Ocean breezes can provide some relief from the humid summer weather around Long Island. Your air conditioner can also help by removing a certain amount of moisture from indoor air. However, it only does so as a byproduct of cooling your home, and isn’t designed to handle high levels of humidity. For that, you might need a dehumidification system.
Relative humidity is most comfortable between 30 percent and 50 percent. Too much higher, an overly humid living space is uncomfortable and can create an environment ripe for mold, mildew and other microorganisms. Add to that the damage moisture can cause to your furniture and the construction materials in your house, and suddenly humidity becomes more than an inconvenience.
Whole-house dehumidification systems can be installed to work with your existing HVAC equipment and ductwork. As air moves through the system, it passes over a network of cold coils. Condensation forms on the coils, just as it does on a bottle taken out of the refrigerator on a warm day. The water drips into a collection tank and is then pumped outside your home.
Dehumidification systems have been shown to remove moisture at the rate of over 10 gallons a day. But would your home benefit from one? To determine whether excess moisture is a real problem in your home, look for one or more of the following signs:
- Condensation on pipes, windows or sills.
- A muggy feeling in certain rooms or throughout the house.
- Musty smells in certain rooms or coming from ductwork.
- Water stains on ceilings or walls.
- Wallpaper or paint that is peeling or chipping.
- Warped furniture.
Because high humidity can contribute to mold and bacteria growth, it reduces indoor air quality. It can also contribute to health problems such as respiratory problems, allergic reactions, skin irritations and chronic lethargy. If any members of your household are experiencing ongoing, hard-to-explain health problems, mold could be the culprit.
Whole-house dehumidification systems are more powerful than small portable models, and they are usually long-lived, requiring little maintenance. Call T.F. O’Brien Cooling & Heating if you have more questions.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about whole house dehumidification systems and other HVAC topics, click here to download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.