Humidifiers and dehumidifiers each play a role in sustaining optimum levels of important air quality in your home. The ideal indoor humidity range for your home is between 40% and 60%, in both summer and winter. How do decide when to use which?
It is best to incorporate a humidifier during both the winter months and summer months or when your home hygrometer reads below 40% and a dehumidifier when its greater than 60%.
When do you generally need a humidifier?
The dry air of the Wisconsin winter months dehydrates your outer and inner body as well as your home. Most people crank the heat to stay comfortable throughout the winter, but it has a fatal flaw: it is really, really dry! That’s why your lips are chapped, your skin needs more lotion, and your hair needs more moisture.
Indoor humidity levels usually drop down to the low 20’s and high teens during the winter months. To restore the moisture to your home air, you need to incorporate a humidifier into your routine. Setting up a humidifier is your best bet for improving indoor air quality and your breathing, says pulmonologist Kathrin Nicolacakis, MD.
“When the air is dry, your respiratory system just isn’t happy. Even if you have no medical problems at all, you can suffer,” she says. “Your skin and nasal passages get dry – all the way down to your lungs. You can wake up with a dry mouth and start coughing for no reason.”
Using them in sleeping rooms at night will help everyone, especially babies, sleep more comfortably with higher moisture in the air. Using a humidifier can help abate colds and the flu or lessen their impact on your body, will help your body feel more nourished inside and out and help you get REM sleep – the deep sleep we all need.
When deciding on the best kind of equipment for your home, Latitude.43 can help you decide if a central humidifier, built directly into your home’s air conditioning, is your most effective choice.
When should you use a dehumidifier?
During the summer, having too much Wisconsin humidity can contribute, ironically, to your body’s dehydration. For example, if your thermometer reads 88° F, but if the relative humidity is 75 percent, it will feel like 103° F. At 103° F, your body is working on overdrive to cool you down and maintain an ideal body temperature of around 98.6° F. When temperatures are high to begin with, a slight increase in humidity can have a profound impact on how overheated you feel.
A significant number of people have increased sleep disturbances as well as their bodies attempt to adjust between cooling off from sweating and then increasing temperature to warm back up. These disturbances prevent you from getting enough REM sleep. Too much humidity also contributes to increased risk of infections, skin diseases like eczema, asthma, and allergies.