Solve home humidity issues all year round
(NC) When most of us think of preventing musty and stale air in our homes, our knee-jerk reaction may be to run to a big-box store for a portable dehumidifier. But the problem may not be solved.
There are in fact many ways to fight humidity in the home, and a dehumidifier presents only one solution. An air conditioning unit, for instance, also acts as a dehumidifier. If working properly, air conditioning will keep houses at the recommended 30 to 50 per cent humidity level.
Industry specialists tell us that adding a dehumidifier to the basement of your home will reduce the humidity in that area. If it is regularly occupied, additional comfort will be the benefit. The reduced humidity levels will add cooling capacity to your central air conditioner because part of the capacity is used to dehumidify. Less humidity equals more cooling.
This means that having the right AC unit, with adequate capacity, is critical. If your home is being cooled but still feels damp and musty, chances are you don't have the right unit for your residence. Consulting with a qualified air conditioning technician will help determine this, and present you with some solutions.
For those times of year when the AC isn't running, a dehumidifier is one option. Portable units come in different sizes and capacities, and it is important to find the right unit for the targeted space. Alternatively, there are whole-house dehumidifiers that integrate right into your central HVAC system, servicing your entire home.
During the winter, a dual-purpose solution might be a heat recovery ventilator (HRV). These handy systems supply continuous fresh air from the outside into your house. They also act as dehumidifiers in the colder months – exhausting excess humid air out of your home and replenishing it with dry outdoor air. Depending on the degree of indoor humidity, they can provide a sufficient solution during this time.
Whichever approach a homeowner chooses, one thing is certain: tackling humidity is important. In addition to causing discomfort and compromising your health, high humidity can lead to mold and mildew and create environments loved by moths, fleas and dust mites.
But there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Each homeowner needs to examine the specific requirements of their home to figure out the most effective, sensible and cost-efficient approach. For help finding a qualified contractor near you, go to www.hrai.ca/mycontractor
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