What do Light Bulbs have to do with Humidity?
It may not be what you’re thinking
A Light at the End of the Well
While not many of us are on well water, a well is a common way to retrieve groundwater for household use and is typically enclosed in a “well house”. Since water expands, living in cold climates leaves pipes vulnerable to freezing temperatures if safeguards are not in place. For years, incandescent light bulbs were used, not for the light produced but for the by-product, HEAT.
The light bulb was simply designed for the purpose of giving off light and was not designed to keep spaces warm.
Over the years advances in technology have brought innovations to the light bulb. Today the LED light bulb is brighter, energy efficient, and lasts longer than the incandescent light bulbs. However, with all these remarkable upgrades and improvements the LED light bulb lost the secondary benefit, heat. The light bulb was simply designed for the purpose of giving off light and was not designed to keep spaces warm. Today, imagine trying to prevent well pipes from freezing with an LED light bulb.
Dehumidification was the by-product of older HVAC systems.
In the same way, old HVAC systems ran all day to cool an apartment (or residential home). As the unit ran it also dried the air reducing relative humidity within the living space, thus preventing mold. Mold prevention was the by-product of non-energy efficient HVAC systems. With today’s upgrades and improvements to heating and cooling systems the secondary benefit is now non-existent. Thankfully, HVAC systems are much more energy efficient and blasts colder air in shorter increments. There is nothing wrong with the improved upgrades. In fact, it is doing exactly what it is created to do, cool the air in less time. As a result of these new improvements, there is a rise with mold issues within indoor living spaces.
Just as the LED light bulb no longer emits heat to prevent pipes from freezing; energy efficient HVAC systems no longer run long enough to properly reduce relative humidity as it once did.
The expectation that HVAC systems will cool and prevent mold as it once was able to do is no longer feasible. Just as the LED light bulb no longer emits heat to prevent pipes from freezing; energy efficient HVAC systems no longer run long enough to properly reduce relative humidity as it once did. Again, there is nothing wrong with modern lighting or modern HVAC systems, in fact the improvements made through the years are quite impressive. As products become more energy efficient, other innovative dehumidification solutions must be considered to substitute the loss of these secondary benefits.