As Auckland is grappling with a humid start to the summer with damp and muggy conditions, you won’t be alone in searching for a solution to manage your indoor air conditions. 
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Humidity is a factor that can be overlooked when thinking about your home’s comfort yet it plays a critical role in our home environment and overall well-being.

Did you know that your heat pump or air conditioning unit most likely has an important function that can be pivotal in managing the humidity in your home and keeping your air healthy – understanding and controlling indoor humidity isn’t just about comfort; it’s about creating a healthier living space too.

What is humidity and why does it matter?

Humidity refers to the amount of water vapor present in our air. In New Zealand, especially during the summer months, the air can become saturated with moisture, leading to what we commonly describe as muggy or clammy conditions. This excess moisture doesn’t just make the air feel heavier — it impacts everything from our physical comfort to the integrity of our homes and can leave us feeling tired and lethargic.

The Discomfort of Damp Air

When the air in your home is too humid, it can make the environment feel warmer than it actually is. High humidity hampers the body’s ability to cool itself through sweat evaporation, leading to discomfort and sometimes even health issues like heat exhaustion. This discomfort is more than an inconvenience and it can be a real challenge to our daily living, especially in areas where managing humidity in the home is essential for comfort.

Effects on Home and Health

Beyond just managing your comfort, prolonged exposure to high humidity levels can have detrimental effects on your home and health. We know in NZ that our homes can be susceptible to mould and mildew and the damp conditions of humidity are ideal for their growth. Mould and mildew can not only damage your home but can also aggrevate allergies and trigger respiratory issues.

The impact of indoor humity on your health

A Breeding Ground for Allergens

High humidity levels in your home can create the perfect environment for a number of pollutants and allergens to thrive, including, dust mites, mold, and mildew. These allergens are not just unpleasant; they can have significant health implications for the whole of your family, and especially so if you have people in your home with asthma or other respiratory conditions as these factors might worsen or trigger symptoms. Even if you don’t have a condition that may be trigger you might experience irritation as a result of the air quality such as itchy eyes, nose, throat, and skin. Proactively managing your home’s air quality will help you to maintain a healthy living environment and minimise any allergens.


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Respiratory Issues and Airborne Infections

If you have members of your family with respiratory concerns, you might find that the humid conditions can exacerbate their symptoms, making breathing more difficult and less comfortable.

Moreover, certain viruses and bacteria really thrive in moist environments, which can potentially increase the risk of airborne infections.

Impact on Sleep and Overall Comfort

It will come as no surprise that when it gets really humid our sleep quality can really suffer. High moisture levels can make your bedroom feel stuffy and uncomfortable, leading to restless nights which can really im,pact your overall well-being. Making sure you get good quality sleep is essential for your general good health, and an environment with balanced humidity is key to achieving this.

The Hidden Dangers: Mold and Structural Damage

Aside from the comfort and health of your family members, the prolonged impact of too much humidity in your home can lead to the growth of mould. This unwanted visitor in our homes not only poses health risks but can also cause structural damage to your home. Mould can eat away at walls, ceilings, and floors, carpets and woodwork, leading to costly repairs. More importantly, mould spores can significantly deteriorate indoor air quality, posing health risks, particularly to children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems.

Understanding the Role of Heat Pumps in Humidity Control

You might already have the solution to managing humidity in your home – did you know that while we mostly have heat pumps for their heating or cooling, they often have a function for managing humidity too. Even aside from the ‘dry’ function, the core air processing that your heat pump does helps to manage the humidity. 

A heat pump works by transferring heat from one place to another. In the summer months, it extracts warm air (and the moisture within it) from your home, expelling it outside, and circulates cooler, less humid air indoors. This process not only cools your home but also removes excess moisture, helping to maintain a comfortable and healthy indoor environment.

The Dual Benefit of  Cooling and Dehumidification

One of the many advantages of using a heat pump is its dual functionality when it comes to managing both the temperature and moisture in your home. Heat pumps are designed to handle  both – lower the air temperature and reduce moisture levels. This dual action is crucial in creating a comfortable living space, especially in climates prone to high humidity like Auckland.

Energy Efficiency – Keeping your bills lower

As well as improving your indoor air quality, heat pumps are known for their energy efficiency, and this is especially the case of our energy efficient Mitsubishi Electric range of heat pumps. They consume less electricity compared to traditional heating and cooling systems which means lower energy bills plus a reduced carbon footprint. 

Customisable Settings for the Perfect Temperature

Most modern heat pumps come with customisable settings that allow you manage your air temperature and flow so you get it just right. This flexibility makes sure your home stays at the perfect temperature throughout all the seasons of an Auckland summer day!

The ‘Dry’ Function of Heat Pumps – A Closer Look

What is the ‘Dry’ Function?

The ‘dry’ function, often found in modern heat pumps, is designed to reduce the humidity level in your home and works like a dehumidifier. The regular cooling mode, which focuses on lowering the air temperature while the ‘dry’ mode prioritises moisture removal. When set to this function, the heat pump works in a way that cools the air slightly but mainly is working to remove the moisture from your indoor air. 

How Does Your Heat Pump’s Dry Mode Work?

When you set your heat pump into the ‘dry’ mode, it’s fan and compressor operate at a slower speed, allowing the air to pass over the cold evaporator coils for a longer period. This extended contact time increases the amount of moisture the system can remove from the air. The result is air that feels less muggy without being excessively cooled, making it ideal for days when the primary discomfort is humidity rather than heat.

The Advantages of Using the ‘Dry’ Function

  • Enhanced Comfort: By lowering the humidity levels, the ‘dry’ function helps create a more comfortable living environment, especially during the humid months.
  • Health Benefits: Reduced humidity means a lower likelihood of molud and mildew growth and a decrease in common allergens, promoting better respiratory health and overall well-being.
  • Protection of Your Home Interior: By managing your humidity levels, you’ll protect your home from damp-related damages such as peeling paint, warping wood, and mould growth.

Our Tips for Optimising the ‘Dry’ Function

  • Use the ‘dry’ function on days when humidity is the primary issue rather than high temperature.
  • Adjust the settings according to your comfort level and the specific humidity conditions of your area.
  • Regular maintenance of your heat pump, such as cleaning filters and a regular service ensures the ‘dry’ function operates effectively.

Ask the Professionals

If you need help managing the moisture in your home, it might be time for your heating and cooling system to have an updrade. Heat and Cool are Auckland’s leading Mitsubishi partner known for our high standards and excellent service.

At Heat and Cool, we offer no-obligation quotes to help you select the best possible heat pump system for your home. Every home is different, so it’s always wise to ask for help in choosing the right heat pump to meet your needs.

Once you’ve selected the right heat pump for your home, our professional team will get to work on your hassle-free heat pump installation, instantly upgrading your indoor air.

So why wait? Get in touch with our team of experts today!