Published on November 22nd, 2017
For the first ten years of parenting, my oldest served as the perfect indicator of low humidity levels in our home. When she woke up with a bloody nose, I was strongly encouraged to turn the humidifier up. When the windows began to sweat, I was strongly encouraged to turn the humidifier down. I repeated this cycle, over and over. I’m sure no client of mine was as thankful as I when automatic humidity level adjustments became a reality. Hallelujah for proper indoor humidity levels made possible by the Aprilaire’s Auto-Trac!
What are Proper Indoor Humidity Levels?
Proper indoor humidity levels are a big deal. And with the mix of older and newer homes in Aurora, Batavia, and surrounding communities like Geneva and St. Charles comes the question about proper indoor humidity levels. I am asked this question on a regular basis. Proper indoor humidity levels should be set at 35 percent, and they should never exceed 50 percent.
Some homes have stone foundations and leaky windows. Some have had major renovations done to them. Others have been built at various times during varying versions of building codes. But the tighter the home’s construction, the less likely the need for a humidifier. In fact, many newer homes require constant fresh air and dehumidifiers to prevent an unhealthy indoor environment.
The importance of proper indoor humidity levels goes beyond whether or not there is moisture on the windows or how dry your skin is. Large investments, like wood floors and cabinets, depend on regulated indoor humidity levels to maintain their integrity and appearance. The installation of a humidifier in your home is the best and most common solution for this. However, when the humidity level is too high, wood swells causing just as much damage as dry air but in reverse. But wait! There’s more! Dust mites and mold spores thrive in high humidity levels. But drop the humidity level down below 50 percent, and they die altogether.
How Do Indoor Humidity Levels Exceed 50 Percent?
So how would a home’s humidity level ever reach higher than 50 percent if the humidifier is set to 35 percent? It’s easier than you might imagine. A home generally needs to add humidity when there is enough dry air leaking in from the outside while the moist air escapes out the top of the home. Quite often, the outdoor air is more humid than the air inside your home. And when the humidity level exceeds 35 percent (or the set point on the humidity control), the humidifier does indeed shut off. It simply stops adding humidity but does nothing to remove unwanted moisture.
So, Do I Need a Dehumidifier, Too?
Much like your air conditioner is counterpart to your furnace, the dehumidifier is the complimentary appliance to the humidifier. And sometimes it’s much more important than its partner, the humidifier. With your dehumidifier set at 50 percent and the humidifier set to automatically regulate itself between 15 and 35 percent based on outdoor temperatures, you’re guaranteed the most pleasant and healthiest indoor environment. Floors, furniture, cabinets, and heirlooms remain in a constant state of ideal moisture, dust mites, and mold spores cannot live, and your skin and nasal passages are soft and healthy.
A dehumidifier works hand-in-hand with the air conditioner so your family will be comfortable during hot summers. Being dry in the summer heat is an additional benefit that a dehumidifier provides when being dry is critical to a good night’s sleep. No more freezing for some so others can be dry! Plus, with a dehumidifier on the job, it is likely that your air conditioner will run 60 percent less.
If you’re already thinking about running to the home center to grab your $300 70-pint-per-day stand-alone model with a 1-year warranty, think again. A contractor grade 95-pint dehumidifier that integrates with your duct system and thermostat to work seamlessly has a 5-year warranty! That’s 35 percent better performance, 125 percent more warranty, and 100 percent peace of mind!
You should plan to spend $1,600 to $2,000 to do this right. And you will absolutely thank me when you see and feel the difference in your home and health!
Call the Professionals of Blue Frost Heating & Cooling
Are you and your home desperate for proper indoor humidity levels? We are professionals with the training and experience needed to install humidifiers and dehumidifiers in your home. Call Blue Frost Heating & Cooling at (630) 761-9007 today.