Allergies are a constant pain for many Jacksonville, Florida residents. If you suffer from allergies, you probably don’t have to leave your home to encounter triggers. Your indoor air is likely riddled with allergens and contaminants that leave you sniffling, sneezing, rubbing your eyes, and downright miserable. Fortunately, you can create a safe, healthy, and overall habitable living environment by simply having a dehumidifier installed. Read on to discover some of the outstanding benefits of whole-house dehumidification in Florida.
High Levels of Outdoor Humidity Create the Perfect Indoor Conditions for Mold
The ideal level of humidity for building interiors ranges between 30% and 50%. At this level, your living environment won’t be so dry that you’re left struggling with chapped lips or contending with nighttime nosebleeds. In Jacksonville, April, the least humid month of the year, sees humidity levels of at least 52%. In short, there’s always more moisture in the outdoor air than there should ever be inside your home. In summer, outside humidity can climb to 70% and beyond.
Your indoor air quality, health, and humidity are all affected by the outside moisture that finds its way into your home’s foundation, roof, and walls. Worse still, when outside temperatures drop, more of this moisture enters your actual living space. On cooler days, you might notice your walls “sweating” or find your windows covered in beads of condensation. Excess moisture in your indoor air paired with warm temperatures creates the ideal conditions for mold and mildew.
Installing a dehumidifier will create a drier, cleaner environment that’s less conducive to mold and mildew development. If you’ve been proactively battling patches of mold throughout the building, you’ll find that these efforts become both more effective and a lot easier with a whole-house dehumidifier.
Get Your Dust Mite Problem Under Control
Your itchy, watery eyes and runny nose could be caused by dust mites. According to the American Lung Association, indoor humidity is the biggest factor in determining whether homes have large populations of dust mites. These small, insect-like organisms thrive on damp fabrics and other wet, upholstered surfaces. Unlike other indoor allergens, you won’t find dust mites floating through the air, but you will encounter them every time you sit on your couch or favorite armchair, climb under your covers, or walk across your carpeting.
Rather than drinking water, dust mites absorb moisture through their bodies, directly from the air. Therefore, the wetter and muggier your home is, the more likely you are to struggle with these bothersome pests. Although all homes have dust mites to some degree, maintaining an overly humid home is an invitation for dust mites to proliferate.
Other Factors Contributing to High Levels of Indoor Humidity
Florida weather isn’t the only contributor to indoor humidity issues in most households. For instance, if you have a large family, you probably have lots of people taking long, hot baths or showers, or cooking food indoors. On a humid day, preparing a warm meal can add a considerable amount of moisture to air that’s already muggy and heavy. Running your clothes dryer and engaging in other moisture-generating activities will further compound your humidity problems.
Signs You Have an Overly Humid Home
If your allergies are worse when you’re inside your home rather than out and about, this is a good indication that your home is overly humid. Indoor allergies are more likely to be triggered by the mold, dust, dust mites, and mildew that are found inside buildings than they are by the triggers found outdoors. However, there are also visible indications of high indoor humidity. These include:
- Perpetually wet, sagging building materials
- Condensation-covered windows
- Rotting wood
- Heavy, oppressive air
High levels of humidity can even have a noticeable impact on your electronics. Laptops, tablets, mobile phones, and other devices won’t last as long as they’re expected to in a humid environment. If your electronics regularly malfunction or if there’s evidence of trapped moisture in these devices such as foggy, cloudy, moldy, or condensation-covered screens, having a whole-house dehumidifier installed is absolutely essential.
Addressing the Problem at Its Source
People who struggle with mold and dust mite allergies often spend veritable fortunes on bleach and other sanitizing agents. Some frequently wash and rewash their sheets and other bedding. Sadly, these efforts won’t provide lasting improvements when indoor air quality is low, and they may even add additional moisture to the air. Installing a whole-house dehumidifier is the best way to address the indoor triggers for your allergies at their source. A whole-house dehumidifier will keep your indoor humidity below 50% even when outside humidity soars.
For some consumers, installing whole-house dehumidification equipment additionally eliminates the need to rely heavily on over-the-counter allergy medications. By minimizing the allergens that trigger your allergy attacks, you may be able to alleviate your symptoms without having to contend with medication-related side effects like drowsiness, fatigue, or excitability.
Other Benefits of Having a Dehumidifier Installed
Installing whole-house dehumidification equipment will have a progressively positive impact on your indoor air quality (IAQ). With less moisture in the air, your living environment will feel noticeably cooler. High levels of humidity make homes feel warmer than they truly are. A dehumidifier will make it easier to establish cool, comfortable temperatures during the summer months, even when the outside air is hot and oppressive. More importantly, drier indoor air will limit the likelihood of mold and mildew development, gradually check dust mite populations, and support all of your other efforts to eliminate indoor allergens.
Over the long term, this important HVAC system addition will also protect and preserve your home investment. Establishing and maintaining balanced humidity will prevent issues like soft drywall, warped or bowed boards, and damaged window and door frames. Your home will smell better, your electronics will last longer, and your HVAC system will be subjected to a lot less stress.
Determining Which IAQ Technologies Are Right for Your Home
If your allergy symptoms are worse indoors than they are outside, your home is the most likely culprit. High levels of dust mites, mold, and mildew can wreak havoc on your sleep quality, your ability to breathe comfortably, and your overall life quality. However, with a comprehensive air quality assessment, you might discover that there are other triggers or environmental concerns at play.
Whole-house dehumidifiers are attached to HVAC air ducts. In regions like Jacksonville where humidity is naturally higher, they seamlessly support the ongoing dehumidification efforts of heating and cooling equipment. These units are but one of many integrated HVAC accessories that are designed to improve IAQs. There are also air scrubbers, media filters, air purifiers, and more. You can work with our team of seasoned HVAC technicians to determine which accessory or accessories will be best for your home.
We’re committed to helping residents of Jacksonville, FL live comfortably. We offer air conditioner, furnace, and heat pump installation, maintenance, and repairs. We also provide ductless mini-splits, zone control systems, energy audits, and advanced indoor air quality solutions. To find out more about having a whole-home dehumidifier installed or to schedule an appointment, call J&W Heating and Air now.