Air Quality: How humidity Affects your House
Indoor humidity levels and air quality have a major impact on the performance and efficiency of HVAC systems. If the humidity level is more or less than the optimum, it is much more difficult for your home’s heating and cooling system to get the job done.
The air conditioner simultaneously removes moisture and heat from the air. A unit that is too small for the space will have trouble generating enough cooling capacity if the humidity is too high. This means the unit runs continuously and costs more to operate without ever being able to achieve a comfortable room temperature. The room feels hotter because of the high humidity.
This does not necessarily mean bigger is better. If the air conditioning unit has more capacity than it needs to cool a space, it does not run long enough to have a chance to remove the moisture from the air and the indoor humidity level rises.
Humidity has the opposite effect on your home’s heating system. During the winter, humidity levels drop and if they drop far enough, the room temperature feels colder than it actually is. The heat pump or furnace will work overtime to try to compensate, but the house will never feel warm. The ideal setting for your home thermostat is anywhere from 71 to 77 degrees during the winter as long as the humidity level remains at a minimum of 50 percent.
Foggy windows, a musty odor and moist clammy air quality inside the house are sure signs of high humidity. The most effective way to keep humidity at the optimal level is to install a dehumidifier. This appliance wrings moisture from the air before delivering it through the ductwork to the rest of the home.
Controlling the humidity levels in your home is an effective way to save money on climate control year round and maintain good air quality. With the proper humidity levels, your HVAC system will run more efficiently saving you money on operating costs. Because the system can run at peak performance, it will not have to work as hard, which prolongs the life of the equipment and saves on unnecessary repairs and replacement.
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