While we certainly have little to complain about with SoCal’s beautiful climate, LA’s dry spells can leave homeowners susceptible to severely low levels of humidity. Humidity can be fickle. Too much and you get chilly winters and stifling summers. However, low humidity levels can cause Los Angeles residents to experience dry skin, chapped lips and allergy or flu-like symptoms. So, it’s important to make sure your home has just the right amount of humidity.
A rain dance may or may not be effective in changing LA’s dry weather, but there is something you can do about the climate within your home or office. Enter – humidifiers! The right humidifier can read and manage the humidity levels of your house to keep you and your family comfortable this winter.
In the HVAC industry, we talk about “home comfort” a lot. Mostly, that refers to the reliable and uncomplicated control of your home temperature. We want you to be sufficiently warmed up in the winter months and kept cool in the summer. What we don’t talk about enough, however, are the other factors that impact home comfort. Your indoor air quality (IAQ) is a big facet of how comfortable you are in your home. Air quality is impacted by pollutants, dust, allergens, and factors like humidity. When air is unclean, overly dry, or overly humid – you can not only expect physical discomfort but worse, you may encounter more serious health complications and potential damage to your home and belongings.
You might wonder why you should care about the humidity level in your home. After all, if you’re not actively feeling the effects of a too-dry or too-humid home, what difference does it make? Unfortunately, there are more side effects to a suboptimal humidity level than your basic discomfort.
What happens to the soil when it hasn’t been watered? It cracks, tightens, and grows brittle. The same is true when your home is too dry. Prolonged exposure to overly dry air can cause your skin and hair and the surfaces in your home to crack, tighten, and grow brittle, too. You could develop a dry and rasping cough, endure many bloody noses, experience joint pain, and more. Here in Southern California, we also know that extreme dryness can cause static energy in the air which is liable to spark and can contribute to a fire hazard.
Humidity has an upper limit, too. Excess humidity in the air can cause water damage and wet stains on the walls and ceilings in your home. You may experience buckling floors, clammy surfaces, or – in extreme cases – pooling water in basements or utility spaces. High humidity can even cultivate mold in your home – which could make everyone very sick. An overly humid home will be extra agonizing for allergy and asthma sufferers and generally uncomfortable for everyone else. This level of humidity is bound to attract more insects, too.
Humidity is measured as a percentage score like 55% – this measurement is referred to as a Relative Humidity level or RH. The ideal RH level varies but generally, the RH in your home should be between 35% and 50%. You can measure RH using a standalone humidity sensor. But, many modern thermostats or stand-alone humidifiers will provide a humidity reading for your home, too. The best way to adjust humidity in your home is to use a humidifier to add moisture, and a dehumidifier to remove it. The most important thing will be deciding which humidifier is right for you.
Humidifiers come in a few different sizes and styles. Although you can get a unit for a specific room, we strongly recommend a whole-home humidifier that will serve your entire house.
The main benefits of a whole home humidifier over cheaper, stand-alone units are:
Central humidifiers only need to be addressed once or twice a year.
Still unsure if you need a humidifier for your home? Call the home comfort pros at Brody Pennell at (310) 896-4911. Our technicians can test your home’s IAQ and suggest a system that will keep your home’s air clean and comfortable for years to come!
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