When you think about temperature control and maintaining a comfortable indoor environment during the winter, you likely think about keeping your home warm. While heat is a key element to indoor air quality and comfort during the winter, it is just one factor.
Humidity plays a critical role in keeping your home comfortable. Proper humidity levels prevent mold growth and minimize the occurrence of respiratory illnesses. Finding and maintaining the right balance of humidity in your home can be challenging. Should you use a humidifier or a dehumidifier to keep your home comfortable during the winter months?
Using a Humidifier During the Winter
Before determining which appliance is right for your home, it is good for you to understand how humidity levels are affected by seasonal changes. Typically, your home should have a humidity level of between 40% and 50%. These numbers will fluctuate based on how humid it is outside.
Cold air during the winter is dry. Typically, you are going to use a humidifier in your home more frequently than you would a dehumidifier. The colder the areas in your home, the dryer the indoor air will become.
You can do things like applying weather stripping or patching up leaks and holes around windows and doors to minimize the amount of cold air that enters your home. Drafts make your home cooler, which makes the air dryer.
If you purchase a modern humidifier, it should come equipped with a gauge that tells you what the humidity level currently is in your home. Bringing the humidity level up to between 40% and 50% will make it easier for you to breathe and will make your home feel warmer.
Using a Dehumidifier During the Winter
This does not mean that you would never use a dehumidifier in the winter. Dehumidifiers can be beneficial, especially if you notice that you have mold growing in certain parts of your home.
Mold grows in environments that are cooled with moist air. Running your dehumidifier can help attack some of the moisture, making it harder for mold to grow.
You will need to run your dehumidifier with caution, especially if it is extremely cold during the winter. When the weather gets too cold, it becomes difficult for a dehumidifier to function properly. This can cause the inner workings of the device to freeze, rendering it inoperable.
If you want to use your dehumidifier but are worried about the temperature, turn up your thermostat and run the heater and the dehumidifier simultaneously. The heater does not need to run continuously, but you will want the heater to be running a few hours during the day.
How Do You Know If You Need a Humidifier?
You should not run a humidifier in your home just because you think it might improve the air quality. Excessive humidity can lead to health problems and can cause mold growth.
You may want to use a humidifier if your home is not properly insulated, you have cold air, or you notice that the home’s occupants have nosebleeds, chapped lips, and dry hair and skin. Other indications of low humidity levels include excessive static electricity buildup and cracks on wood floors and panels.
Maintaining the Right Humidity Level During the Winter
Whether you are using a humidifier or a dehumidifier, make sure that you keep your home’s humidity level within the 40% to 50% range. If you lower your humidity levels below 30%, frost and moisture can build up, damaging your HVAC system and other parts of your home.
If your home is properly insulated, you should not need a humidifier or dehumidifier during the winter. If you are relying on one during the winter, this is something that could be addressed by contacting the HVAC professionals at Hunter’s Air & Heat, Inc.
Rely on Trusted Heating and Cooling Services
Hunter’s Air & Heat, Inc knows that your HVAC system is one of the most critical systems in your home. This is why we pride ourselves on offering comprehensive services to make your home a comfortable place. We also offer HVAC services at your place of business if needed.
We are the people you turn to if you need:
- AC repair
- Air conditioning maintenance
- Heat pump repair and service
- Air conditioner installation and replacement
- Indoor air quality solutions
- Furnace repair and maintenance
- Furnace installation and replacement
Our technicians stand ready to help you make your living and workspace comfortable places to be. Contact Hunter’s Air & Heat, Inc in Boling-Iago today for more information or to set up an appointment!