In our previous post on air filters, we talked about one of the essential factors for indoor air quality. Today, here’s some advice on the other two options to improve indoor air quality: humidity control and ultraviolet (UV) lights. We’ve seen three products to be useful in this realm, so here’s some more info!
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We, in our experience, haven’t ever seen a good use for humidifiers in Florida, except in the case of a winter stuffy nose. The lack of humidity can dry out your skin and mucous membranes. Low humidity also makes the air feel colder than it actually is. Excessively dry air can also dry out the wood in the walls and floors of your home or business. As this drying wood shrinks, it can cause creaks in floors and cracks in drywall and plaster.
Dehumidifiers, on the other hand, are more commonly used in Florida to improve indoor air quality. High humidity can usually leave one with that muggy, heavy feeling that fills the air. Often this occurs when it’s rainy, foggy, or hot outside (sounds like Florida!). Excessive humidity can make your hair frizzy and may seem to dampen everything, as well as allow spores to grow and wood in the home to swell, and … well, you get the idea.
When talking about relative humidity, an average home typically maintains from 30-55% humidity when the air conditioner is operating properly. An air conditioner in cool mode acts like a dehumidifier by condensing moisture on the coil and draining it outside. Increased dehumidification is offered on many new systems by pairing variable speed blowers with single or two-stage condensers. If your home is not maintaining a low comfortable living space, it may be an issue with the A/C system or a system being oversized for your home.
Another option for indoor air quality is an invisible form of electromagnetic radiation. That may sound scary, but UV light can be a great friend! UV light is not visible to the naked eye, but it can cause some substances to emit visible light. We call that visible light fluorescence. UV light, which is present in sunlight, can be beneficial to your health, as it stimulates the production of Vitamin D. It also kills many harmful microorganisms. UV light has many uses, and it can help keep your equipment and air safe from these microorganisms when put in an air handler. In addition, UV lights are an effective way to keep molds and spores from growing and increases the air quality of the whole home or business.