Your Gilbert home’s humidity levels are an integral part of how comfortable your space is. Whether the humidity is too high or too low, it can disrupt the indoor environment in several ways. Understanding the role of indoor humidity and how to keep it at an optimal level is vital. There are several steps that you can take to make sure that your home is always comfortable no matter what the weather is like outside.
Understanding Indoor Humidity
The humidity inside your home refers to how much moisture is in the indoor air. Ideally, you want your indoor humidity levels to range between 30% and 50%. If it falls below or above this range, it can make your home uncomfortable.
If your humidity is too high, it can cause numerous issues. Mildew and mold thrive in environments with high humidity. Both of these types of bacterial growth can lead to property damage and health issues if you do not take care of them promptly.
Dust mites also thrive in high humidity. These microscopic creatures can cause symptoms for people who have asthma and allergies. One of the most effective ways to control their population is to reduce your home’s humidity levels.
The air in your home may feel warmer than the temperature states when humidity levels are high. This is particularly common during the summer and can make your home uncomfortable.
Structural damage is also possible with high humidity levels. This includes warped furniture, wood rot and peeling paint. This issue is also possible when there is not enough humidity in your home. Over time, low humidity can cause the deterioration and cracking of various home materials, such as paint and wood.
Low humidity may cause respiratory problems. It may dry out your throat and nasal passages. If the humidity in your home is too low, it might also increase your vulnerability to the flu and colds. When the humidity in your home is insufficient, you might notice that you have irritated eyes, chapped lips and dry skin too.
Static electricity is a common issue in homes with low humidity levels. This can make your home uncomfortable and potentially damage your electronic devices.
Ensure Proper Ventilation
Proper ventilation is essential, or else moisture can accumulate in your home. For example, without proper ventilation in the kitchen and bathrooms, it is common for moisture to build up. Consider exhaust fans in these rooms as they pull the humid air outside to balance your indoor humidity levels.
Use a Dehumidifier
Dehumidifiers help to remove excess moisture from your interior air. This is especially helpful during the rainy season when humidity levels tend to be higher. It is a good idea to use this type of unit in areas that tend to have higher humidity levels, such as your bathrooms, basement and laundry room.
Seal Air Leaks
If humid air can enter your home, it can make the environment more humid. Cracks, leaks and gaps in your windows, walls and doors can allow humid air to enter. A professional can assess your home and apply weatherstripping or caulking to seal any problem areas.
There are some houseplants that can help to control humidity levels in your home. They do this by their leaves absorbing moisture from the air. Place some houseplants that absorb moisture throughout your home to get the most benefit. Make sure to have at least one in the rooms that tend to have the highest humidity, such as your bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room. Examples of good houseplants for this purpose include peace lilies and spider plants.
Get Regular HVAC Maintenance
Having an annual inspection of your total HVAC system is imperative to make sure that everything is running properly. This includes your ventilation, heating system and air conditioning system. When your HVAC system is working optimally, it will be able to more effectively control the levels of humidity in your home. Have a professional do the annual inspection and maintenance to ensure that they tackle everything. You should also change your system’s filters per the manufacturer’s guidelines as part of maintenance.
Use Air Conditioning
During the warm months, your air conditioner can double as an air cooler and a dehumidifier. To ensure that you get adequate dehumidifier and air-cooling efficiency, it is important that your unit is the proper size. An HVAC professional can inspect your home and unit and let you know if it is properly sized for your space.
Use a Humidifier
During the winter when the air tends to be drier, a humidifier is vital to help add moisture to the air inside your home. This can help to prevent respiratory discomfort and dry skin related to dry air. You might consider these units throughout your home but especially in your living room and bedrooms.
Utilize Moisture-Absorbing Materials
Silica gel, desiccants and other moisture-absorbing materials can help to reduce humidity in small areas where moisture can accumulate. For example, place some silica gel in your closets. These materials work to balance humidity levels by absorbing moisture from your indoor air.
Monitor Indoor Humidity
Keep an eye on the humidity levels inside your home. An HVAC professional can recommend a hygrometer, which is a type of device that displays humidity levels. This makes it easy to make changes in real time to balance your home’s humidity levels so that your space is more comfortable.
Maintain Good Housekeeping
Keeping your home tidy is important for preventing mildew and mold growth. Keep an eye on surfaces that have regular exposure to moisture, such as your shower curtains and bathroom tiles. In spaces where dampness is common, consider using mold-resistant paints on the walls and ceilings.
Limit Humidity-Increasing Activities
There are several common activities that create and increase moisture in your home, which translates to higher levels of humidity. Examples include people taking lengthy hot showers, boiling water and using your dryer. It is best to reduce your need to do these activities when humidity levels are high. You should also consider using a dehumidifier in the areas where these activities are occurring. For example, when you are using your dryer, use a portable dehumidifier in the laundry room.
HVAC Experts in Gilbert
Keeping your indoor humidity levels optimal is important for the health, longevity and comfort of your Gilbert home. Humidity control is even more important if you have someone in your home who suffers from respiratory issues such as asthma or allergies. It is ideal to implement several humidity-controlling measures to keep it at a comfortable level. Our team is here to help you get everything into place so that your home is always comfortable no matter the time of year. Once we settle your humidity issues, our experts can also assist with your other HVAC needs and any plumbing issues you might need a professional to solve.
Call A/C Doctors in Gilbert today to learn more about controlling your home’s humidity levels.