Tips for Decreasing Humidity in Your Home
Auburn summers are known for high heat and high humidity. While this is great for growing vegetables and other outdoor plants, it can wreak havoc on your indoor comfort if your home is not properly prepared. Lowering the humidity in your home can benefit you in a number of ways, including keeping you more comfortable and saving you money by reducing your need for air conditioning. It also helps by improving your indoor air quality and discouraging the growth of dust mites and mold and protects your home from moisture damage.
There are several steps you can take to achieve overall lower humidity in your home. We’ve outlined these options below. As always, feel free to contact us for an in-home evaluation of your cooling system. There are great technologies available today which can assist with keeping your home’s humidity exactly where it needs to be, often from the convenience of your smartphone.
Updating and fixing your home:
Leaky pipes, dripping faucets and toilets that leave puddles not only waste water, but they also add to humidity issues in your home. The water they release gradually evaporates, ending up as moisture in your home’s air. Repair or replace pipes as necessary and cover sweating pipes with foam pipe insulation tubes.
Leaks in the roof and walls also bring excess moisture into your home, as well as encourage rot that could eventually cause serious structural damage. Repairing the leaks now will bring down your humidity level and protect your home.
If your A/C’s drain line gets plugged, water will back up into your home. Once or twice each cooling season, use a wet vac to suck sludge from the outside end of the drain.
Signs the Humidity In Your Home is Too High:
Indoor humidity in a house should be between 30-50% for optimum comfort. When humidity gets into the 60-70% range, it starts to get uncomfortable. Here are some things that can happen:
- Your hair may be frizzier than normal.
- It will feel hotter.
- The air feels wet. Sweat doesn’t cool you off because it can’t evaporate.
- People experience sleep problems.
- Mold spores start to grow and multiply. This can be very dangerous for some people.
- Wood swells and doors stick. Prolonged moisture in the air will cause wood to start to deteriorate.
- Mildew (a form of mold) can get on fabric and ruin it. Fabric will tear and shred very easily. Stains occur from the mildew.
- Pets smell worse. Again, not life-threatening, but for some, it can be irritating.
- Rust and other oxidization can occur and tends to speed up in higher humidity.
What You Can Do:
So, what can you do to help keep the humidity at a comfortable level in your home? In addition to being more energy efficient, homes with correct humidity levels are much more comfortable for your family and your pets. We’ve listed some easy steps you can take below to help reduce the humidity naturally in your home.
- Ensure that exhaust fans in kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms vent to the outside. Installing vents and attic fans can help too.
- Increase indoor temperature because warm air can hold more moisture (relative humidity decreases if temperature increases).
- Use fans to increase ventilation
- Take colder, shorter showers. Use a low flow shower-head or shower under a less powerful stream by not fully opening the tap.
- Becoming mindful of the indoor and outdoor temperature also can ease the concern of proper humidity within the home. What is the current temperature inside versus outdoors?
- Install a Smart Thermostat, which can sense and control the indoor humidity. We recommend the American Standard Platinum 1080 with Wifi Controls!
- Check the age and performance of your HVAC System. New, higher efficient air conditioning systems allow for humidity control. These systems also save money on energy bills, often paying for themselves over time.
- Use a dehumidifier in rooms with increased humidity, such as the laundry room and kitchen.
Remember, improper indoor humidity levels are a common home hazard that is often underestimated. Dust mites and other problems, such as allergens, pathogens, and noxious chemicals are more abundant in humid conditions. Allergies, headaches, asthma symptoms such as wheezing, shortness of breath or a chronic cough also indicate you could benefit from lowering moist content from your indoor air.
Dehumidifiers, ventilation, air conditioning, humidity monitors, weatherstripping, caulking, insulation, interior adjustments and lifestyle changes can all help ensure ideal home humidity. These actions may involve some upfront costs, but in the end, they will save you money and improve the health of you and your family members.
For questions about dealing with the humidity in your home, you can trust Spencer Heating & Air to have the answers and equipment to keep your home comfortable and energy efficient. Contact us today with any questions.