Creating a pleasant atmosphere in the home involves different factors, including air circulation, humidity, and temperature working with the body. The factors can cause health problems if they are too high or low, hence resulting in unpleasant surroundings. While you can use different tools such as humidifiers and dehumidifiers to measure, control, and regulate those factors, what is the difference between a humidifier and a dehumidifier?
Understanding that humidity is an essential aspect of our atmosphere, is the first step that determines comfort levels in the house. Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere, which, when low, can result in susceptibility to colds, static electricity, dry air, respiratory illnesses, and dry skin. High levels of humidity can cause coastal breeze, which allows the growth of harmful mold, mildew, and bacteria in our spaces because of high moisture content in the air.
In determining the differences between dehumidifier vs. humidity, both devices help in improving indoor air quality by regulating incidences of high or low humidity in the home. The dehumidifier reduces high moisture levels in the atmosphere, while the humidifier increases humidity levels in the event of dry indoor air. The units play a vital role in creating balanced surroundings, especially in preventing specific illnesses such as chest congestion and asthma.
Controlling Humidity in Your Home
Both low and high humidity can cause health complications. Keeping the amount of water vapor in our spaces at ideal levels is the solution. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences recommends relative humidity levels of between 30% – 60% as the most enjoyable, with 30% – 50% as the best indoor humidity. Other health professionals agree that a 45% humidity range is perfect for the indoors, while more than 50% is too high, and 30% will start getting too dry.
How to Deal With Low Humidity Conditions
During winter, cold air does not retain moisture, which leads to low humidity issues in the house. Coughing and dry throat is a common complaint during this time. You will notice low-humidity problems when cracks start showing on moldings and wooden furniture.
Most modern houses have forced air-heating technology that distributes dry air. Turning up the heat when temperatures are dropping, only worsens the problem. Raising low humidity conditions might be an excellent idea.
1. Add A Whole-house Humidifier
Boosting humidity to higher levels needs the best humidifier for large room. A whole-house humidifier is a great strategy when you need to distribute moisture over large spaces in the home. Since the unit goes into your HVAC system, hire the right contractor for installation. Consider contracting a licensed HVAC service provider who regularly installs whole-house humidifiers, because it involves complex electrical and water connections. Choosing a certified technician also ensures that you are installing the correct humidifier size for the home.
2. Portable Humidifier
If the high-tech solution does not appeal to you, a cold or warm portable mist humidifier will give the same result. The wick slowly absorbs water from the reserve, which a fan distributes into the indoor atmosphere. Portable humidifiers, are available in all sizes, although you should keep in mind to regularly, refill the water.
The portable system can provide moisture to nasal passage and airways in sinus and chest congestions during cold weather, which makes it the best humidifier for sinus problems.
3. Moisture Evaporation
Raising humidity can involve any method that introduces moisture in the air. For instance, a jar of water next to a radiator adds moisture in the air. The low-tech system can be useful for those who live in smaller spaces.
From the preceding, you can now answer the question, “what is the difference between a humidifier and a dehumidifier?”
The next crucial decision is to choose the right dehumidifier size for your home, because the best ones will eliminate moisture from the air, which is useful in treating asthma that is caused by humid air.
How To Dehumidify a Room
High humidity can lead to condensation. The condition is more prone to newer homes due to tight construction. Achieving the right ventilation through natural and automated methods is one way to control moisture levels in the house. Without regulation, moisture builds up on ceilings and behind the walls, which results in rot for your woodwork and peeling of paint. You will notice this, particularly around doorframes and windows.
Feeling uneasy is a significant concern of high humidity levels. We all know that it is the humidity and not the heat, which creates uneasiness during the hot months of summer. Knowing how to dehumidify a room can lower the moisture content in the air.
There are several other ways to dehumidify, along with using dehumidifiers to solve the problem.
- Exhaust fans: Using exhaust fans in the kitchen when cooking and bathroom fans can help to reduce humidity levels in the house. Opening windows can also let in drier air from outside to regulate moisture content.
- Reduce indoor plants: While plants offer plenty of benefits, you don’t want to overload the home with them, especially during cold winters when windows remain shut nearly all the time.
- Outside vent dryer: Lacking vent dryer directly outside the house is a primary cause for high indoor humidity. Regularly checking the connections for leaks will help. Think of installing an outside vent if the utility room does not have one.
- Turn off humidifiers during summer: Consider turning off whole-home humidifiers in the HVAC system, especially in the months of summer.
- Add a dehumidifier: Eliminating excess moisture from the air through the HVAC system can regulate humidity in the home.
- Use the A/C regularly: Running the air-conditioner removes excess moisture from circulating air and brings the temperatures down. Ensure you are keeping up with the maintenance schedule of your A/C to prevent issues with drain hole blockages and broken pumps, which can potentially lead to mold growth.
- Avoid pools of standing water in the home: Drain the kitchen sink immediately you finish with dishes. Pulling the stopper of the tub after climbing out will help reduce stagnant water in the house. Consider dealing with any obstructions preventing quick water drainage from the washing machine, sink, or bathtub.
Maintaining optimum humidity levels is essential in regulating ideal human body functions in cold weather. The cold winter air has little capacity to hold water vapor because warm air is less dense than the cold air. Therefore, during winter, you are most likely to be using an air humidifier as below.
What Size Dehumidifier Do I Need?
The relative humidity in your home should be between 45% and 50%. Higher recordings will mean getting a regulating device. While purchasing the smallest unit comes with low prices, it also implies constantly dumping the reservoir. If you do not know what to do, consider contracting a qualified HVAC professional. The pro can give useful insights to help you make correct decisions, especially if you are trying to answer the question, what size dehumidifier do i need?
Here are a few tips to consider:
1. Smaller Units Aren’t Always Sufficient
When living in a small area or one room, smaller portable dehumidifiers could be a perfect solution. During humid months, these smaller units will fill up quickly and shut off when you need them most. Whole-house dehumidifiers will continue working with the HVAC system in the home, and can remove air moisture in areas of up to 3,000 square feet.
2. Air Handlers May Not Be Enough
Air handlers, including furnaces, not only pump out cold or hot air; but they also suck air at room temperature, along with its moisture. Doing this reduces indoor humidity through the air returns, which is why you need dehumidifiers for the home. Technicians will connect the unit into your home’s heating and air conditioning system at the primary return. The device traps moisture and lets dry air to cycle off to the air handler.
3. Determine The Correct Humidifier Size to The Home
As with the HVAC system, you should size a whole-house dehumidifier to the specific conditions and the house. The size of each unit depends on the amount of water they can capture from the air in a day. The products can eliminate about 90 to 150 pints, based on their sizes, before draining the water via the plumbing system in your home.
When sizing dehumidifiers, HVAC contractors factor in several factors such as:
- The presence of a crawl space or basement, which holds moisture
- The amount of humidity your A/C system dissipates
- The average humidity in your area
You should get multiple estimates from contractors with relevant credentials such as licenses and bonds. Make sure the service provider has positive customer reviews along with experience installing dehumidifiers for the whole house.
The Wrap Up
Managing the humidity in your home is essential because too much of it comes with mold, unease, health, and other complications. Buying an indoor monitor should help maintain ideal relative humidity at 45 to 50 percent. With most monitoring models going for less than $20, determining the specific relative humidity should be straightforward. Licensed professionals know the difference between humidifiers and dehumidifiers, including what to install in mechanical closets, attics, or basements.
The techniques you practice to regulate humidity do not matter, provided you remember to keep the balance between low and high moisture levels. Going too far in either direction will cause issues. After developing all year round plan, it is crucial to make adjustments for the most enjoyable atmosphere in your house.