Keep that Humidity in Check!

Admin on 16 July 2022

Keeping humidity levels inside your home manageable will improve your comfort, but it will also improve the air quality and reliability of your home.

Dealing with excessive humidity is not comfortable or fun. It’s even worse when there are higher humidity and moisture levels in your home. It can often feel warm, sticky, and just plain gross. But there’s more danger behind it than just feeling bad. Higher humidity and moisture levels can be an extreme threat to your property, including the structure, surfaces, and condition. Did you know, for instance, that excessive moisture can damage wood, paint, insulation, and siding? What about the fact that it’s highly susceptible to allergens and pollutants like dust mites, mold, and mildew? All of those things can cause severe problems for your lungs, even more so if you suffer from allergies, asthma, and existing pulmonary ailments. Ideal in-home humidity levels should hover around 45%. Anything less than 30% is too dry and over 50% is too high. Furthermore, although the ideal humidity levels are less than 60% in the summer, those numbers drop to 25% and 40% in the winter. Having higher humidity during colder months can cause complications too.

The problem is lowering humidity. How do you keep it manageable, and lessen it when it gets bad? What causes high humidity in a house?

How to Gauge Indoor Humidity Levels
  • Look for visible condensation on cooler surfaces like windows, mirrors, pipes, and in your basement. If you do find it, feel and check the surrounding area to ensure the moisture is not spreading to walls and nearby surfaces.
  • On the ceiling, you’ll want to watch out for wet stains or crumbly stucco. You can often see moisture as discoloration, which can be tough to spot in certain lighting conditions.
  • Do you see any peeling paint or hear floorboards creaking excessively?
  • If you or any of your family members experience severe headaches, loss or shortness of breath, common allergy symptoms like wheezing, or a chronic cough then the humidity may be affecting your bodies.
  • Check your home for the smell of mold and mildew; sometimes they may even have a smoky scent. If you’ve been inside your home for a long time, try leaving for a bit and coming back. You should be able to detect odors and smells better after you’ve had fresh air.
  • Do any surfaces, including walls, floors, and shelves feel soft or moist?
  • Do you see dark spots or discoloration?
  • Low humidity causes static electricity, dry skin and hair, increased susceptibility to colds and respiratory illness and can allow viruses and germs to thrive. Wood floors, furniture, and millwork will split and crack, the paint will chip, and electronics can be damaged because of low humidity levels.

How to Decrease Humidity in Your House

There are many tools and strategies you can employ to reduce the humidity in your home. Remember, you’ll want to know how to reduce humidity in the house in winter, as much as in summer:

Dehumidifiers:Dehumidifiers are placed in basements most of the time, but you can get large-scale ones for an entire property. They work best when a room or area is sealed off, including all windows and doors. They remove moisture from the air but must remain away from walls and objects to allow for proper airflow.

There are three standard types from which to choose:

  • Natural evaporation
  • Portable/room-specific humidifier
  • Humidifier for the whole home.

You’ll want to learn how to reduce humidity without a dehumidifier too.

Proper Ventilation: You want to make sure that areas, where moisture is present, are properly ventilated, such as the kitchen and bathrooms. Turn vent fans on and leave them on when there’s moisture in the room. Get extra fans if you think moisture is causing issues. If you don’t have any exhaust fans, you can crack a window or two.

Air Conditioning Systems: Air Conditioning units don’t just cool down the air inside a home. They also remove moisture and humidity. Just make sure the unit you have installed is the appropriate size for the square footage of your property.

Humidity Monitors: You can buy humidity monitors at a local hardware store or online to check moisture levels inside your home.

Weatherstripping: Weatherstripping around the doors and windows of your home creates an air-tight seal to prevent cool or warm air from escaping, and excess humidity from seeping inside. They are especially necessary for warmer climates where it’s humid outdoors.

Caulking: Caulking works the same way as weatherstripping, only it’s used to line surfaces and materials that may come into contact with moisture such as faucets, sinks, toilets, tubs, and more. Caulking is also used around windows and in seams.

Insulation: Insulation, if you don’t know, is used to retain heat and keep excess particles from entering a home. If the walls of a home are properly insulated — and they’re not already moist — they will prevent cool and warm air from escaping or entering through gaps in the walls.

Interior Adjustments: You can make several changes to the interior of your home which includes installing ceiling fans, regularly cleaning your AC ducts and filters, and more.

Lifestyle Changes: Set the fan on your AC or HVAC unit to “auto” instead of “on.” Also, try not to run the AC as often if you notice it’s powering on and off for short bursts. Also, be sure to use the exhaust fan in bathrooms when you’re showering, and keep the door open if you can. Make sure your kitchens and bathrooms are properly ventilated.

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