Residents of Riverside want to feel comfortable in their homes. At Sheldon's Heating & Air Conditioning, we know there is more to your in-home climate than temperature. Indoor air quality factors, like impurities and humidity, directly affect comfort. When the moisture in your indoor air is not quite right, it can make your home a difficult place to enjoy.

Why Home Humidity Is an Issue

Water vapor is a natural component of the air. However, the moisture level outdoors changes with weather systems and the seasons. Summer is generally more humid than other seasons. Cooler temperatures keep things dry in the winter.

Consistent humidity levels provide the most comfort for people, with the ideal setting at 40% to 60%. The air feels heavy and damp when the relative humidity is higher than this level. Lower moisture results in a dry environment where it is difficult to feel at ease.

Without regulation, your home tends to follow the patterns of the outdoor climate, periodically compromising comfort. Thankfully, Sheldon's Heating & Air Conditioning can provide solutions to maintain the proper moisture level.

Dealing With Low Humidity Issues

Dry air wants to absorb moisture, so it draws it out of any available source. Clothes on a drying rack will be ready to wear sooner in a low-moisture environment. However, this effect is less helpful when it impacts your health and well-being. Low-humidity homes often need assistance in increasing moisture levels.

Household Signs of Low Humidity

Low humidity can affect anything that contains moisture. When the atmosphere is too dry, wood becomes brittle and can warp and split. Wooden instruments like pianos and guitars will come out of tune more quickly. Wooden furniture may develop cracks or have gaps at joints where the wood would be shrinking.

Static electricity builds up quickly in dry conditions, so you may notice that you and your family members receive shocks more frequently. While these jolts do not pose much risk, they can be an unpleasant surprise every time you reach for a doorknob.

Physical Symptoms of Low Moisture

Water comprises a good portion of your body, so people, pets and plants are natural sources of moisture. The low humidity will draw out moisture, resulting in several unpleasant symptoms.

Dry Skin

Dry, itchy skin is a chronic problem in periods of low humidity. Dry, dead skin cells irritate the skin, causing frequent itching. Scratching rarely brings relief because of the chronic nature of the problem. The discomfort often affects sleep patterns, making you fatigued during the day.

The dry conditions also affect areas of your body that are typically moist like your lips and nose. You may have chapped or cracked lips. Nose bleeds can also be a problem for some people.

If you have pets, you will notice more dander in their fur and on the floor. These skin flakes are not harmful but can trigger allergies in sensitive people. Family members who are mildly allergic may experience symptoms due to the increased dander volume.

Itchy Eyes

Your eyes contain a great deal of moisture, making them susceptible to the effects of low humidity. Dry eyes are often irritated and itchy. They may become fatigued when reading or working at a computer screen. As your body seeks to relieve the discomfort, you may experience more frequent tears.

Sore Throat

In low humidity, many people wake up with sore, scratchy throats. You release water vapor every time you exhale. Because the air outside your body is dry, it tends to dry out your throat and mouth. While a drink of cold water can provide some relief, your uncomfortable throat is a sure sign of low moisture.

Benefits of a Whole-House Humidifier

In a low-moisture environment, Sheldon's Heating & Air Conditioning recommends installing a whole-house humidifier. This device attaches to your current heating and cooling ductwork. When air travels through the system, the humidifier releases moisture to create a more comfortable home environment. Homeowners can easily adjust the settings to maintain an ideal climate.

Many people deal with dry conditions by placing individual humidifier units in rooms around their homes. While this can be a temporary fix, it is not ideal. This practice leads to uneven humidity zones that can exacerbate environmental problems. A whole-home solution keeps the entire building’s humidity at a uniform setting.

Addressing High-Moisture Homes

High humidity poses a different set of problems for homeowners. When moisture levels are too high, it encourages the growth of unpleasant organisms, like dust mites, mold and mildew. These colonies can damage your home and have severe effects on your health.

Signs of High Humidity

When the air is heavy with moisture, one of the first signs of a problem is condensation around windows. Just as water condenses on a cold glass on a warm day, droplets form on these surfaces due to different temperatures. If the water droplets are inside your house, it points to a high moisture level.

This dampness can affect more than glass surfaces. High moisture makes wood swell, so you may have trouble opening and closing doors and drawers. Water vapor can infiltrate painted surfaces, causing blisters and watermarks.

Physical Symptoms of a High-Moisture Environment

When the atmosphere is too humid, it is challenging to feel comfortable. The growth of microorganisms in moist conditions can also affect your health.

Trouble Sleeping

Sweat is part of your body’s natural cooling system. When there is too much moisture in the air, the sweat cannot evaporate, so this cooling process cannot function properly. Excess moisture on your skin makes you feel damp and sticky.

This discomfort hurts sleep patterns. It is difficult to find the right combination of sheets and blankets. You switch from being too hot to too cold, resulting in disrupted sleep and daytime fatigue.

Allergy Symptoms

High humidity creates ideal conditions for the growth of mold and mildew. As these colonies form and grow in damp areas, they send spores into the atmosphere. These impurities can trigger allergy symptoms in sensitive people, resulting in chronic cold symptoms, like a runny nose, coughing and headaches. If these symptoms disappear when the individual travels to another location, it is a sign of an environmental problem.

Humidity also encourages the growth of dust mite colonies. These pests find a home in ductwork and other dusty areas. Their shed skin and waste are another source of allergy symptoms.

Benefits of a Home Dehumidifier

When excess humidity is the problem, a whole-home dehumidifier is the professional solution. We recommend installing this device in your current HVAC equipment. As humid air travels through the system, water condenses on a cooled coil in the device. By removing moisture before it travels through your vents, you will experience enhanced home comfort.

Your Partner For a Comfortable Home

Sheldon's Heating & Air Conditioning helps Riverside residents and businesses enjoy consistent comfort throughout the year. We are the go-to resource for all your heating, cooling and plumbing concerns. In addition to home humidity solutions, our team offers advanced indoor air quality products, like air filters, cleaners and purifiers. If you are ready for a new level of home comfort, contact Sheldon's Heating & Air Conditioning today.

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