Tag Archives: humidity

How Your Skin is Affected by Air Conditioning

How Your Skin is Effected by Air ConditioningIt’s hard to argue with the comfort that your air conditioner provides, but there are some A/C effects that can irritate your skin as the A/C dries out the air. The ideal indoor humidity ranges between 30 and 50 percent. When it’s drier than 30 percent, the air starts to take a toll on your health. Since nature abhors a vacuum, it will start to take moisture from your skin to compensate.

Air conditioners dry out the air by condensing the water vapor in it. Whenever your system runs, cold refrigerant circulates through the evaporator coil inside the air handler. As the warm air from your home hits it, the moisture in the air condenses on the coil. At some point, the humidity may drop below 30 percent, at which time you may start to show the effects of dry indoor air.

Signs of Dry Skin

Itchy, chapped skin, or rashes indicate that the humidity is too low. You may also experience skin cracks on your hands and feet that can be painful and susceptible to infections. Skin moisturizers will help prevent your skin from becoming overly dry as long as you choose a product that doesn’t use perfumes or alcohol as ingredients.

Managing Dry Air

If you’ve experienced dry skin in years’ past when the A/C is running, consider using a hygrometer, which is an inexpensive device that measures humidity levels. When it starts to fall below 30 percent, take one or more of these steps to reduce the A/C effects on your skin.

  • Take shorter showers using cooler water. Hot water dries out the skin.
  • Use natural soaps that don’t strip the oils from your skin.
  • Shower immediately after swimming in a chlorinated pool.
  • Wear rubber gloves when cleaning the house or washing dishes.
  • Refrain from using the kitchen and bathroom fans to keep more humidity inside.

If you’d like more information about mitigating the A/C effects on your skin this summer, contact Powers Heating & Air, providing HVAC services for Peachtree City homeowners.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040. 

Sporting Equipment May Raise These IAQ Concerns

Sporting Equipment May Raise These IAQ ConcernsYour home gym gives you a convenient way to exercise and improve your health. To reap the full benefits, you likely took extra care choosing sporting equipment and make the effort to fit in regular workouts. Another priority should be the air quality of your exercise area, because of the adverse effects it can have on health.

Reasons for IAQ Concerns With Home Gyms

IAQ can be a serious issue in home gyms for two main reasons. First, these workout areas are often situated in seldom-used spots where air circulation may not be ideal – like a garage, basement or spare room. Second, during workouts, the body instinctively inhales deeply and more rapidly to draw in sufficient oxygen. When combined, these factors can amplify your exposure to unhealthy contaminants, pollutants and allergens like:

  • Mold and mildew growth that flourishes in warm, humid conditions.
  • Microscopic dust mites that live on shed skin cells.
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released by rubber equipment components and exercise mats, carpets, and stored items such as cleaning supplies, paints and solvents.
  • Gasoline fumes from equipment and vehicles.
  • Rodent, insect and other types of pest droppings.

How to Boost Your Exercise Room IAQ

If you have concerns about the air quality in your home gym, here are some strategies you can implement to improve it:

  • Wipe down the equipment and vacuum your workout area regularly to help control allergens and contaminants.
  • Invest in a dehumidifier if needed to keep mold and mildew growth in check.
  • Open nearby windows whenever possible to expel stale air and bring in fresher outdoor air.
  • To clear out airborne VOCs, bacteria, mold spores, dust mites and other contaminants year round, consider having an air cleaner unit added to your HVAC.
  • If your gym area is currently situated outside of your home’s conditioned living space, move it inside.
  • Keep your HVAC equipment and ductwork in good condition by scheduling semi-annual maintenance, and change the system’s air filter regularly to promote good air balance and circulation.

For help dealing with IAQ concerns in your Peachtree City home, contact us today at Powers Heating & Air.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040. 

How to Deal with Humidity Under Your House

How to Deal with Humidity Under Your HouseHumidity effects on your house range from structural issues, to health concerns, to just plain old uncomfortable living. But where’s the humidity coming from? The answer may be very close—like right beneath your feet.

 

The crawl space or basement of a house are often zones of high humidity. These enclosed spaces can form a reservoir of water vapor that continuously migrates upwards into living spaces. Infiltrating humidity, in turn, degrades wooden floor structure, triggers indoor mold growth and makes keeping the house comfortable more difficult in all seasons.

To control humidity effects originating beneath the house, check out these potential sources:

  • Pipes leaking. Drips and seepage from aging plumbing may be inconspicuous, but these water sources can keep a crawl space or basement continuously damp. This moisture turns into humidity that penetrates the house.
  • Bathroom issues. Fixtures may leak water from hidden defects, rotting the floor directly beneath and soaking the area under the house. A defective shower stall pan, enclosed beneath the stall, is a frequent suspect for covert bathroom leakage.
  • Overflowing gutters. If your gutters resemble Niagara Falls during heavy rain, they’re probably clogged due to leaves or other debris. The cascade of water saturates soil adjacent to the foundation or basement, causing chronic moisture in these areas that may raise household humidity.
  • Rising ground water. A naturally high water table in the soil beneath the house may continuously send water upwards through the soil and into the crawl space or infiltrate though cracks in the concrete basement floor.

Removing The Source

If leaky pipes are suspected, a professional plumber can pinpoint the problems and suggest options for repair. The same goes for diagnosing hidden leakage originating from a shower stall or bathtub drain. Cleaning gutters three times a year is good insurance against clogs that cause overflows. For ground water issues, a sump pump is recommended to continuously collect and remove infiltrating water. Ultimately, installation of a dehumidifier in the basement or crawl space may be required for long-term humidity control.

 

For more about dealing with humidity effects originating under your house, contact Powers Heating & Air.

 

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.

Bringing Home Baby: Do You Need a Humidifier or Dehumidifier?

Bringing Home Baby: Do You Need a Humidifier or Dehumidifier?If you’re the new parent of an infant, you may have many concerns about how to make your home as safe and as comfortable as possible for the new addition to your household. Perhaps you’ve fretted over just the right temperature for your newborn, or perhaps you’ve wondered about the right baby room humidity levels.

 

Fortunately, the humidity needs of a baby pretty much parallel those of an older child or adult. Read on and learn what you should know about humidity levels in the baby’s room, and in your home in general.

Ideal Relative Humidity

Most households should maintain a humidity level between 30 and 60 percent, according to research from the Environmental Protection Agency. In the summer, we may want conditions to be a little drier than 60 percent, however, as warm air holds moisture and the higher the humidity, the stickier we tend to feel. Drier air allows the perspiration on the skin to evaporate much more easily, so that our natural cooling mechanism helps us feel more comfortable. Otherwise, there’s a tendency to run for the thermostat and turn it way down to cool off. That’s a real waste of money, when by controlling humidity, you can run the air conditioner a few degrees higher.

Another reason to keep humidity lower in the home, particularly in the summertime, is to reduce mold growth. We can’t always see or smell mold, so to be safe, it’s best to control humidity before it takes hold by maintaining drier indoor air. Humans frequently develop allergies to mold, so it’s best to avoid breathing it whenever possible. And you certainly don’t want your baby breathing in potentially harmful mold spores.

Keeping Humidity on the Low Side

To keep humidity lower in your home, do the following:

  • Fix plumbing and ceiling leaks.
  • Install bathroom and kitchen exhaust ventilation.
  • Keep the A/C air filter changed and the evaporator coils clean.

If humidity is still too high in your home, look into installing a whole-house dehumidifier.

For more on baby room humidity, contact Powers Heating and Air of Peachtree City.

 

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.

Can Your HVAC Fight Back-to-School Germs?

Can Your HVAC Fight Back-to-School Germs?With cold and flu season just around the corner, it’s not too early to explore the idea of fighting germs with HVAC equipment. It is possible and it’s one of the easiest and most effective ways to lower transmission rates of bacterial and viral illnesses in your home. Upgraded filters, humidity control and UV (ultraviolet) lights all help to eliminate the spread of infectious diseases.

 

Air Filtration

Bacteria range in size from .3 to 60 microns and viruses from 0.005 – 0.3 microns. While most air filters for HVAC systems won’t capture the smallest particles, a whole-house air filtration system will, especially if it uses HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters.

Humidity Control

One of the reasons fall and winter are the cold and flu season is that the dry indoor air supports the transmission of infectious diseases. Overly dry air dries out the respiratory passages and makes them more vulnerable to infection from bacteria and viruses.

The germs also get a boost when the air dries out. When you keep indoor humidity between 30 and 50 percent during the fall and winter, they won’t multiply as quickly. A whole-house humidifier will maintain even levels effortlessly and efficiently.

UV Lights

Ultraviolet lights have a proven track record for fighting germs with HVAC. Whenever an organic molecule passes over a UV ray, its DNA is damaged and it can’t reproduce. UV lights are an affordable, simple and energy efficient way to tackle other air quality problems indoors. Besides eliminating germ proliferation, UV lights reduce mold infestations and the toxicity of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

 

UV lights fit inside the air handler and when pointed at the evaporator coil, will keep it free from mold and bacterial growth. The lights are also useful inside the ductwork to help clean indoor air. They need cleaning every six months and replacement every year to maintain full effectiveness.

 

Each of these approaches will help with fighting germs with HVAC systems. To learn more about using one or all of them, contact Powers Heating & Air providing trusted services for Peachtree City homeowners.

 

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.