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Cleveland HVAC Blog

Avoid Mold and Moisture Damage by Understanding Their No. 1 Need: Humidity

Posted by Paul Wadsworth on Mon, Jul 22, 2013 @ 03:03 PM

The high humidity we experience in the summer can lead to humidity problems in your home. Not only is high indoor humidity uncomfortable, it can lead to mold and moisture damage.

cleveland home mold growthHumidity is commonly expressed in terms of relative humidity. Relative humidity tells you how much moisture is in the air compared to the maximum amount of moisture that air at the temperature could hold. If the air is fully saturated, its relative humidity is 100 percent. At this point it will start to form condensation on surfaces.

Since colder air can't hold as much moisture as warmer air, condensation can also form on cooler surfaces even if the air is not fully saturated. For this reason, it's recommended that relative humidity in your home is kept below 60 percent in the summer and 40 percent in the winter.

Because they're not usually designed to be exposed to the elements, building materials on the interior of your home are susceptible to mold and moisture damage. They may be damaged or start to rot if they're exposed to condensation. Moisture's also a key ingredient for mold growth that can damage and discolor surfaces. Additionally, the irritants and allergens mold releases will be detrimental to your home's air quality and potentially the health of its occupants.

There are a number of steps you can take to control indoor humidity levels. One key is to use exhaust venting to remove moisture added to the air from cooking, showering and clothes dryers. It's also important to have an appropriately-sized air conditioner. Air conditioners remove moisture from the air via condensation on their evaporator coils. Oversized air conditioners only have to run for a short amount of time to cool your home, and as a result, they remove less moisture from the air.  In some cases a dehumidifier is helpful as well.  There are even some models that are designed to be "whole house" dehumidifiers—especially helpful during humid, but moderate weather when the AC runs less frequently.

For additional moisture control options, you can work with a quality contractor who can give you control over humidity as well as temperatures. A good place to start is with a home performance evaluation that can identify any problem areas.

For help with any home comfort needs in the greater Cleveland area, contact the well-informed experts at P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling.


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Paul WadsworthPaul Wadsworth is the President and Owner of P.K. Wadsworth Heating and Cooling. For 37 years, Paul has been providing heating and cooling services to the Greater Cleveland area. P.K. Wadsworth has been a trusted Cleveland HVAC service company for over 75 years. The company understand the area's construction and local heating and air conditioning needs. Paul has an MBA from the University of Michigan and a B.S., Industrial Engineering from Purdue University. Paul is the Chairman of COSE's Energy Advisory Council. He's been President of the Cleveland Air Conditioning Contractors of America and a founding member of the local chapter. Paul was born and raised in Cleveland and has been active in the local community. He resides in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife and two sons.

The opinions and statements contained in this article are for general informational purposes only and are not instructions. Only trained, licensed and experienced personnel should attempt installation/repair. The author assumes no liability for the opinions/statements made in this article. Any individual attempting a repair or installation based on this article does so at their own risk of loss.

Topics: home performance assessment, dehumidifier, mold growth

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