As we transition into the late months of summer, the air outside continues to have an impact on the air we breathe inside. You want to keep your house nice and cool for your family and pets, but you may not be paying enough attention to the humidity in your home. That’s why we interviewed Aprilaire Healthy Air Hero Brandon Engen, the Director of Service and Remodel for Madison, Wisconsin’s very own Dave Jones, Inc. Brandon is eager to share his tips on Healthy Humidity and why it’s important to keep balanced air in your home, including improved wellness, the ability to lower energy costs, and even protect your home.
Thank you very much for helping answer some of our questions, Brandon. Can you start by telling us about your work with Dave Jones, Inc.—how long have you been with the company and what kinds of services do you provide?
“I started my career with Dave Jones, Inc. over 25 years ago as a plumbing laborer. I quickly earned an apprenticeship, and the rest is history. I’ve been in my current role as Director of Service and Remodel for the past eight years, which has been an incredibly rewarding experience.
Dave Jones, Inc. is one of Dane County’s largest employers with over 500 employees, but we’ve found that our real strength is the team that we’ve carefully cultivated since we began in 1977, creating an organization our team can be proud of. Our team can perform any plumbing, HVAC, fire protection, or electrical installation or service in both residential or commercial projects.”
Congratulations on winning three Best of Madison awards—including Best Plumber, Best Heating & Cooling, and Best Electrician! Tell us why the work you do for your community helps the people in it thrive and live healthy lives and why that’s important.
“Our work in plumbing, heating and cooling, and electrical helps our customers make their homes and businesses safe, healthy, and efficient. All communities need access to the essential services of clean water, Healthy Air, and safe electricity. It’s important for us to provide dependable and honest services, products, and expert advice for customers’ physical benefits and peace of mind.
Being ‘healthy’ isn’t just one thing, it’s a combination of many things. Healthy Air is no exception. Our job is to identify where improvements can be made, recommend industry-leading and efficient products, and properly install them so they work optimally and last as long as possible.”
Let’s talk about indoor air. Many homeowners are concerned about the temperature and various airborne particles in their homes. How does humidity factor in?
“Germs, viruses, and mold all thrive when there’s too much humidity, or not enough. In Wisconsin, we have dramatic temperature and moisture fluctuations, so controlling humidity in the house with whole-home dehumidifiers and humidifiers is key in Healthy Home air. Maintaining optimal humidity not only helps to prevent an ideal environment for the things which can make us sick, it allows us to enjoy the benefits from our humidity-controlled indoor environment.”
Maintaining optimal humidity not only helps to prevent an ideal environment for the things which can make us sick, it allows us to enjoy the benefits from our humidity-controlled indoor environment.
How else can Healthy Humidity impact the way your home functions in everyday life?
“Have you ever had a door in your home that’s harder or easier to close at a certain time of the year? That’s one example of the effect of humidity can have on the woodwork in your home. We’ve all heard the old saying: ‘it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.’ Well, it’s true! The reason why weather forecasters use terms like ‘real feel’ and ‘heat index’ is because humidity has a drastic impact on how we perceive the actual temperature and how comfortable we are.
I’ve never heard anyone say they can’t wait for it to be hot and humid this summer or cold and clammy in the spring or fall. When it’s hot, your air conditioning system will be working at its maximum capacity to cool your home. The higher the humidity, the harder your machine needs to work to maintain that preferred ‘real feel’ temperature. When the humidity is high inside like it is outside in the summer, running your AC for days or weeks on end costs ‘real money.’ Lower the humidity and you’ll lower your operating costs.”
At Aprilaire, we recommend that humidity in the home should be kept between 40–60%, which is optimal for human health and comfort. What do you feel is the best way to ensure this balance is easy to maintain in humid climates?
“Dave Jones, Inc. installs Aprilaire products to solve humidity problems because they’re experts at Indoor Air Quality and offer a wide-range of products to fit specific needs. The e-series and 1800 series whole-house dehumidifiers are installed into your existing HVAC system and reduce humidity throughout the home and not just your basement. These products provide a conditioned home throughout, without the need to empty buckets of water.”
Lastly, what advice would you give to a homeowner about protecting their air, and how can Aprilaire help them?
“If you’re a homeowner looking for optimal air quality in your home, there are three main areas to focus on: ventilation, humidity, and filtration. According to the EPA, indoor air is approximately 90% more polluted than outdoors. Ventilation allows the circulation of fresh outdoor air in, and polluted indoor air out. Humidity control helps to reduce the growth of viruses, bacteria, and other nasties as well as protect the woodwork and other parts of your home. Filtration stops particles from circulating. These three areas will make the biggest difference in your Indoor Air Quality.”
Humidity control helps to reduce the growth of viruses, bacteria, and other nasties as well as protect the woodwork and other parts of your home.
Make Healthy Humidity a Priority
Healthy Humidity plays a key role in overall air quality and personal wellness. Take it from the experts, like Brandon Engen, and get the facts. Are you ready to take the next step and learn more about the benefits of Healthy Humidity in your home? One of Aprilaire’s Healthy Air Heroes can help!