indoor humidity


5 Home Dehumidifier Benefits

The air in your Broken Arrow home can get awfully sticky in times of high rainfall, particularly in the summertime when it's warm. Whenever the humidity climbs above 50-55 percent you may find yourself wishing there was a way to keep it under control.

It's always a good idea to check your home for moisture leaks in the roof and in the plumbing, and to make sure your air filter is regularly changed so that the HVAC system does a good job of removing moisture from the air. But what if your home remains too humid? A dehumidifier can be the answer.

Read on to find out more about dehumidifier benefits.

1. Prevents mold, mildew and fungus.

Whenever relative humidity is more than 50 percent, you have a greater chance of developing mold, mildew and fungus in your home. These organisms reproduce by means of spores and can spread rapidly, destroying drywall, wood and fabrics. Mold, mildew and fungus are also the source of unpleasant odors.

2. Makes home's occupants feel more comfortable.

Warmer air holds more moisture than cool air, so that in the summer, a home's occupants may feel uncomfortable as the relative humidity climbs. A dehumidifier can dry the air out sufficiently that the occupants feel cooler.

3. Saves money on air conditioning utility bills.

The dryer the air, the cooler a home's occupants will feel, and the less likely they will be to turn down the air conditioner thermostat to a cooler temperature. By using a dehumidifier, you keep the humidity levels down and the home's occupants are more content at higher temperatures. Also, the wetter the air, the harder the A/C has to work to dehumidify the return air. A dehumidifier helps the A/C do its job, so that you use less energy.

4. Reduces the presence of dust mites.

Dust mites flourish in humid settings. By reducing humidity, you can make conditions less hospitable for these microscopic creatures, which are the source of allergic reactions.

To start reaping dehumidifier benefits in your home, contact Air Assurance. We serve Broken Arrow and the surrounding area.


Can Indoor Humidity Affect Your Energy Bills?

Can Indoor Humidity Affect Your Energy Bills?

The level of indoor humidity in your home makes a big difference in your comfort and it will affect your energy bills. Humidity drives the “feels like" temperature, which is how your body perceives it versus the actual temperature as measured on a thermometer. The amount of water vapor in the air makes people feel warmer or cooler, regardless of the temperature.Humans use evaporation to cool their bodies and when there’s less humidity in the air, water evaporates faster. When the humidity is higher, evaporation occurs more slowly. You’re much more likely to be comfortable on a hot day with low humidity compared to a warm day with high humidity.

Managing Humidity in the Home

Ideal indoor humidity levels range between 30 and 50 percent year-round. The most efficient way to manage humidity includes central humidifiers and dehumidifiers. They attach to the air handler and will either increase or lower water vapor levels.Both operate automatically using humidistats, similar to thermostats, to keep humidity levels comfortable and healthy throughout the home. These systems require little maintenance and use less energy than using portable humidifiers or dehumidifiers.You can also achieve lower humidity in the summer by:

  • Using kitchen and bathroom ventilation fans to remove excess water vapor.

  • Running ceiling fans to increase comfort by evaporating skin moisture faster, although they won’t change the air temperature.

  • Verifying the clothes dryer vents outdoors.

  • Using dehumidifiers in unconditioned basements.

Increase humidity in the winter by avoiding the use of the kitchen and bathroom fans and supplementing it with indoor plants, simmering water on the stove, or using portable humidifiers or vaporizers.

The Benefits

The primary benefits of managing humidity levels are greater health and comfort along with lower cooling and heating bills. In the summer, lowering the level reduces cooling costs and in the winter, increasing it trims heating bills. Your health and that of your home also improve when the humidity stays between the recommended ranges.To learn more about indoor humidity and maintaining a healthy level, contact the pros at Air Assurance, providing HVAC services for the Broken Arrow region.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about humidity and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.


How to Control Static Electricity in Your Home

How to Control Static Electricity in Your Home

This time of year, static electricity in your home can cause painful shocks when you touch a light switch, a metal doorknob or another person, and make it difficult to separate laundry that's fresh from the dryer or even comb your hair. Even worse, these random electrical discharges can also permanently damage electronics and appliances, like your computer, TV, cell phone or microwave.

Why Static Electricity Occurs

Static electrical charges are created by the transfer of electrons when two materials come in contact. One ends up with a positive charge, and the other with a negative charge. Opposite charges attract, and when materials or objects with excess charges come close together, the extra electrons leap across the gap, and the charge is released with a jolt or shock.

Dry Vs. Humid Air and Its Effect on Static Electricity

Static electrical shocks tend to occur in the winter because the air is dry. Cold air doesn't retain moisture very well, and your heating system dries out your indoor air even more. When the air in your home is moist or humid enough though, water molecules collect on the surface of everything. Since water is a superb conductor, excess electrical charges can easily move between different materials without a jolt or shock.

Tips for Controlling Static Electricity

There are various ways to control static discharges to prevent discomfort and damage in your home:

  • Wear clothing and socks made of natural fibers like cotton, and leather-soled shoes, because they pick up less static charge than synthetic materials.

  • Spray diluted fabric softener or an anti-static product on your clothing, furniture and carpets to make the materials less conductive.

  • Add some potted plants, and/or place containers of water in various spots around your home so water can evaporate into the air.

  • Talk to your HVAC pro about installing a whole-house humidifier on your HVAC system so you can add a precise amount of humidity to the air circulating through your home in the wintertime.

To learn more about controlling static electricity in your Broken Arrow home with a whole-house humidifier, contact us at Air Assurance.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about home comfort and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.Credit/Copyright Attribution: “ErikaWittlieb/Pixabay”


How Low Humidity in Your Home Affects Your Health

indoor humidity

When winter arrives and you need to run the heating system to stay warm and comfortable, the humidity in your indoor air can drop too low. This occurs because cold winter air doesn't hold moisture very well, and heating it makes the problem even worse. Excessively low humidity in your home can cause various health-related problems, such as:

  • Dry eyes. The eyes produce tears to lubricate and flush out contaminants and irritants. In dry-air conditions, this vital liquid dries up too, which makes it easier for the eyes to become irritated or worse, infected.

  • Respiratory issues. When you breathe air containing too little moisture, mucus membranes lining the respiratory and nasal passages dry out. This can cause sore throats, nose bleeds, chest congestion and coughing, and worsen conditions like allergies, asthma, COPD and chronic bronchitis.

  • Dry skin. A lack of humidity also draws moisture out of the skin, leaving it uncomfortably itchy and scaly. Dry skin can also start to crack, which makes it more vulnerable to bacterial infections.

  • Increased risk of illness. Certain bacteria and viruses thrive when the air is dry, which increases the likelihood of contracting the flu, colds and respiratory infections.

Solutions to Improve Low Humidity

Indoor humidity in the 30 to 50 percent range is ideal to prevent health problems related to dry air. Here are two reliable methods for boosting your indoor humidity levels:

  • Room-size humidifiers. These plug-in units can hold one to several gallons of water. They're best used in a child's room or other bedroom to improve dry conditions and make sleeping more comfortable.

  • Whole-home humidifiers. These house-size units are installed on the HVAC air handler and plumbed into the water supply so they fill automatically. They also have a humidistat control that can be placed in a spot where it's easy and convenient to adjust the setting. This ensures that an optimal amount of moisture gets added to the warm air coming from the furnace, so it's humidified before being distributed through the ducts.

For expert help solving low humidity problems in your Broken Arrow home, contact us at Air Assurance.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about indoor humidity and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Featured, IAQ – Indoor Air Quality

Control Fall Allergies by Improving Your Home's Air Quality

Control Fall Allergies by Improving Your Home's Air Quality

If you suffer from allergies, seasonal changes can be a bad time. Suddenly, fall allergies you forgot you had will reappear, making you and other vulnerable family members miserable. The problem is exacerbated by the airtightness of many modern homes. They're built to intentionally keep warm air from escaping in the winter and from infiltrating inside in the summer. However, this has the unfortunate side effect of trapping dirty, allergen-filled air in the house.However, don't despair. There are effective strategies for protecting indoor air quality as well as your health. Try some of the following:

  • Keep allergens outside. Close windows and doors during days when allergen levels are high in the outside air. Brush pets before they come inside, and take off your shoes and outerwear upon entering the house and leave these items by the door.

  • Clean the house frequently, and make sure you wash bedding at least weekly. Store unused clothing in plastic boxes or bags. Try to limit the display of knick-knacks, trophies, picture frames, etc., since these are notorious dust collectors, and household dust is full of allergens.

  • Change the air filter in your furnace or heat pump regularly to preserve indoor air quality. Inspect it once a month and change it when it looks clogged or dirty.

  • Your home should have effective mechanical ventilation to ensure a regular exchange of fresh outside air with stale indoor air. Use exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom, and leave them on for 10 or 15 minutes after you're finished in that room. If ventilation is pulling more allergens inside, consider a whole-house air purifying system that works in tandem with your forced-air HVAC system.

  • Control moisture levels in your home, since unusual humidity levels inside, either too high or too low, can create a welcoming atmosphere for allergens. A whole-house humidifier can help counter the adverse effects of dry indoor air in the winter.

For more advice on improving indoor air quality during the fall allergy season, please contact us at Air Assurance, providing quality HVAC and air quality services in the Broken Arrow area since 1985.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Olena Zaskochenko/Shutterstock”

Air filters, Featured, IAQ – Indoor Air Quality

How Can You Make Your Home a Healthier Environment?

How Can You Make Your Home a Healthier Environment?

The agricultural production and manufacturing around Broken Arrow can make maintaining a healthy home environment difficult at times, but there's still plenty you can do to keep your home clean.

Keep the Contaminants Out

Because chemicals such as paint, pesticides and harsh cleaners give off harmful fumes, these products should be stored outside your home. Choosing paint, carpeting and other household materials labeled low-VOC can also reduce chemical fumes in your home.High humidity encourages the spread of dust mites, mold and bacteria. Aim to keep your indoor humidity level between 40 and 50 percent. Run your exhaust fans after showering or cooking, and repair leaks in your plumbing, roof or basement. Regularly disinfecting your sponges, mops and other cleaning supplies also cuts down on the bacteria and mold spores floating around your home.Using an HVAC air filter with a MERV rating between 5 and 10 and replacing it on schedule will reduce the level of dust, pollen, mold spores and pet dander in your air.

Good ventilation helps remove contaminants from your air and controls your humidity, doing double duty to support a healthy home environment. If you live in a modern airtight home or an older one that's been air sealed for energy efficiency, you'll benefit from a whole-house ventilation system.

Stay on Top of Health Risks

Any fuel-burning appliance, such as a gas stove or fireplace, can release carbon monoxide. Even trace amounts can cause headaches and fatigue. To protect your health, install CO detectors on every floor and within 15 feet of every sleeping area.Around one in 16 homes has a dangerously high level of radon, a natural yet cancer-causing gas that enters through the foundation or water lines. The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality's Radon Program offers test kits for this gas.Investing in professional air quality testing is another way to find out what harmful contaminants are in your home's air so you can take steps toward getting rid of them.

For more information on maintaining a healthy home environment, contact Air Assurance. We've been serving Broken Arrow since 1985.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “design36/Shutterstock”