Reduce humidity, increase home comfort

It’s not just a lower indoor air temperature that helps us feel comfortable inside our air-conditioned homes on a sweltering summer day. The humidity matters too. How to control both? Luckily air conditions do double duty as they cool the air plus remove excess humidity. A summertime level of 45 percent humidity is ideal. Too much humidity, and mold can start developing, and too little leads to dry skin and other problems.

Newer air-conditioning systems may include humidistats, to allow easy control of the temperature and humidity. Some homeowners also invest in dedicated humidifiers, which supplement the entire heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system to keep humidity levels balanced year-round.

Whole-house humidifiers help draw out more heat and humidity from the air in the summer, which keeps the home cool without excessive pressure on the AC unit.

“A whole-house humidifier keeps your home at a consistent and healthy humidity level. It’s also easier to maintain than stand-alone humidity control appliances,” explains Tom Eppers, co-owner, Dowe & Wagner, an HVAC company serving residential and commercial customers in Illinois and Wisconsin.

Eppers adds that whole-house humidifiers cost about $500, and share the existing HVAC ductwork. The only annual maintenance is changing an air panel.

Indoor air quality is improved with optimum humidity control. Odors are stronger in humid air, since the air’s extra water molecules spread the offending smells. Monitoring humidity also minimizes mold growth, dust mites, and mustiness.

Other ways to reduce summertime humidity and indoor moisture include proper room ventilation by opening windows and running fans. Experts say that just moving the air with a fan removes moisture through evaporation. Operating bathroom exhaust fans after showering and bathing can also rid extra humidity.

Dowe & Wagner : 11215 Commercial Street, Richmond, IL 60071 : 815.678.3000 :