Maintaining proper humidity levels and increasing the indoor air quality of your home
Indoor air that lacks humidity in the winter can cause dry sinuses and other health concerns. What most people aren’t aware of is that a dry home is also a leaky home. The house acts like a big balloon with a lot of tiny holes or some large holes that bleed heat out, hemorrhaging energy dollars. The natural humidity that’s generated by the occupants from showering and cooking bleeds out too.
The reverse is true for energy-efficient homes. They have so much humidity generated that it’s a challenge to deal with the excess moisture during summer. This is why today’s homes are generally required by building and energy codes to have some type of mechanical ventilation or de-humidification system.
Early in my career, I was like most mechanical contractors trying to muscle my way through these leaks with power tools like Tim ‘The Tool Man’ Taylor on Tool Time. We would “arrrrrggghh” our way through using power tools like steam or an evaporative humidifier to add moisture.
What I learn as a Building Performance professional over the last 15 years or so of my career is that it takes finesse rather than muscle to balance the humidity level in a home.
I also learned more about the biology of our skin pores and how they act as our natural cooling system. We are more comfortable at warmer temperatures in the summer because we sweat. Our ability to sweat in the summer and not dry out in winter directly affects our comfort when indoors. Good indoor air quality contains enough humidity to keep us comfortable, but also not too much.
An opposite example of this extreme would be when visiting a very arid climate like Arizona. It is said to often be 100° in the shade, and you don’t even break a sweat. The truth is, your body is sweating but the air is so dry that it readily absorbs all the natural moisture of your body. Dry air readily is primed to absorb moisture. Just try to go without water in this environment and you will see how fast you feel faint.
A home that is properly sealed with humidity at an acceptable level will feel much more comfortable during the winter. This is because the body does not dry out so quickly. Balancing the home’s humidity level is our biggest challenge in the Northeast.
Clover Comfort Building Performance professionals are trained to find the heat bleed and stop the hemorrhaging. This is the effective way to maintain proper humidity levels and increase the indoor air quality of the home. Not only will you enjoy more comfort, the big bonus will be lower utility costs.