Every area you reside in presents its own set of comfort challenges. During a particular time of the year, you’ll find that the air of a given place is either uncomfortably humid or exceedingly dry. Therefore, this makes the whole task of maintaining the ideal level of humidity in your home a bit more challenging.
The best way to maintain the right levels of humidity in your home is by installing either a humidifier or a dehumidifier as part of your HVAC system. However, how do you know which one will best suit your needs?
Before making the decision, you need to understand that high humidity levels can make your home much warmer than it is and could also cause health problems. On the other hand, low humidity is also a problem as it can exasperate allergy symptoms, extend sicknesses, and cause damage to furniture and your home’s foundation.
Even though both humidifiers and dehumidifiers are used to adjust humidity levels, they’re quite different in regards to their functions. This article will provide a detailed breakdown of everything you need to know about humidifiers and dehumidifiers and when to use them in your home.
The Difference Between a Humidifier and a Dehumidifier
Humidifiers are basically used to add moisture to the air when it is dry. People usually use humidifiers during the winter to combat the dry air. On the other hand, dehumidifiers are devices used to take out moisture in the air. These devices are mostly used during spring and summer when the air is too humid.
According to multiple studies, the comfortable humidity level for most homes is between 40% and 60%. It is reported that the majority of health problems related to humidity could be minimized if people maintained these humidity levels in their homes.
To get the correct humidity measurements of your house, you’ll need to use a hygrometer. Since humidity levels tend to vary across different times of the year, there is a need to tweak them every now and then to make your home as comfortable as possible.
When to Choose a Humidifier
As mentioned earlier, humidifiers usually add moisture back into the room. For this reason, if the humidity level readings of your home are somewhere below 30%, it’s best to invest in a humidifier.
This is because when the air inside your home is too dry, especially during winter, it can take out the moisture in your body. This means that your lips, eyes, hair, and skin will become uncomfortably dry.
Additionally, dry air can easily dry out your nasal passage and make you more susceptible to nose bleeds, colds, and other respiratory illnesses. It might also interest you to know that dry air can cause the furniture in your home to warp and shrink. Therefore, if you notice any of these problems, you need to purchase a humidifier before things worsen.
A humidifier will help keep your skin from drying and improve your scratchy and sore throat. It will also help minimize coughing, nosebleeds, and headaches, as well as moisten your nasal passages. Before purchasing a humidifier for your home, it’s important to understand that they come in the following different types.
These humidifiers are usually connected directly to HVAC systems. They basically add moisture to the room by mixing water with the warm air from the heat ducts. Generally, these humidifiers are quite simple, affordable, and work well to correct most low-humidity problems.
Power humidifiers are quite similar to bypass humidifiers. The only aspect that sets them apart from bypass humidifiers is that they’re fitted with powered fans that help generate humidity even when the HVAC system isn’t working.
Unlike the other humidifiers, steam humidifiers rely on self-contained heating elements to generate moisture that is added to the dry air. This means that steam humidifiers can conveniently work independently from your HVAC system. This makes steam humidifiers the most flexible humidifiers you can get for your home.
When to Choose a Dehumidifier
It is highly recommended that you install a dehumidifier if the humidity levels in your home exceed 60%. This is because excess humidity in the air is very uncomfortable and can make it very difficult for your body to cool itself.
High humidity levels create a conducive environment for microbial growth and dust mites. It’s also important to note that excess moisture poses a big threat to your home. This is because it can lead to rot and damage to your furniture and also provide a breeding environment for pests and termites.
By installing a dehumidifier in your home, you’ll be keeping the humidity levels of your home in check, especially if your HVAC system isn’t fixing the problem. There are two main ways you can add a dehumidifier to your home. You can incorporate them into your HVAC system, or you can install them as standalone units, depending on your preference and needs.
It might also interest you to know that some dehumidifiers can also serve as ventilators, thus improving the overall quality of the indoor air. Some of the benefits associated with dehumidifiers include getting rid of allergy triggers, reducing odors that emerge from mold and mildew, and ensuring that all the wet areas in your home dry out before mold and mildew can grow. The different types of dehumidifiers you can get for your home include the following.
Heat Pump Dehumidifiers
These dehumidifiers usually rely on heat pumps, fans, and exchange coils to take out excess moisture from the air. The air is drawn using a fan and then sent to the heat exchange coils, which are very cold. The moisture is then condensed and collected.
These dehumidifiers use an exhaust fan to expel humid air outside. They’re usually used in crawlspaces, basements, and attics.
Chemical Absorbent Dehumidifiers
Also referred to as desiccant dehumidifiers, these usually consist of hydrophilic materials like silica gel to take out the excess moisture. They’re highly recommended for places with low temperatures but extremely high humidity levels.
So, are you thinking of installing both a humidifier and a dehumidifier in your home? While this might look like the best option for you, it might not exactly serve you as well as you’d expect. This is because a humidifier-dehumidifier combo will only be effective for one purpose, either taking out or adding moisture.
This means that you’ll end up spending more money for nothing. Therefore, if you’re looking for the best results, it’s best to go with either a dehumidifier or a humidifier and ensure that it is a programmable device.
This device will help maintain the desired humidity levels in your home whenever you want. If you want to push the humidity level in the opposite direction, you can simply turn off the device and let the natural environment take care of it.
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