Humidity Control for Atlanta Homes

Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. Low humidity indicates dry air, while high humidity indicates moist air. Unfortunately, Atlanta experiences extreme humidity swings from season to season. For example, the humidity inside an Atlanta home can range from as low as 21 percent in the winter to as high as 70 percent in the summer. Since the average humidity in the Sahara Desert is 26 percent, during the winter many Atlanta residents live in conditions drier than a desert. Experts recommend a winter humidity of 35 percent or higher and a summer humidity of 50 percent or lower.

Too little humidity dries out the skin, makes you feel cold or chilled even at relatively high room temperatures, and causes wood to shrink. Shrinking wood causes furniture joints to loosen, cracks between crown molding and the drywall, and cracks between boards in wood floors. Too much humidity causes mold, mildew, and odors, and it also warps furniture and wood floors. Dust mites thrive in high humidity but perish in humidity lower than 50 percent.

The task of controlling humidity is accomplished in two primary ways. To add humidity during the winter, a device called a humidifier is installed in your home’s central heating and air conditioning system. A whole-house automatic humidifier introduces humidity into the home in the form of water vapor. The vapor is added to the air as the air circulates through the system. A standard central air conditioning unit removes some of the humidity during the summer when it is running. However, in order to maintain a relative humidity of less than 50 percent, an automatic whole-house dehumidifier, used in conjunction with your air conditioning system, is often required.