Humidity plays a major role in the comfort of your space. Not enough humidity can lead to dry skin, irritated sinuses and a constant “cold” feeling. Too much humidity can lead to air quality problems, promote mold growth and leave you feeling sticky.
The ideal humidity for indoor air is 50%. At 50% humidity, the air can still absorb moisture and heat, but it doesn’t leave you feeling cold and clammy, or hot and sticky. Most homeowners don’t attempt to control the humidity in their homes. Unfortunately, that can end up costing you more money, both in the summer and winter, in heating and cooling costs.
You’re much more likely to encounter high humidity in the warmer months. Unfortunately for Boston, the average daily relative humidity hovers between 62% and 72% year-round. That means the relative humidity, left to itself, never quite gets to the ideal 50% mark. Elevated humidity makes it harder to cool down. Even conditioned air can feel “clammy” or moist.
A whole house dehumidifier can reduce your energy costs
A whole house dehumidifier can help reduce the humidity levels in your home. By drying out the air, you can control mold and mildew growth, and spend less on heating and cooling costs. You’ll feel comfortable, even at higher temperatures in the summer, and lower temperatures in the winter.
It’s easy to notice the humidity in a basement, where the temperatures may be cooler. You may not realize, however, that high humidity affects the above-grade levels of your home, too. Your furniture, carpets, bedding – even the walls! – absorb moisture from the air. They’ll discharge the moisture when the humidity level drops, but this cycle can take its toll on your home. Constantly changing humidity levels can damage the paint on your walls, and promote deterioration.
A whole-house dehumidifier can be integrated into your central air conditioning system. By working with your AC unit, the dehumidifier can actually reduce your air conditioning costs and make your home feel more comfortable. A dehumidifier can also work independently if your home does not have a ducted AC system. Centralized dehumidifiers can remove as much as 16-25 gallons of moisture from your home each day. They’re ideal for homes that have a consistent problem with moisture.
One key to reducing the humidity in your home is to reduce the amount of outside air that enters it. Sealing windows, doors and other places where air enters can improve the comfort of your home. It will also lower your heating and cooling costs year-round. Insulating your home can also help prevent outside air from entering your home.
If you’d like more information about a whole house dehumidifier, give us a call at Boston Standard Company at (617) 288-2911. We’ll be happy to explain your options for controlling the humidity in your home.
Photo Credit: Brian Snelson, via Flickr
DIY Air Conditioning, DIY Blog, Plumbing