Are humidity levels causing you problems?
One of the least talked about but most important aspects of your comfort is humidity control. The humidity is way too high in our area all the time. Humidity can cause all kinds of trouble when it is high. The solution is to maintain your humidity levels between 35-45% year-round. Let’s look at how this humidity affects your home, your health, and ultimately your comfort.
How humidity levels affect your home
Some things are occurring in your home that you may do not realize are caused by humidity swings. The first is as humidity rises in the summer, all the building materials and furnishings in your home absorb this moisture. This causes wood, hardwood floors, picture frames, trim and more to swell as it absorbs the excess moisture.
As the humidity lowers a little in the fall and winter, all the wood, hardwood floors, picture frames, trim and more shrink and release the trapped moisture in the air. You can see the result of the humidity swings in cracks in your trim, cracks in your hardwood, and any caulking.
If your home has collectible antiques, high-end picture frames, or any other pieces of high value, you should know that the rise and fall of humidity are wreaking havoc on these pieces. In addition to the swelling and shrinking of everything in your home, you can also see humidity issues in your well-being.
Humidity levels and your health
Humidity can also play a big part in the health of everyone living in the home. Any humidity levels higher than 50% will allow mold to grow in and around the house. Sometimes you can see this mold in your bathroom or kitchen, but sometimes this mold is hidden behind sheetrock walls or flooring or trim. If your home is on a concrete slab, this concrete acts as a giant sponge. You can quickly grow a tremendous amount of mold under hardwood floors, carpeting, and tile. Many times, the mold can cause serious health problems for the occupants. The symptoms can include neurological effects that mimic Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, migraines, and more. If anyone in your home is experiencing the onset of severe health issues after you moved into a home, then you should consider measuring your humidity levels.
Can your HVAC system control the humidity levels?
The cool crisp feel of air-conditioned air is due to the air temperature reduction, but humidity removal is critical. When air conditioning systems are oversized, they do not run long enough to remove enough humidity. The first tell-tale sign that you have a humidity issue is setting the thermostat temperature to levels below 70 degrees. If your average thermostat set point is around 67-68 degrees, you certainly have a humidity issue. When air conditioning removes enough humidity in the air, most people will report being cold at temperatures below 72 degrees.
As a rule of thumb, if you will need a new HVAC system soon, then just install a variable speed new Bryant HVAC system, but if your system is relatively new with no issues, then install a whole-house dehumidifier. Either way, if you think you might have a humidity issue, give us a call at Estes Heating & Air, and we can come out, look and let you know what’s going on and how to solve the problem best.
Estes Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. is a licensed, family-owned, and operated Heating and Air Conditioning Company. We have offered 5-star service to the entire Alabama and Mississippi Gulf Coast in Mobile and Baldwin Counties since 1982. We are proud to offer Air Conditioning and heating service in Mobile, AL, Theodore, AL, and the surrounding areas.