While you’re looking for ways to reduce your heating bills, keep in mind there’s a tipping point. There needs to be a balance between running your heating system economy style and maintaining the proper humidity levels in your home.
Indoor Air Quality
Many illnesses are either caused by or aggravated by poor indoor air quality. Humidity plays a role there. Let’s say it’s at 70% or more. At this point, mold can begin to grow. Of course it’s no secret that you don’t want to be breathing in air where mold is.
With just that example alone, it’s easy to see why the humidity levels in your home are so important. You can measure the humidity in your home with a hygrometer. They sell them at Lowe’s for as low as $6.
Once you’ve got your hygrometer, you’ll be able to experiment and see how to adjust your humidity levels. Typically, if you live in Georgia, you’ll want to shoot for between 30% and 50% relative humidity.
How your HVAC system changes humidity levels
Your fan is one component that can change the humidity levels in your home. In most cases, you want to make sure your fan is set to “auto”, rather than “on”.
The HVAC system in your home plays a big role in the relative humidity in your home. We often hear homeowners request larger air conditioners to keep their home more comfortable. That’s actually not how that works at all, in fact, it’s quite the opposite. An oversized system can cause the humidity levels in your home to sky rocket. With the system running for such a short period of time, it doesn’t have enough time to dehumidify your air.
You run into a similar situation if you are trying to keep your bills so low that your furnace or air conditioner doesn’t have enough time to run and dehumidify your air.
On the opposite end of that spectrum, if your furnace runs too long, it has the ability to decrease your humidity to an uncomfortable level. This is where you’d experience dry skin and lips and static electricity. If your mucous membranes dry out, which is likely in this situation, you’re more prone to colds and respiratory issues.
How to reduce high humidity levels
If your humidity levels are high, there are some things you can do yourself to alter that. First, check your air filter. Change if it has been in your system for over a month. Every single month you should be changing your filter. When they get clogged, air can’t pass through them very easy.
Next, make sure you’re using the exhaust fan when you shower. Use the fan while your cooking as well. Keep lids on pots of water when possible. These two actions can have a big impact on your humidity levels.
Seal your home completely. You may need to add weather stripping, caulk or expanding foam. Regardless of what you use, just be sure to seal everywhere necessary. The more moisture you keep outside, the better.
If after all these steps, you still find your humidity levels too high, contact a certified HVAC company. You may have some sort of issue with the HVAC system itself or the duct work. Whatever the case, they will work to find a solution for you.
Check out our other HVAC Tips.
If you are in the Metro Atlanta or surrounding cities area, give us a call at 770-672-6963. Our team will be happy to assist you.