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Choices for Your Home: Humidifiers and Dehumidifiers

May 31, 2024

Did you know that the ideal indoor humidity level is between 30% and 50%? Not only does the amount of moisture in the air affect the temperature, but when the air is too dry or too moist, you’re likely to feel uncomfortable or have health issues. Your home can also sustain damage when the humidity isn’t at the right level. 

Humidifiers and dehumidifiers help you maintain the ideal indoor air humidity level. Humidifiers add moisture to the air, and dehumidifiers remove it. Depending on the season and the conditions inside your San Diego area home, you may need one or both of these devices. 

The Basics of Humidifiers 

As mentioned, humidifiers add moisture to the air. If the relative humidity drops below 30%, you might notice issues like dry and itchy skin, dry nasal passages, and excess static electricity. Over time, dry air can cause damage to your home, too, like warped and cracked floors and furniture, doors and windows that warp and stick, and peeling or cracking paint. 

It’s possible to temporarily increase moisture by boiling water, taking a shower, or watering house plants, but a humidifier is a more effective method. The devices release moisture in the air via water vapor, which can either be cool or warm. Cool mist humidifiers evaporate moisture into the air via a wick, while a warm mist device works by boiling water and releasing steam. 

You can use a small, portable unit to humidify a small space, like a bedroom, or invest in a whole-house humidifier that hydrates every room as part of the heating and cooling system. Whole-house humidifiers and dehumidifiers require less upkeep and automatically adjust based on the humidity level, so your home remains consistent and comfortable. 

The Basics of Dehumidifiers 

You’ve heard the phrase, “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity,” when referring to a sticky, miserable day. A dehumidifier helps solve that issue by removing excess moisture from the air. This not only helps it feel cooler, but it also helps prevent mold growth and health issues related to allergens and other contaminants, water damage inside your home, and issues like sticking doors, musty odors, and damage to paint and wallpaper. 

A dehumidifier pulls in air and cools it, which reduces its ability to hold moisture. The extra moisture forms condensation on the cooling coils and drips into a drain pan. Like humidifiers, you can opt for portable units or a whole-house dehumidifier that works with the HVAC system.

Do I Need a Humidifier or Dehumidifier?

If the humidity level in your home is typically much higher or lower than 50%, humidifiers and dehumidifiers can help. In San Diego, where the summers tend to be hot and dry and the winters are cooler and wetter, you might find that you need both humidifiers and dehumidifiers to keep your home comfortable year-round.          

If you aren’t sure which direction to go, Bob Jensen can help. Our experienced technicians can evaluate the indoor air humidity level and install the perfect whole-home unit to ensure your family stays comfortable and eliminates the hassles of high or low humidity. Just call us today to learn more.

About The Author

Bob Jenson

For over 45 years, Bob Jenson has been providing quality heating and air services to the San Diego community.

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