Is there too much moisture in the air or not enough? Sometimes it can be difficult to figure out the right balance.
Both too little & too much moisture can lead to problems in your home & with your health, so it’s important to know how to recognize what your home needs.
The Houston Allergy and Asthma Clinic recommends that you keep the humidity level in your home between 35% and 50%.
If you’d like to check your air’s humidity level, you can purchase an inexpensive digital humidity reader (called a hygrometer) that can give you an accurate percentage.
What if your home’s levels fall outside of this ideal range? This is where humidifiers and dehumidifiers can help.
It’s common for your air to be too dry during the winter months.
This low level of humidity can cause health problems such as nosebleeds, headaches, allergy flair-ups, and dry skin.
Low humidity can also cause woodwork or wood furniture to dry out and crack. Humidifiers help to put moisture back into the air to avoid these issues and keep your airways clear.
There are two main types of humidifiers: cool mist and warm mist. Just like their names imply, cool mist humidifiers emit a cool vapor into the air and warm mist humidifiers boil water to release warm steam.
The main point to remember with humidifiers is that it’s extremely important to keep them clean.
It’s easy for mold and mildew to grow in these machines, so cleaning them out after each use is recommended.
Humidifiers becomes counterproductive if you’re adding moisture that’s filled with mold and bacteria as you’re likely to become sick rather than stay healthy.
As Houston has a very hot and humid climate, you may find that you need a dehumidifier more often than a humidifier. Dehumidifiers take moisture out of your air which helps to keep dust mites, mildew, and mold growth to a minimum in your home. If the air is too humid, many people experience more issues with allergies and asthma.
There are several different kinds of dehumidifiers including refrigerative, desiccant, ionic membrane, and electronic. Here’s a brief description of how each of these dehumidifiers works:
- Refrigerative/mechanical – This type of dehumidifier has a fan that draws moist air into the unit and over a refrigerated coil. The coil condenses and removes the water from the air, dehumidifying it, and releasing the dry air back into the room. A refrigerative dehumidifier is the most popular type of dehumidifier.
- Desiccant – A desiccant is a unique moisture-absorbing material that draws moisture out of the air by rotating it through the system. Heat is usually used to then draw the moisture out of the desiccant.
- Ionic Membrane – This type of dehumidifier uses a process called electrolysis to remove water vapor so there’s no visible water and the dehumidifier requires little to no maintenance.
- Electronic – An electronic dehumidifier uses a heat pump to pull water vapor from the air using condensation. While this type is very quiet, it is not very efficient.
In order to decide what’s best for your home, it’s a good idea to talk to an experienced Houston HVAC technician about your needs and concerns.
Talk to a Houston HVAC expert at Richmond’s Air
If you’re looking to improve your home’s air quality, talk with Richmond’s Air about installing a whole-house humidifier, which would eliminate the need for constant maintenance and keep your air’s humidity at a comfortable and healthy level.