We live in a single story 2150 sqft home in The Woodlands, TX (just north of Houston). House was built in 2003. We bought it in 2007. Previous owner had a dog and even after steam cleaning the carpets we still encountered dog hair so we changed over to laminate floors and new carpet in the house in 2009.
We noticed a steady increase in blocked sinuses, sneezing, itchy eyes and allergies for the last couple of years. In Oct 2010, I had the ducts cleaned by a company and they found mold in the vents in the master bedroom and master bath closet. The company cleaned the ducts, used biocides (BBJ) and told us all would be good.
Our new laminate flooring seemed to have a problem settling down so we had to call out the installers atleast 3 times to adjust as it seems to be bowing and flexing.
I started looking into whether humidity was the culprit for all our woes. I checked a wall clock we own which has a hygrometer built in. To my horror, it was reading 80% humidity. So I called our regular a/c guys last month and they thoroughly checked our a/c and said everything was ok but that the vents still had mold in them. The duct cleaning company came out again and did additional cleaning and biocides under warranty.
Subsequently, I bought a portable dehumidifier from Lowes and am running it in the master bedroom and our allergy symptoms seem to be less (there is one return in the master bed). The dehumidifier reads around 70 ish when it has not run for along time (around 5 maybe 10% lower than the wall clock).
Points of note:
1. I have not checked my a/c size and will do that tomorrow and post here.
2. We keep the house at 75F all the time.
So after that long post my questions are;
1. Is putting in a whole house dehumidifier going to be a good solution to our problems? Is a whole house dehumidifier addressing the symptom and not the cause?
2. The a/c has no problems cooling but we constantly wake up at night with the air feeling stale and stuffy. Is there anything we need to consider changing in the a/c system?
3. What causes high humidity in the house? We do not have leaks and/or drips (I have checked the whole house).
4. I have checked a few whole house dehumidifiers and see that there is a fresh air option available. Is that a good idea for areas like Houston where the humidity is high? I am asking this from an IAQ point of view.