Cincinnati summers often bring sweltering heat, made worse by high humidity. Running your air conditioner may keep temperatures bearable, but doing this rarely removes enough moisture from the air to keep you comfortable. Choosing a home dehumidifier helps solve this moisture-related comfort issue.
How They Work
A dehumidifier draws in air from the home. Inside the unit, this air flows over cooled coils and moisture from the air condenses upon these coils. The science behind this is similar to what happens to a glass of ice water in the summer, when water condenses on the outside of the glass. In the next step, the cool dry air is re-warmed and channeled back into the home. The humidifier performs this cycle until humidity levels are brought down to an acceptable, far more comfortable level. You can choose from portable units or whole-house dehumidifiers, but for handling the humidity found in this region, a whole-house system is usually the best choice.
How They Increase Comfort
High humidity makes a warm day feel hot and a hot day feel sweltering. This happens because moisture in the air prevents sweat from evaporating, and sweat evaporation is one of the body’s primary cooling mechanisms. By choosing dehumidifier installation, you will keep your home at the recommended 30 to 50 percent humidity, which translates to feeling cooler and more comfortable.
Besides making your home feel cooler, dehumidifiers improve indoor air quality by decreasing allergens. High humidity attracts mold growth and provides a happy environment for pests such as dust mites. Both mold and dust mites create allergic responses in many people. Even in the absence of allergies, some people find it harder to breathe in heavy, humid air but breathe easier when indoor air is dehumidified.
Moisture in the air also affects wood furnishings and wood features because wood swells in damp air. High indoor humidity is also to blame for stains and musty odors from mold and mildew throughout the home.
For more information about choosing a home dehumidifier for your Cincinnati home, please contact our experts at Apollo Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.
For anyone living in the greater Cincinnati area, summers can be long, hot and very humid. (more…)
Dehumidifiers are a good solution for the problems many Ohio homeowners face during humid summer weather. Keeping indoor humidity levels under control is important for your home’s air quality and comfort. (more…)
Colder temperatures can have a big impact on the humidity levels in your home. As the furnace cranks out more heat, the amount of moisture in the air goes down, making for a less comfortable environment and often a lower quality of indoor air.
A relative humidity of 30 to 60 percent is recommended for most homes. You can measure the level of moisture in your home using a hygrometer, which is available at most hardware stores. While too little moisture in the air is a problem, too much humidity can promote the growth of dust mites and mold. Finding just the right percentage is important.
How can you tell if the air in your home is too dry?
When the inside air is too dry, one of the first things you will notice is an increase in the amount of static electricity. The static can create more than a pesky shock to your skin and hair. Excessive friction can also damage your electrical equipment including televisions and computers.
In addition, dry air makes for dry, itchy skin. And, less humidity in the air can make allergy or asthma symptoms worse and increase the frequency of colds, flu and respiratory ailments. Not to mention what the dry air can do to your house. Too little moisture in the air will cause wallpaper to peal, plants to go limp, plaster and drywall to crack and gaps to widen in wood floors and paneling.
So how do you increase the humidity?
The most obvious answer is to use a humidifier. Point-of-use humidifiers are used for a single room, while a whole house or furnace humidifier connects to your HVAC system and provides humidity to the entire house. At Apollo, we can install a humidifier onto your furnace for whole home comfort. Consumer Reports recommends certain models and gives a great explanation of what type would be best for your needs.
Other steps to increase humidity levels in your home are:
- Air drying your laundry
- Venting your electric dryer inside, which adds both heat and moisture to the air
- Place containers of water on top of heat vents or radiators. The evaporating water will increase the humidity levels in the air.
A few simple changes can make a big difference in the humidity levels in your home. And a comfortable indoor environment should be a priority during the cold months, when you are spending most of your time inside.
If you would like an Apollo representative to come and perform an air quality assessment in your home, contact us online or call us at (513) 271-3600 and we’ll get your assessment scheduled for our low $79 service call charge.
Anyone who suffers from allergies will tell you that the sneezing, sniffling and itchy, watery eyes can lead to more serious problems, including sinus infections. In addition, pollen and other outside allergens, as well as, household allergens like pet dander and dust can be significantly reduced with a duct cleaning from a qualified HVAC technician.
So, what can you do to keep the allergens at an all time low? We recommend five solutions:
- A well-maintained HVAC system can make a big difference for allergy sufferers – just by turning it on! Close windows and doors to keep pollen and other allergens outside, where it belongs.
- Allergens like dust mites, mold and cockroaches thrive in humid environments. Keep moisture in the air to a minimum by using your AC along with a dehumidifier.
- Make sure your ducts are clean, properly installed and do not leak, so no excess moisture is invading your home.
- Use high quality filters and change them regularly to reduce the amount of allergens in the air. High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters are an excellent choice, especially for allergy sufferers.
- Consider using an air purifier. HVAC professionals can check the air quality in your home and make recommendations about a whole house air cleaner that is right for you.
There is no doubt that maintaining your HVAC system with the guidance of a qualified professional can certainly make a difference for allergy sufferers. How to do you keep your sniffling and sneezing to a minimum? Share with others by commenting on home remedies or products that work for you. To read more about allergy relief information, visit AchooAllergy.