The humidity levels in your home play a big factor when it comes to the comfort of you and your family. If you have too much humidity in the air, your skin can feel wet and sticky when it’s hot out and cold and clammy when it’s cooler. Too little moisture, and you’ll get dry, cracked skin that will feel itchy and uncomfortable. It’s so important to achieve that balance, so that’s why we want to share some of the basics of home humidity control.
Check Humidity Levels
Checking the humidity levels in your home isn’t too complicated – you’ll be able to feel an issue on your skin and you may notice little warning signs throughout your home. If you have a moldy or musty smell, especially in the basement, that’s an indicator that you have too much moisture in your home. If you notice condensation on the windows, again, a sign of too much moisture.
Conversely, when there is not enough moisture in the air, your senses will clue you in too. You’ll feel a scratchy throat, chapped lips, or dry, itchy skin. You may see cracks and splits in the wood of your floor or furniture. You may also hear the floors and stairs creak even more as you walk on them. Those are all signs of low humidity.
If you want a more precise way to check the moisture balance in your home, there are tools to help. A hygrometer is a humidity gauge and is often built right into some of the newer digital thermostats. That’s a very precise and easy way to check if your home needs more or less moisture because it can be displayed right next to your home’s temperature on the thermostat. Some even have sensors that can control a whole house humidifier/dehumidifier to achieve that balance.
Stop Humidity From Entering
Once you suspect a humidity problem, make sure to do all you can to stop outside air from infiltrating your home. That means when it’s humid out, keep the windows closed and run your AC to decrease humidity. Weather that is both cool and dry should be the only time you open those windows for comfort. And no matter the weather – hot or cold – make sure your home is properly sealed. Fill in cracks around your foundation, put weather stripping around the windows, and seal the threshold of your doors and garage. Where air can escape, air can get in, and that means anything from outside (allergens, humidity, pollen) can enter your home.
Buy A Humidity Helper
Lastly, if you still find that humidity is a problem, it’s time to invest in comfort and get a humidifier/dehumidifier.
Remember that your air conditioner not only cools your home, but conditions the air by removing moisture from it – acting as a dehumidifier – but your home may still need extra help to get moisture out.
The least expensive option is a portable humidifier/dehumidifier. It can be moved from room to room, used in all seasons, and be set up in areas you suspect are prone to moisture issues. However, there are drawbacks with a portable unit. It only covers one area and needs to be cleaned frequently – sometimes daily. You also need to replace the filter more often or it can be prone to mold without cleaning. And some of the least expensive portable models don’t have automatic shutoff or sensors to stop them from running once the optimal balance is reached. They run until you turn them off.
An option suggested by many experts is a whole-house humidifier/dehumidifier. Those cost much more to install and can require modifications to your ductwork so the unit can be hooked up to your HVAC system. However, the upside is that they are self-draining, only require basic maintenance, and have a much bigger capacity to balance out your whole home.
If you are interested in learning more about the ways to achieve proper home humidity, contact one of the expert technicians at StayComfyMinnesota.com and they’ll put you on the right path to having a more comfortable and healthier home.