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Humidity Control

floor protection hardwood hardwood maintenance humidity maintenance upkeep

How important is humidity control?  Not only is it beneficial to your health, it can make or break any decisions you have to make about the type of flooring you are going to be adding to your home.  Wood floors especially benefit from proper humidity control, so read on to find out more.
Humidity Control Benefits
  • Dry air is much more conducive to mites and other bacteria than humidity ranges of between 30% and 55%.  Not to mention, homes with low humidity levels (below 30%) have been associated with respiratory distress and illness.
  • Dry is not as efficient in holding warmth as humidified air-thermal inefficiency will make it feel colder
  • Without humidification, the environment will find moisture elsewhere.  The effect of pulling moisture out of the human body via a dry environment creates a phenomenon that cools the skin and makes it feel 3 to 5 degrees cooler-it generates the same effect as perspiration
  • Introducing whole-house humidification will lower your energy costs.  In many cases, being able to set the thermostat at a lower level basically pays for the upgrade in a few short years.  A good plumbing and heating company can provide more information.
  • Humidity control eliminates most static electricity, dry skin, and dry hair.
  • In some cases, the cost is less than $1000 to add humidification to existing HVAC equipment-in light of the benefits, it's worth considering.
  • Not only do your wood floors last longer with humidity control, cabinets, furniture, fabrics, leather, and books all last longer too!

Low Relative Humidity vs. High Relative Humidity

  • Wood benefits from humidity control because wood actually expands with increases in relative humidity (because it is actually absorbing moisture from the environment), and shrinks when the humidity levels drop.  A certain amount of change is manageable, but when it drops below 30% it becomes more of an issue.
  • With relative humidity above 55%, your air conditioning removes relative humidity from the air as part of the cooling process, so you might already have the equipment you need to remove high humidity in the summer

 

Note that all Vinyl products perform best in a 30% to 55% relative humidity environment as well.  These numbers are also just guidelines, and the reality varies depends on regional climate.  Don't be afraid to reach out to local experts for the perfect humidity levels for your region.

Typical heating and cooling of your home should be sufficient for controlling temperature.  To keep track of the humidity in your home, you can purchase a basic humidity and temperature monitor at any local big-box store (or online) for $10.  If you have a larger home, it wouldn't be a bad idea to purchase a few of these monitors in separate areas or different levels to help keep track.

The bottom line is simple: if you maintain the relative humidity in your home, you maintain your floors.

 



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