Can You Dehumidify Too Much?

As homeowners, we want to remain comfortable in our homes year-round, regardless of the weather outside. When it comes to controlling temperature, it is common knowledge that we turn to HVAC systems, but what about humidity levels? Often, the importance of proper indoor humidity levels goes overlooked, despite it being crucial to maintaining a healthy, comfortable environment. The indoor air quality experts at Novak Heating, Air, and Duct Cleaning explain why humidity control is important and what can happen if you dehumidify too much.

About Indoor Humidity

Let’s define humidity: it is the amount of water vapor present in the air. This can significantly affect our indoor air quality and comfort. High humidity levels can lead to several issues, including musty odors, mold growth, and even respiratory problems, such as allergies and asthma. Low humidity, on the other hand, can cause a range of issues, including dry air and static electricity.

It’s crucial to maintain ideal humidity levels throughout the year; a range of 30-50% is generally considered ideal. Anything above it is too humid, while anything below it is too dry. But what is the best way to fight humidity? While an air conditioner can help with humidity, a whole-house dehumidifier will probably be your best bet for managing the relative humidity around your entire home.

Symptoms of Too Much Humidity

When the air has a lot of excess moisture it causes high humidity levels. High humidity can lead to mold growth, which can result in taking over your home. Mold thrives in damp, humid conditions and can be found on walls, ceilings, inside closets, and even under carpets. It can cause health problems, including respiratory issues, skin irritations, and worsen allergy symptoms. When you turn on your air conditioner, it acts as a dehumidifier as the cold coils condense water from the air. If mold is present on coils, it too will circulate throughout the room.

While mold is one of the most visible symptoms of high humidity, other signs include condensation on windows, damp spots on walls or ceilings, feeling sticky indoors, unpleasant musty odors, and a clammy air feeling. Investing in a whole-house dehumidifier can prevent mold growth, eliminate musty odors, and reduce airborne allergens.

Symptoms of Dry Air

On the flip side, when the air is too dry, it can lead to skin irritations, dry sinuses, and noses, and even respiratory problems. Luckily, this issue is quite manageable with the right tools. A humidifier, installed on your HVAC system, can add moisture to the air when it gets too dry. Alternatively, standalone humidifiers can add moisture to specific rooms in your house.

While it may not seem essential, dry air can cause damage to your home’s wooden flooring, furnishings, and wallpaper. It can also agitate sinuses, cause static shocks, and dry skin. Investing in a humidifier to maintain a balanced humidity level and keep you comfortable. A humidifier is good to run in the winter when the air is dryer, and a humidifier is good to run in the summer to help combat the humidity outside.

If You Dehumidify Too Much, What Happens?

We know finding the right relative humidity level is key for a healthy household, but what happens when we invest in a dehumidifier without monitoring humidity levels closely? Leaving your dehumidifier on all the time can result in dehumidifying too much, leading to a dry indoor environment. It can cause dry air, leading to respiratory issues, dehydrated skin, and static electricity.

Combatting High and Low Humidity Levels

One important thing to keep in mind is that to combat humidity levels, your HVAC system, humidifier, and dehumidifier need to work seamlessly together. Your home’s HVAC system should be designed to remove excess humidity in humid months and maintain ideal humidity levels in dry months.

  • If you struggle with high humidity levels, it’s essential to do a few things: check your HVAC system’s fan settings, change your air filters regularly, repair leaky faucets, and fix any moisture issues. Investing in a whole-house dehumidifier can help you keep indoor moisture levels under control.
  • If you struggle with dry air in your home, invest in a humidifier. It will compensate for the lack of moisture, making your home more comfortable and healthier.

Get Help with Humidity Control Help From Novak

If you dehumidify too much in your home, we’re here to help! At Novak Heating & Air Conditioning, we’re experts in HVAC systems and indoor air quality products. Investing in a humidifier is a smart idea, not just for home comfort issues, but to help with the lifespan of your air conditioner as well. Air conditioners remove moisture from the air, but a humidifier can help, which reduces stress on your AC and can help it last longer. Talk to Novak to see if your home could benefit from a whole-house dehumidifier.

How Are Ductless Mini-Splits Connected?

You walk into a friend’s house, but instead of seeing vents on the floors and walls, you see these big long boxes. This box is a ductless mini-split. Houses that have ductless mini splits don’t need ductwork to cool or heat a space. Your friend may have indoor air handling units all over their house, but only one outdoor unit. You might be wondering how they’re all connected and how they can create comfortable temperatures in independent spaces. Novak answers all your ductless system questions in this blog.

What Is a Ductless Mini-Split System?

First, let’s define what a ductless mini-split system is. These systems consist of an outdoor heat pump unit and one or more indoor air handling units that distribute air throughout your home or business. Unlike traditional heating and cooling systems that rely on ductwork to deliver air, mini-split systems use air handlers directly installed in living spaces to deliver conditioned air.

Even though they provide air on demand given the temperature settings on each indoor air handling unit, they are all connected. The outdoor unit is connected to the indoor unit via a refrigerant line, a conduit containing electrical wiring and tubing. The outdoor heat pump unit houses the compressor and other key components, while the indoor unit contains the evaporator and air handler.

One of the great advantages of ductless mini-split systems is that they provide zoned heating and cooling. This means you can have individual temperature control in each room or zone where an indoor unit is installed. Each indoor unit has its own thermostat, allowing you to create customized temperature settings to meet your family’s or business’s needs.

Determining the Right Layout for Your Mini-Split System

Now, let’s talk about how to figure out the number of mini splits and heat pumps you would need to cover your entire home. It’s important to note that the number of indoor air handlers required will depend on your home’s size, layout, and insulation. A professional HVAC technician can help you determine how many mini-splits you’ll need to properly heat and cool your home.

As a general rule of thumb, each outdoor unit can support 4 to 6 indoor units, depending on the model. The cooling capacity of each indoor unit will depend on its BTU sizing, which means the amount of heating or cooling it can produce in one hour’s time. Your HVAC technician can also assist you in creating effective heating and cooling zones, as well as sizing indoor units to the proper capacity.

When it comes to choosing a ductless mini-split system, there are a few things to consider. First, you’ll need to decide between a single-zone or multi-zone system. Single-zone systems are ideal for smaller homes or businesses with a single space to cool or heat. Many people opt for these systems in newly finished spaces like basements, attics, or sunrooms. However, some people use them for areas separate from the rest of their HVAC systems like garages, guest houses, workshops, or new additions. Multi-zone systems, on the other hand, are more suitable for larger homes or businesses with multiple rooms or zones to control.

Next, you’ll need to choose the right size and type of heat pump for your system. A heat pump provides the heating and cooling functions of the unit. It’s important to choose a heat pump that is appropriately sized for your system. Too small of a heat pump won’t adequately cool your home, while too large of a heat pump will short cycle and be inefficient.

Ductless Mini-Split Installation in Cedar Rapids, IA

Ductless mini-split systems are a great option for those looking for efficient and customizable heating and cooling in their homes or businesses. By minimizing energy loss through ductwork, mini-split systems can save you money on your energy bills and improve your indoor air quality. If you’re considering a ductless mini-split installation, contact Novak Heating & Air Conditioning today to schedule a consultation with one of our expert technicians.