Dehumidifiers and Humidifiers View Models >>
Dehumidifiers and Humidifiers
Humidifiers and Dehumidifiers can play an important role in keeping your house comfortable as the temperatures outside become colder. We have put together a little information as to how they can work for you as well as well as what options you have when purchasing one.
According to the EPA, the relative humidity recommended for houses is between 30% and 50%. This level of humidity is not always easy to maintain, especially in certain "problem" areas of the home. A dehumidifier is often needed in basements and crawlspaces where humidity can be very high. However, in the winter months, the use of the furnace may contribute to most parts of your home suffering from the opposite problems: a lack of humidity. Therefore, monitoring humidity levels in your home will allow you to maintain all areas it at the recommended levels and deal properly with seasonal variations.
Low humidity has at least three effects on human beings:
- It dries out your skin and mucous membranes. If your home has low humidity, you will notice things like chapped lips, dry and itchy skin, and a dry sore throat when you wake up in the morning. (Low humidity also dries out plants and furniture.)
- It increases static electricity, and most people dislike getting sparked every time they touch something metallic.
- It makes it seem colder than it actually is. In the summer, high humidity makes it seem warmer than it is because sweat cannot evaporate from your body. In the winter, low humidity has the opposite effect. If you take a look at the chart above, you'll see that if it is 70 degrees F (21 degrees C) inside your home and the humidity is 10 percent, it feels like it is 65 degrees F (18 degrees C). Simply by bringing the humidity up to 70 percent, you can make it feel 5 degrees F (3 degrees C) warmer in your home.
For best indoor comfort and health, a relative humidity of about 30-50% percent is ideal. At temperatures typically found indoors, this humidity level makes the air feels approximately what the temperature indicates, and your skin and lungs do not dry out and become irritated. Most buildings can not maintain this level of humidity without help. In the winter, relative humidity is often much lower than 30 percent.
Humidity levels get worse as the temperature outside falls lower. This is why the air inside any heated building in the winter feels so dry. Any time the temperature outside is below freezing, relative humidity inside will be below 20 percent unless you do something to increase the humidity. The outside air might have a comfortable level of humidity, but when the air is heated, the relative humidity drops, causing the air to be very dry inside the house.
Get a dehumidifier if you live in a damp house. People, especially children, living in very humid homes are almost twice as likely to have respiratory problems as those in drier dwellings. Abnormally high humidity promotes the growth of airborne fungi, bacteria, molds, and other allergens, and wet air may more readily carry pollutants.