Lower Humidity, Increase Comfort
In Southern Ontario we are all too familiar with humidity at this time of year. Did you know that humidity is the second contributing factor to your home comfort? Indoor humidity levels should stay between 30-50% for ideal comfort. Having a high level of humidity can affect the ‘felt temperature’ by as much as 8 degrees(1).
Why is humidity bad for indoor environments?
Having high levels of indoor humidity can cause the following to happen:
- Encourages the growth of mold, mildew and other bacteria
- Contributes to sleep problems
- Wood swells and doors stick
- Stains the ceiling and can cause paint and wallpaper to peel
- Speeds up the rust and oxidization process
- Causes your hair to frizz – while this is not a major concern for most, for some this is a disaster!
How to deal with humidity
There are multiple ways to combat humidity and stay comfortable this summer. The conventional route is exploring the two products that focus on maintaining optimum humidity levels:
- Humidifiers and dehumidifiers
- Heat recovery ventilators (HRVs) and energy recovery ventilators (ERVs)
Most people are familiar with humidifiers and dehumidifiers. They have been around for quite a while and focus on adding or removing moisture in the air to maintain a healthy and comfortable environment. The newest product lines are the HRVs and ERVs. They are becoming the new industry standard and a requirement in new home construction. Homes are built to be more energy efficient, but that also lends to humidity problems. The more air-tight your home is, the less air that is exchanged and increases humidity levels. To learn more about the differences between HRVs and ERVs check out our FAQ page here.
There are also natural ways to deal with humidity levels. A full list of options can be found here.
Having the correct indoor humidity levels in the summer will allow you to set your thermostat a few degrees higher without compromising comfort. This will help save energy and keep your energy bill more cost effective.