Humidity - Blog Posts by Tag

Heat and Humidity: Finding the Balance in Your House

Heat and Humidity: Finding the Balance in Your HouseCooler temperatures during the winter months mean that the heating system in your San Diego home stays busy. While this helps you stay warm, it can lead to uncomfortable indoor humidity levels. Find out how to keep your home heated while also preventing it from becoming too dry due to low humidity.

Problems with Low Levels

When the air inside your home becomes too dry, it can cause a number of issues. You might experience more respiratory problems or end up with skin that cracks from excess dryness. Low levels can also affect your belongings. When indoor air is too dry, wood floors, leather furniture, and other materials can develop cracks.

Problems with High Levels

While it’s crucial to prevent air from becoming too dry in your home during winter, making it too humid can also lead to trouble. High levels can promote the growth of mold and mildew, which increases your risk of having health problems, especially if you have an underlying respiratory condition, such as asthma. Mold and mildew can also damage your home.

Balancing Humidity Levels

You can maintain comfortable humidity levels in your home with the help of a humidifier. These devices add or remove moisture inside your home as needed, which prevents indoor air from becoming too dry or too moist.

  • Portable humidifiers can be moved to areas that need more moisture in winter, but keep in mind that you might need to invest in more than one if you have multiple parts of your home that are too dry. You also have to be careful to keep it clean and change the water in it regularly to prevent mold growth.
  • Whole-house humidifiers are installed inside homes in order to control humidity levels. These systems draw on plumbing to add moisture, so you don’t have to worry about changing or adding water to them. A whole-house humidifier is a good option if your entire home gets too dry in the winter months.

If you need more information on humidifiers for your San Diego home, please contact Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Diego and San Marcos, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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5 Ways Excess Humidity Can Damage Your San Diego Home

5 Ways Excess Humidity Can Damage Your San Diego HomeIn addition to the discomfort it can cause, excess humidity can also wreak havoc on your health and home. Here are five ways humidity damage can occur, and the steps you can take to prevent it from happening:

Trouble Below

Basements and crawlspaces are notoriously damp and are often humid, cool and dark. This, combined with moisture from the ground, can lead to condensation on walls, floors and other surfaces, leading ultimately to mold and mildew issues. Steps should be taken to minimize humidity levels, including:

  • Opening foundation vents to let it remain dry.
  • Keeping basement doors and windows closed on humid days.
  • Insulating basement walls using rigid foam insulation.
  • Using a professionally installed whole-house dehumidifier to remove excess moisture.
  • Installing a solid, thick moisture barrier in crawlspaces.

Flooring Issues

Carpeting and even hard flooring is susceptible to mold if excess humidity is present. Signs of excess humidity may include a musty smell, as well as damp carpeting and padding. A correctly sized and professionally installed air conditioning system can help control humidity levels, while keeping your home cool and comfortable.

Attic Concerns

Ventilation is the key to preventing moisture buildup in your attic space. A solar or electric powered fan can help create air movement to keep your attic cool and dry.

Wall Trouble

Walls may become spongy, and paint may bubble and peel if moisture pockets form within your walls as a result of excessively humid conditions. Sealing leaks around doors, windows, baseboards and wall outlets can help, as can beefing up wall insulation levels.

Storage Problems

Consistently high humidity levels can take their toll on stored items, such as food and clothing. Canned items may become rusty or leak, and dry foods may attract moisture and become stale. Allow air to circulate in closets by leaving doors open, removing unwanted items and leaving space between clothes. You can also store food in an air conditioned space.

For more information on the hazards of excess humidity, call the experts at Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. We proudly serve homeowners in San Diego and the surrounding areas.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Diego and San Marcos, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Flat-Design/Shutterstock”

Get Rid of Dust Mites in Your Vista Home Once and For All

Get Rid of Dust Mites in Your Vista Home Once and For AllIf members of your household suffer from allergies, an unchecked dust mite population may be contributing to their misery. Symptoms of dust mite sensitivity can include itchy, watery eyes, a runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, eczema, asthma and other respiratory problems. You can’t see these microscopic, spider-like creatures, but there are likely millions of them residing in your carpets, upholstery and bedding.

Here are a number of ways to get dust mites under control in your home:

Monitor Humidity Levels

Dust mites don’t drink. Instead, they absorb moisture directly from the air. When it’s warm and humidity is above 70 percent, their reproduction rate skyrockets. Using a dehumidifier to maintain humidity below 50 percent is one of the best ways to keep their numbers down.

Clean With Hot Water and Steam

Dust mites live on shed skin fragments and dander, which tends to collect in fabrics and textiles. Hot water and steam can kill these eight-legged pests, so launder your washable bedding once a week in 130 to 140 degree water. Use a steam cleaner on carpets, mattresses, furnishings and soft goods that aren’t washable, such as decorative pillows, throw rugs, stuffed toys, curtains and upholstered furniture.

Dust and Vacuum Regularly

Common household dust contains dust mite droppings and body parts, which can trigger allergic reactions. To keep this in check, wet dust the surfaces in your home regularly. Avoid using a dry cloth since this simply sends dust particles airborne. Vacuum frequently with a machine that has a HEPA filter or a double-layered microfilter bag.

Purify the Air

When it’s airborne, dust mite debris recirculates through your HVAC ductwork five to seven times each day. Installing a whole-house air scrubber is an effective way to filter out this allergy trigger. These units work in tandem with your HVAC equipment to rid your home of all types of allergens, chemicals and other unhealthy contaminants, improving indoor air quality.

To learn more effective ways to get rid of dust mites in your San Diego area home, please contact Sherlock Heating and Air Conditioning today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the South Bay Peninsula and Santa Cruz areas of California about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Tania-A/Shutterstock”

A/C Overwhelmed by Humidity? Here’s What to Do

A/C Overwhelmed by Humidity? Here's What to DoIt can be a real struggle to keep comfortable in California when the humidity spikes. Humidity makes air feel warmer without changing the actual temperature, which is what leads to those sticky days that make you argue with the thermostat. In addition to discomfort, excess humidity can also cause damage to your home and its surfaces over time, so it’s best to keep the humidity level indoors somewhere between 30% to 50%. An air conditioner automatically takes some humidity out of the air as it operates, so here are on tips on how you can get the most out of an A/C overwhelmed by humidity.

  • Make sure the fan is set to automatic. If the fan keeps blowing while the compressor is off, it can blow moisture back into the room from the wet compressor coils, giving the A/C even more humidity to overcome when it turns back on.
  • Use the exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen to make sure any excess moisture from cooking or showering is vented outside and not into your home.
  • Make sure your dryer is properly vented to the outdoors, so its heat and moisture is not accumulating in your home.
  • If it’s time to replace the A/C, think about getting one that has a two-stage compressor to allow greater humidity control.
  • Shut the house up tight and make sure you don’t have air leaks in your home that are allowing humid air back in. This usually happens around windows and doors and can be fixed with weatherstripping, or caulk.
  • Start the A/C early in the morning, so it has more time to take moisture out of the air before the hotter parts of the day put more strain on its cooling capabilities.
  • If you’ve tried all of the above, and it’s still not helping, consider getting a separate whole-house dehumidifier. It is specifically designed to take care of humidity, but will need to be used in tandem with a cooling solution.

For more information on how to help an A/C overwhelmed by humidity, contact Sherlock Heating and Air Conditioning, a locally owned business.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Diego and San Marcos, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “iQoncept/Shutterstock”