Balanced Humidity: A Topic Most Cincy Homeowners Avoid But Shouldn’t
Like many home comfort issues, balanced home humidity is a matter of “not too little, but not too much.” Getting it just right in all seasons, however, doesn’t happen naturally. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends limiting indoor humidity to the range of 30 percent to 60 percent. Here in southern Ohio, high humidity’s a summer issue. Keeping humidity above 30 percent can be a challenge during cold dry winter weather.
High indoor humidity can result from outdoor humidity migrating indoors through air leaks, or originating inside due to normal activities such as cooking or bathing. Low humidity happens when dry winter air draws humidity out of the home, or as the drying effect of the combustion and circulation of forced air heating.
Excessive humidity makes the home harder to cool in summer. A/C operating costs escalate as humid air holds more heat. Low humidity causes physical irritations like dry skin and respiratory symptoms, as well as structural problems relating to wood shrinkage and splitting. Dry air heats less efficiently, too, so the furnace runs extended “on” cycles.
Here are some guidelines for balanced home humidity:
- Be aware of what the relative humidity is indoors and out. Some models of programmable thermostats display a humidity reading in addition to temperature.
- If indoor humidity is excessive during summer, try increasing air circulation with fans. Even while running an air conditioner, moving air reduces humidity. Make sure your air conditioner receives an annual evaluation including coil cleaning, since humidity extraction results from a clean evaporator coil. Install spot exhaust fans to reduce humidity from bathrooms and the kitchen. A whole-house dehumidifier installed in the HVAC ductwork can remove humidity from circulating air.
- To lower humidity loss in winter, make sure the house is well-sealed. Where occupants spent long hours, such as bedrooms, individual room humidifiers can add moisture to the air. For acute bouts of dry air, keeping pans of water heated on the stove also helps. A whole-house humidifier will add water vapor to the entire volume of household air.
For balanced home humidity winter and summer, contact the air quality professionals at Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.
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"Ernie & Mike did a superb job on my new furnace and A/C installation. Despite having more than a day’s work to do, they came in and stayed until the job was done. They were organized, efficient, and protected the rest of the house well. Got both furnace and A/C installed the same day. Ernie was courteous, informative, and clearly knew his job better than anyone I’ve encountered before. The units look so good guests now get The Tour of our new system. Apollo is clearly not a fly-by-night company. I would recommend them to anyone in need of a new furnace and/or A/C."
- Jerry A.
"I called Apollo because of a water leak I thought I had in our upstairs shower going into the kitchen. Robbie came and assured me everything was fine & looked at all the other plumbing. He ended up changing a few pipes for our washer & clearing a drain. He was very nice & knowledgeable with all my questions. I ended up signing up for the care plan & was very happy with my service."
- Cassandra B.
"The team at Apollo exceeded my expectations. As a business owner, my attention to the details and commitment to providing excellent service is high. From the sales rep. to the installation team, everyone’s performance was outstanding. For example, the installation team went to great lengths to protect our floors, placing floor runners and across the wood floors and up the stairs. They even were spot washing walls upon their departure. I highly recommend this company."
- Randy B.
"We scheduled an estimate AND a tune-up. We knew something was wrong with our furnace, but hoped we could make it through the rest of the season. Upon telling Bill what our furnace was doing, he warned us immediately what the possible outcome was going to be; a cracked heat exchanger. He watched the flames roll backward, tested carbon monoxide levels, which were so high they meter’s last reading was 5,600 before saying “high”. He immediately shut it down, tagged it, and explained that with levels that high and children in our home he wanted off right away. He continued his inspection and showed us via a camera that not only was it cracked in multiple places, but had holes all over it. He gave us a few options for repairing it; his knowledge as well as genuine concern was beneficial and refreshing. Luckily we also scheduled an estimator, Micah, to come too and we were able to get costs between repairing and replacing (with several options). We decided to replace with a much higher efficiency furnace and one sized properly to our home. Hands down, not only did they both provide us great service and knowledge, but without sounding dramatic, they may have saved our lives. This was our first time calling Apollo, but it won’t be our last."
- Sarah B.
"Apollo is an excellent company. I always receive great service. Alex A. was professional and friendly. He kept me informed during the process of checking my furnace and heat pump to make sure they were working properly. The company makes sure you are notified who is coming and when they are on the way. All my interactions with the company have been wonderful."
- Beverly S.