peel, or you may notice mold or mildew growth in fabrics, upholstery and places where there isn’t much airflow, such as closets and basements. High humidity can also cause wooden flooring, paneling or furniture to warp or crack. To avoid costly repairs, have your air conditioning system serviced annually, install a dehumidifier or open your windows regularly to allow excess moisture to escape.
If you notice these or other issues affecting your home, get in touch with Jon’s Plumbing & Heating. Based in Mount Vernon and serving the surrounding communities, we’re a state-licensed and EPA-certified HVAC contracting company that proudly offers a wide range of solutions to common indoor air quality issues. In addition to humidity control, we can help maintain and repair your air conditioner and ducting. Call us at (740) 392-5667 to discuss your needs and visit our website to learn more about how we can help.