Trust your nose. Especially in the humid summer months, is your home humidity where it should be for the best health and comfort? How do you control home humidity? What is the right humidity level and how do I read humidity? The easiest answer is to trust your nose. Do you smell mildew or dampness in the basement? If you do, you are probably growing some things in hidden places that are creating these odors. Improve your health and comfort with proper humidity control.
So far, this summer has been the perfect example of why you may need to pay more attention to the humidity level in your home. The weather this season has been extremely humid, but only moderately hot. This is not a good combination for most homes and especially if you have a basement you should consider additional dehumidification to improve your health and comfort. Normally, when it gets hot and humid in the summer, your air conditioner will run frequently enough to take moisture out of the air. Your goal is to condition your home to about 75 degrees and about 50% relative humidity. But if the weather is mild and your air conditioner does not run enough, you may have humidity readings closer to 60%. If you are at 60% RH or higher in a basement you are not going to be happy.
In my home, I have run two portable dehumidifiers in the past to help keep the humidity levels in the comfort zone. Unfortunately, these units are not made well and only last 2 to 3 years. They are also not very efficient. Recently, I changed to a “whole house dehumidifier” system and for the first time my family is now experiencing true summer comfort. The basement is a healthy 51% RH and the upstairs is an amazing 42% RH to 47% RH. Dry air is very comfortable! And I can only imagine that any mildew in the basement has now been starved of it’s necessary diet of moist air. The whole house dehumidifier we chose was a high efficiency model which means it uses less electricity for each gallon of water it removes. Also, we have now raised the temperature setting at our thermostat which will save more money.
Did I mention the water removal? Wow! It has a clear hose that drains the water and I watched this the first day. I could not believe how much water it was sucking from the air in my home as well as the moisture stored in all the walls, furniture, clothes, wood floors and everything else. After a couple days, it settled down and it now runs only occasionally to keep the house at the perfect humidity level for our comfort and I presume, health.
I suggest that you purchase a temperature/humidity monitor at the home center. If you discover (or even if you simply suspect) that your home humidity is too high, call Precision Comfort Systems to see if a whole house dehumidification system will work in your home. It sure helped mine!