Oregon generally has a pleasant summer lacking in humidity, unlike many other places in the United States. However, Portland and western Oregon residents often have to contend with high indoor-humidity levels during the rainy season. Sometimes you can address these indoor moisture levels effectively by fixing structural problems and controlling indoor moisture causes.
But when you’ve done everything recommended to fix your structures or you can’t do anything further to your home structurally, then it’s time to look at dehumidification systems to help maintain a safe and comfortable home environment.
Why is indoor humidity a concern? A comfortable indoor relative humidity level ranges anywhere from 30 to 50 percent. Over 50 percent relative indoor humidity, however, can lead to problems such as mold, mildew, large dust mite populations, and moisture damage to your home. Unchecked, these problems can cause health problems such as allergies and asthma as well as structural damage. Dust mites enjoy relative humidity levels over 50 percent, and mold and mildew grow quite well in a combination of 70 percent indoor relative humidity and 40-plus degree temperatures, according some experts.
How do you know if you have a moisture problem that might be solved by using a dehumidification system? Here are some things to look for:
- Lingering household odors that last a day or more
- Weepiness, frost or ice on the inside of your windows
- Discoloration from mold or mildew on walls
- Sweaty pipes and fixtures
- Muggy feeling
Dehumidification systems operate by cooling air from inside the house to extract the water from it, then reheating the drier air before pumping it back out into the house. The moisture extracted from the air is collected in a reservoir and dumped either automatically or manually, depending upon the dehumidification system model that you purchase. Air conditioners operate like dehumidifiers, except that they don’t reheat the air. And it’s unlikely you’d want to use your A/C unit in the wintertime to manage winter humidity!
So if your home is starting to resemble the rain forest, perhaps it’s time to consider a dehumidification system to manage that dampness. Contact the experts at Roth Heating & Cooling, Plumbing & Electrical for more information.