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Control humidity to boost home comfort, air quality

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While April showers bring May flowers, May showers are bringing much humidity into the atmosphere, which infiltrates our homes. With hot weather coming, proper humidity control will increase home comfort and boost air quality.

Hot air holds more moisture than cold air, so reducing the humidity can help reduce frizzy hair, achy joints, and strong odors (since the extra water molecules spread those offending particles). Humid air feels hotter, too.

Tell-tale signs of excessive indoor humidity include fogging and condensation droplets on windows, and mold growth on walls and ceilings. Excessive moisture can eventually penetrate walls and insulation, leading to rotting woodwork.

To supplement an air conditioner, which cools and de-humidifies the air, some homeowners add a whole-house humidifier.

Tom Eppers, co-owner, Dowe & Wagner, a heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) company serving residential and commercial customers in Illinois and Wisconsin, explains, “A whole-house humidifier keeps your home at a consistent and healthy humidity level. It’s also easier to maintain than stand-alone humidity control appliances.”

Eppers says that whole-house humidifiers cost about $500, and share the existing HVAC ductwork. The only annual maintenance is changing an air panel. Controlling humidity also controls in-home air quality, plus minimizes mold growth, dust mite proliferation, and mustiness.

Other ways to reduce summertime humidity and indoor moisture include proper room ventilation, through opening windows and running fans. Experts say that just moving the air with a fan removes moisture through evaporation. Operating bathroom exhaust fans after showering and bathing can rid extra humidity, too

In the winter when cold dry air needs moisture, whole-house humidifiers raise humidity levels to keep the home comfortable year-round. Cold dry air needs to be humidified to avoid itchy eyes, dry skin, static electricity, nosebleeds, and creaking floorboards.

Dowe & Wagner : 11215 Commercial Street, Richmond, IL 60071 : 815.678.3000 : http://doweandwagner.com/

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