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4 Reasons to Maintain Proper Humidity Levels in Your Home

Your home's HVAC system fills a surprising number of roles in your home. In addition to keeping you warm in the winter and cool In the summer, it also maintains your indoor air quality and humidity levels. Although these may not seem related at first, humidity has a significant role to play in keeping the air in your house fresh and clean.

Maintaining a proper level of humidity throughout your home is the best way to remain comfortable all year round. Not only does this help you to breathe more easily, but it can even save you money on your utility bills. Keep reading to discover four ways that your home's indoor humidity can impact your air quality and the efficiency of your HVAC system.

1. Excessive Humidity Promotes Unhealthy Air

High levels of humidity provide the right environment for a wide range of airborne pathogens, molds, and mildews. While you may already know that moist air in a bathroom or under a sink can lead to mold growth, levels of humidity that are too high can also promote colonies in your HVAC vents or elsewhere in your home.

In addition to mold, many bacteria and viruses thrive in moist conditions, creating additional air quality issues. Often, interior air that's too humid can be the result of HVAC maintenance issues or improper usage. Continuously running the HVAC fan, for example, can prevent moisture from condensing on the evaporator.

2. Dry Air Can Impact Your Respiratory Health

While too much moisture can create an environment that's unhealthy, too little humidity can also impact your body's ability to fight disease. This situation can be especially problematic in the winter months. Although a forced air furnace typically does not cause your home's air to become drier, it also does nothing to add moisture back into the cold, dry air that it is heating.

When humidity levels in your home are too low, the mucus membranes that help to keep you from becoming ill dry out. By drying out these critical parts of your body's natural defense system, you are less likely to stop pathogens before breathing them in. A proper level of humidity ensures that your body can naturally filter irritants floating in the air.

3. Low Humidity Creates a Dustier Environment

In areas with dry air, dust and other particles can remain airborne for longer. These pollutants can stay floating in your home's air or blowing in currents from the HVAC vents. Keeping humidity at a higher level helps particles to fall to the ground and precipitate onto surfaces more readily, getting them out of the air and keeping you from breathing them in.

If anyone in your home has allergies, then it may be especially critical to avoid dusty environments. Pet dander, pollen, dust mites, and various other irritants can more easily be carried from room to room in dry air, ultimately placing more strain on your HVAC filter.

4. Proper Humidity Levels Save Money

In addition to impacting your health, humidity levels also affect the apparent temperature of a space. In the summer, excess humidity can force you to run your air conditioner longer to achieve a comfortable temperature. In the winter, dry air can make your home feel arid, while very humid air can reduce the apparent temperature.

By maintaining the correct level of humidity in your home, you can save money by keeping your thermostat set at more moderate levels. Easing the load on your HVAC equipment reduces your carbon footprint, and it can extend the life of your air conditioner and furnace.

If your home is too dry or too humid, then Service 1 Plumbing, Heating & A/C Inc. can help. We can evaluate your home's air quality to determine if a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier is right for your situation. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment!