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Healthy Humidity and Home Preservation

In our previous two healthy humidity articles, we discussed the importance of maintaining proper indoor humidity and the affect humidity levels have on the respiratory system. In today’s post, we’re going to discuss healthy humidity and home preservation.

Maintaining proper indoor humidity levels is not only good for your health, but it’s also good for the health and preservation of your home. Consider: as with humans, wood, leather and electronics retain a certain amount of moisture which is a critical factor in preserving fit, form, and function.

For many homeowners, the most significant sign of dry air will be damage to expensive wood floors. In winter, as moisture is pulled out of the wood, cracks, and gaps will appear between floorboards. In the summer the floors will expand again. The changes caused by these relative humidity swings can ultimately lead to failure of the floor, and replacement may be necessary. “Keeping indoor humidity levels between 30% – 60% is critical for wood flooring,” states James Gleason from Woodwrights Wide Plank Flooring, “anything below that and you could be asking for trouble.”

If you happen to have leather furniture in your home, maintaining proper indoor humidity levels are necessary to preserve the flexibility of leather surfaces. As with human skin, when leather is exposed to dry air, it sheds its moisture, which can lead to fading, cracking and tearing.

If you’re a tech-buff or a home entertainment system aficionado, low humidity can have a detrimental effect on all of your valuable electronics. Homes with low indoor humidity are more susceptible to electrostatic discharge (ESD or “static electricity”), which can damage the internal components of many electronics. Proper indoor humidity levels help reduce the chance of ESD by making it harder for static electricity to travel.

If you have any questions concerning your home’s indoor humidity levels, speak to a licensed HVAC contractor.

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