Along with temperature, humidity plays a huge role in how comfortable you feel and the air quality in your home. The humidity in your home can impact how easily insects live in your walls, whether mold can form in your AC and heating system, and how challenging allergy season will be.
Fortunately, HVAC systems are designed to address these concerns, as well as air filtering and purification. Depending on your budget, you will be able to choose from a variety of humidifier products, ranging from portable to whole home products.
When Should Humidifiers and Dehumidifiers Be Used?
Humidifiers help increase the humidity levels in the air by adding moisture to it. They are usually used during the winter when there is less moisture in the air as a result of heating systems that run all day. There are a number of reasons why you may want to use a humidifier in your home. For example, if you live in an area with low humidity levels during the winter, this can lead to dry skin and cracked lips. A humidifier can help by raising the humidity levels in your home so that your skin doesn’t dry out as quickly.
On the contrary, dehumidifiers remove excess humidity from the air by extracting moisture from it. They are usually used during the summer, when there is more moisture in the air as a result of AC systems operating all day. A dehumidifier is used when high humidity levels cause mold or mildew growth, making it difficult to breathe indoors, or when there is excessive moisture on surfaces like wood floors or furniture.
Do I Need a Humidifier and Dehumidifier?
During the spring and summer months in New Jersey and New York, humidity levels are at their peak, making it the optimal time to use a dehumidifier along with your air conditioning. While in the fall and winter months, furnace heat can dry out the air in your home. This is the best time to use a humidifier. But, not every home needs both a humidifier and a dehumidifier. Take a look at the checklists below to determine whether you need a humidifier, a dehumidifier, or both.
If you are experiencing any of these issues, it may be time to invest in a dehumidifier for your New Jersey or New York home:
- Black mold appears on utility surfaces
- Collection of condensation on windows or patio doors
- Mildew in your bathroom or kitchen
- Your allergies or asthma is worse
- You notice lingering musty or mildewy smells
- You have water or mold spots on the ceilings or walls
Humidifiers are essential to many households, especially due to the dry air in the winter months. Here are the top signs that you need a humidifier:
- Constant congestion
- Dry skin and cracked lips
- Dry throat
- Your wallpaper is peeling or hardwood floors are warped
- Increased allergies
HVAC Products to Help Control Humidity
While you have the option of purchasing portable humidifiers for certain rooms in your home, keep in mind that they will only help control the humidity in those rooms and not the entire house. Furthermore, portable humidifiers cost more to run and are less efficient in removing moisture from the air. Although HVAC humidity control solutions require an initial investment, they will help you save hundreds of dollars on your overall AC and heating costs.
Whole Home Humidifiers
If your home suffers from some or all of the issues mentioned above throughout the winter, you may want to consider investing in a whole home humidifier. The price varies, but you can buy them for as little as $600. Figure that the larger your home, the larger the humidifier needs to be, which will affect the overall cost. We suggest that you think about installing a whole home humidifier the next time you get your AC and heating replaced since you’ll be able to save money on labor costs.
Whole Home Dehumidifiers
If you live in a humid area such as New York or New Jersey, dehumidifiers will not only reduce allergies and mold but will provide you with comfort during the hottest months of the year. Whole home dehumidifiers usually cost around $2,000 to $3,000. You can purchase portable dehumidifiers, dehumidifiers that are ducted into your ductwork, or ones that are connected to your central AC and heating controls (the last option being the most expensive).
Variable-Speed HVAC Equipment
Is the upstairs floor in your home constantly warmer than the main floor? This tends to occur due to improper humidity control. Rather than running your AC unit all day, variable-speed HVAC equipment may be the best answer for you! Unlike one-stage and two-stage HVAC equipment, variable-speed HVAC equipment has more than three settings (low, high, and off). Variable-speed systems are not only more efficient, but they also offer excellent dehumidification while providing you with comfort throughout your home. Variable-speed systems typically run at lower speeds throughout the day, providing steady cooling, while using minimal electricity. This helps maintain a consistent temperature while constantly dehumidifying, resulting in a home with optimal temperature and humidity control.
Control Your Humidity and Comfort
As you can see, all of these products are beneficial; but you’ll want to figure out which product meets your needs best. If you’re seeing an HVAC specialist about AC and heating installation or replacement, we recommend asking about humidity control products and which ones would be right for you. Your base system may be enough, but if you have any areas of concern it doesn’t hurt to ask. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re always happy to help!