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5 Ways to Regulate the Humidity in Your Home
One of the benefits of living in an arid climate is the lack of excessive humidity. Our dry conditions keep hot days from feeling oppressively hot, and cold days from feeling bone-chilling cold. Here in Colorado, we don’t have to worry about the issues of high humidity that affect much of the country, like mold, mildew and other contaminants that can grow in a home with humid conditions. However, too little humidity can cause problems as well. Overly dry air can cause wood and other materials to crack and splinter. It can also leave us with dry throats and nasal passages that lead to coughs. One way to ensure that your home maintains the proper humidity level is by sealing the ductwork.
Why is proper humidity important?
In addition to the problems mentioned above, too little humidity can affect your comfort level as well as your home heating system, causing it to work harder in the winter months. Too much humidity in summer causes your air conditioner to work harder. Maintaining the proper balance is key.
What is that balance? Homes should have between 30 and 45 percent humidity during summer months and between 45 and 55 percent humidity during the winter months. These levels provide comfort while not overworking your HVAC system.
How can humidity in my home be regulated?
1. Install an inside “weather station” to measure your home’s humidity.
The first step is to get an accurate measurement of the humidity level inside your home. A wireless weather station is one way to monitor it.
2. Use a humidifier if your humidity level is too low.
There are many different types of humidifiers, from portable single-room models to whole house models. If you are not sure what type is best for your home, consult your HVAC professional.
3. Use a dehumidifier if your humidity level is too high.
While too much humidity is not generally an issue here, some areas of your home, such as basements and bathrooms, can accumulate moisture that creates high humidity.
4. Use fans to maintain sufficient airflow throughout your home.
Ceiling fans or box fans keep air moving in living areas. Exhaust fans in bathrooms will help to remove extra moisture from showers and baths. Oven and range fans help reduce humidity levels from cooking.
5. Seal your air ducts.
Your HVAC system is your main ally in maintaining proper humidity levels in your home, but it won’t be effective if your air ducts have leaks. If the cool, drier air generated by your air conditioner in the summer is escaping through leaks in your ductwork, the air in your home will be warmer and more humid. Similarly in winter, if you have a humidifier incorporated into your heating system, but that moistened air is escaping, your house will be colder and drier.
How can you find and seal duct leaks?
Because the ductwork resides in the hidden spaces of your home, leaks can be difficult and expensive to find and repair. Aeroseal makes it easy and affordable to reduce duct leakage by up to 90% (reducing your energy use by up to 30%) and helping you maintain that ideal humidity level in your home.