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Humidity Imbalances

Humid air is not good for your family’s health—or comfort. Air that’s too dry causes problems, too.

A Healthy Climate® humidifier or dehumidifier brings balance to your home. They work with your central heating and cooling system to keep humidity at a comfortable level, usually between 30% and 50%. Because they’re whole-home systems, versus portable units, they control moisture in every room, and minimal maintenance is required.

Q: A pediatrician suggested a tabletop humidifier for my baby’s room. How does that compare to a whole-home humidifier? 

A: Some viruses can grow more easily in dry air, so running a humidifier can help young children from becoming sick. One problem with tabletop, or portable, humidifiers is that they can require frequent maintenance. If the water isn't changed enough, bacteria can build up in the reservoirs. Also, since they are electrical appliances, you have to be careful about leaving the devices unplugged when they're not in use. Warm humidifiers, in particular, pose a safety risk because they can cause burns.

Healthy Climate® Power Humidifiers and Healthy Climate® Bypass Humidifiers, are whole-home systems, and that means they attach to your furnace or air handler and add moisture as needed to the air throughout your entire home, rather than just one room. They're also an easier and less intrusive option than portable units, since there's no need to clean and fill the unit on a constant basis.

Q: What are some signs of humidity problems in the home? 

A: Frequent allergies or respiratory problems can be a sign of a humidity imbalance. If humidity levels are too low, you’re likely to have dry, itchy skin and experience static shocks. Items in your home can also give you clues: Check windows and sliding glass doors for excessive condensation and look for moisture spots or cracks on walls.

Q: What causes high humidity in a house? 

A: If you live a coastal or warm-weather region with high humidity, the outside air can impact your indoor environment. Regardless of a home’s location, the basement is prone to dampness because it is underground. Showering, dishwashing and many everyday activities can also contribute to high humidity, particularly if you have a large family.

Q: How does excessive humidity affect my home comfort and health? 

A: Indoor air that’s too damp feels sticky on the skin, and requires more heating or cooling to feel comfortable. Excessively moist air can also serve as a breeding ground for dust mites, mold, mildew and fungus, and it can ruin furniture, books, clothes and leather items.

Q: How does overly dry air affect my home comfort and health? 

A: Indoor air that’s too dry can leave skin feeling itchy and dried out. Overly dry air can also increase static electricity, create cracks in furniture and leather, shrink wood floors and furnishings, and cause breathing difficulty or even nosebleeds. When nasal passages dry out, the body can become more vulnerable to respiratory viruses.

Q: Will a Healthy Climate humidity-control solution work with my existing heating and cooling system? 

A: Yes! The Humiditrol® whole-home dehumidification system is optimized for use with Lennox® equipment, but all other Healthy Climate dehumidifiers and humidifiers are designed to work with most major brands of home furnaces or air handlers.

Q: Can indoor air humidity levels have an impact on my energy bills? 

A: When your air has too much moisture, your home may feel warmer than it actually is. Therefore, by removing excess moisture, you can set your thermostat at a higher temperature and still feel comfortable. That means savings for you, because for every two degrees you raise your indoor temperature during the summer, you can save between 5% and 7% on your cooling bill.*

*Source: U.S. Department of Energy.

Q: What causes low humidity in a house? 

A: Indoor air tends to get dry when there are low humidity levels outside. Combined with cooler weather, heaters can also dry out the air inside your house.

Q: Can indoor air humidity affect asthma and other respiratory ailments? 

A: Yes. By fostering the growth of mold, mildew, dust mites and other common irritants, humid air can aggravate many breathing difficulties, including asthma and allergies. Exposure to dry air can also be an asthma trigger in some individuals.
© 2014 Lennox International Inc.