We all know that uncomfortable feeling of entering a space that has too much humidity. Nobody likes that sticky sensation of high humidity in summertime – when the murkiness of the air means breathing becomes difficult, and we can never really dry off after our showers. On the other hand, a space with too little humidity can make our skin feel dry and our throats constantly parched. And believe it or not, our homes hate unbalanced levels of humidity just as we do.
Fortunately, a good, well-maintained, indoor climate control system can be one of your greatest allies in making sure that your home maintains a comfortable level of humidity. You want balanced humidity all year long for the sake of your home and household, and here’s why.
What can excessive humidity do to my home?
- A presence of excessive moisture, particularly on your HVAC system or pipes, can indicate unacceptably high humidity in your environment. This moisture facilitates mold growth, which is both damaging to your house and a serious health risk to your household.
- This can be especially disastrous in your duct work where mold colonies can spread via airflow, but you’re most likely to find mold issues in basements or crawl spaces. Storage spaces which aren’t kept dry are also another problem zone.
- Allowing mold to spread throughout your flooring or walls can ruin the very substance of your home, creating soft and decayed surfaces.
- Mold should never be allowed to grow unchecked. White or black, alive or dead, it should always be eliminated and disposed of immediately on detection.
- Allowing an environment to stay dry for too long can cause ruinous damage to anything made of wood, such as furniture or flooring, due to the warping effect that prolonged dryness has on wood.
- Dryness can also damage the paint on your walls along with the more sensitive veneers found on antiques. Beware of the damage that dry air can have on any objects crafted of paper, such as photography and books.
- In order to keep any plants in your household healthy, maintaining a reasonable level of humidity is necessary.
In addition to these problems caused by improper humidity, you could also experience additional property damage to clothing, electronics, musical instruments, paintings, and more. Homeowners should be well aware of the complications that can be caused to personal health and property by not carefully monitoring these levels.
Be particularly conscious during the warmest parts of Summer, when humidity naturally fluctuates high. Allowing your cooling system to do its part will not only keep you comfortable, but also remove this excessive condensation and keep your home safe from the damage of moisture. However, note that your heater can make your environment too dry during constant use in winter.
You can opt to counterbalance this dryness with a humidifier or by programming your heater to only operate during the coldest moments of the day. In addition, many professional services offer indoor air quality solutions to humidify or dehumidify your environment as necessary. When your air conditioner isn’t enough in reducing humidity in particularly extreme climates, seeking out these services can be a lifesaver in preventing moisture-related damage in your home.
But no matter the climate you live in, humidity can always be a problem if you don’t have your system regularly inspected to make sure that everything is as clean and well-maintained as it should be. Humidity can be an incredible source of frustration for homeowners, but knowing how to use your system and when to seek out indoor air quality services can keep your house safe from these problems.
This post was written by Jason Wall, an HVAC technician of more than 23 years representing Griffith Energy Services. While he spends most of his days serving residential and business clients, he also enjoys writing and reaching out to other professionals to learn and share alike.