Why Balanced Home Humidity is Important in the Cooler Seasons
Balanced home humidity matters any time of year. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends keeping indoor humidity levels in the range of 30 percent and 60 percent. That can be a challenge in all seasons as outdoor climate, as well as indoor factors such as human activity and HVAC equipment, influence humidity inside the house. Here are some reasons why maintaining balanced home humidity is important during cooler seasons.
- Cold air doesn’t hold water vapor efficiently so low humidity conditions are more common with cooler temperatures. Low humidity levels indoors cause a variety of physical symptoms such as dry, scratchy throat, coughs and eye irritation. In addition, recent medical research has proven that cold and flu viruses thrive in conditions of low humidity and are more easily transmitted in that environment.
- Low indoor humidity is often exacerbated by the use of central heating systems installed in most residences. Gas burners and forced-air circulation in these systems remove water vapor from the air and make indoor conditions drier than outdoors.
- The effects of low humidity in winter also extend to building materials. Wood flooring may shrink and splinter; deterioration such as dry rot in wooden structural components may be accelerated when humidity is low.
- Lack of humidity is why annoying static shocks are more frequent in winter than summer. Dry air acts as an insulator that allows electrostatic charge to build up in people and objects, causing a shock when they touch and the static electricity is suddenly discharged.
- High humidity may also occur because the house is closed up when weather is cold. Tightly sealed, energy-efficient homes are often under-ventilated. Household activities in these confined spaces such as cooking, bathing and simply breathing add water vapor to the air and may elevate indoor humidity above the recommended range. Condensation that forms on windows, as well as in kitchens or bathrooms, can trigger the growth of mildew or toxic mold.
For residential humidifiers and dehumidifiers to maintain balanced home humidity in any season, contact the indoor air quality professionals at Apollo Home.
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- 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."
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