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Proper Humidity Levels and Factors for Home Comfort & Health | HVAC Health

moist and dry air problems & health

Proper Humidity Levels and Factors for Home Comfort & Health – The Contents and Make Up of Air and Humidity

Proper Levels of humidity Factors for Home Comfort and HealthProper Humidity Levels and Factors for Home – Humidity is important to our home and health and it is important to maintain the correct humidity in our homes and workplaces for our health. What is humidity? Humidity is simply little water droplets in the air. Cold air is nearly saturated with these little water droplets because the contents of cold air allow the air to hold more water droplets or humidity. As air is heated it expands and holds less humidity. When you heat the air in your home using a furnace, boiler, or heat pump this air expands and becomes drier. It is air with less humidity relatively speaking before it was heated and compared to the outside air. Air that is 30° F with 80% humidity will only be 15% humidity at 75° F. That is a big difference in humidity levels in the home after the air is heated. Granted, you are not heating air from 30° F to 75° F with your furnace. Depending on the set up of your thermostat and heating system you are most likely heating air that is 68° F to around 70° F to 75° F depending on the thermostat setting. The point is unless you have a source providing humidity to the air stream you are simply reheating dry air from inside the structure. There will be minimal infiltration humidity but the infiltration humidity will never be enough to bring the humidity levels up to healthy levels inside the structure for the inhabitants, plants, and furniture.

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Humidifiers and Comfort – HVAC Healthy Living

Humidifiers and Comfort

Humidifiers and Comfort

Humidifiers and Comfort  – It’s winter time, and your skin and sinus’s are dry. Did you know that this condition not only extends to yourself and your health but also to your home? The furniture, doors, and other wood products in your home are all affected by the level of humidity.

Ever notice in the winter time the doors don’t close just right inside your home? Ever get static-shock when you touch something or someone? This is caused by dry air. The solution is a humidifier. There are many types of humidifiers from portable to fixed. The prices for these humidifiers also vary. Naturally the fixed will cost more and you will most likely have to hire a contractor to install it, but the humidifier will definitely make a big difference not only for your health, but also for your home.Proper Humidity Levels

Humidifiers and Comfort  – Summer Humidity

In the summer, a lot of the energy consumed by your air conditioner is used to de-humidify the air. In most geographical locations in the U.S. and Canada there is an abundance of moisture in the air. The process of heating your home in the winter time, especially for heat pumps, dries the air out in your home. It then becomes necessary to humidify the air (unless you choose to ignore it) to keep a comfortable level of moisture in the air. Ideally, you want the humidity level in your home to be around 30 to 50 percent. In the summer this is not a problem. In the winter it is a problem. This level of humidity will also help you feel more comfortable. If the humidity level in your home is high in the summer you will not feel cool. If the humidity level is low in the winter you will not feel warm when the thermostat is set at an average temperature. This will result in turning the thermostat up to compensate and you will use more energy to stay warm. A properly designed and installed system will keep the proper levels of humidity in your home.

Humidifiers and Comfort  – Dust, Dust Mites, Pollen, Viruses, Bacteria, and Humidity

Aside from the comfort factors of having the proper humidity levels in our homes, there is another aspect of having proper levels of humidity in the home. Humidity affects what is in our air also and this is why a humidifier is an integral part of a system that maintains optimum indoor air quality standards. Too much humidity promotes the growth of molds and mildews. Low humidity levels promote bacteria, viruses, and other organic and non-organic things that can be hazardous to our health. Below is a chart that will help you see that keeping the proper humidity levels in your home will also keep out things that can affect our health and our home.

Those people who have forced air systems I usually recommend having the whole house duct mount humidifiers installed. These are generally maintenance free except for a water panel that needs to be replaced on an annual basis. It will require the installation of a humidistat so that the proper amount of humidity is maintained in the dwelling. This system is automatic with no worries about manually filling up a pan or moving a large appliance like you have with the portable humidifiers. All you have to do is set the humidistat and change the water panel annually (or have a service technician do it when you have preventive maintenance done). Remember, humidity in your living and work space is important for your health. The are many different brands to choose from when selecting a whole house humidifier. Generally, Honeywell Whole house Humidifiers and Aprilaire Whole House Humidifier are good brands to choose from but there are others. Check with your HVAC Contractor for what they recommend for humidifiers.

Humidifiers and Comfort – Conclusion

Whether you have a Honeywell humidifier, Aprilaire humidifier, or other brand, remember there is required annual maintenance to your humidifier. Typically, humidifiers have water panels inside of them that some people refer to as humidifier filters. These humidifier filters as they are referred to treat the water that is channeled into the humidifier. This humidifier water filter needs to be changed at least annually to have the proper effect. Your HVAC contractor can arrange a maintenance agreement with you to maintain the humidifier and change the water filter so you do not have to worry about it.

More information about Humidifiers and Comfort can be found here.

Humidifiers and Comfort

Whole House Humidifier Video

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Home Humidity Problems Maintaining Proper Humidity | HVAC Health

Home Humidity Problems – Is 60% Humidity in the Home Too High?

HIGH HUMIDITY 60 % +. Within the last month, I moved into a new house. It has dry walls and not plaster walls. The furnace and hot water tank were installed a week or so before we moved in to the house. Last week we determined that there is a humidity issue when the windows were sweating. We are trying to determine the source of the humidity. The contractor feels it may be the high efficiency furnace. I have a Lennox g61mp. The combustion air is pulled from within the un finished basement. Should the air be pulled from the outside? The gases are vented via PVC pipe which slopes back to the furnace.

Could the furnace be causing the humidity problem? If yes, what could be causing the humidity problem? The installer said it is not the furnace.

Home Humidity Problems Answer…….

Home Humidity Problems – Maintaining the proper humidity levels in the home is important not only for health (as indicated on High Performance HVAC Humidifiers Page) but also for the wood products in the home including doors and windows. The quick answer to your question about the furnace causing the humidity problems is no. Gas furnaces and other heating appliances tend to dehumidify the air and do not create any more humidification. I wonder where your supply vents are located and are they directed to blow hot air towards the windows? Condensation is created when the temperature of air is colder than the dew point. A prime place for this to occur is windows and doors. This is part of the reason why many supply vents for forced air systems, and radiators for hot water systems, are placed near windows and doors. It keeps the windows warmer and above the dew point and also makes the air warm from your heat loss near these locations.

Home Humidity Problems – Lennox G61MP Gas Furnace

The furnace you describe, the Lennox G61MP, is a condensing furnace and having the combustion air intake in the basement actually contributes to removing humidity from the basement. It sucks the air from the basement for use in the combustion process and the humidity in this air is condensed during the combustion process in the heat exchanger. This condensation is gotten rid of down a condensation drain near the furnace or blown out the exhaust where the combustion gases are expelled. If your supply vents are located near the doors and windows and you still have this problem then it may be time for new doors and windows as you have too much heat loss at these places and all the humidity is being condensed around the windows in your home.

Home Humidity Problems - Proper Humidity Levels

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Home Humidity Problems Maintaining Proper Home Humidity

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MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2014