How To Control The Humidity In Your Home
Having to deal with too much humidity is neither fun nor comfortable. Even worse is when there is increased moisture and humidity in your home. It can sometimes feel hot, sticky, and just downright disgusting. But it’s more dangerous than just making you feel bad. The structure, surfaces, and condition of your property can be severely damaged by high humidity and moisture levels.
Did you know that too much moisture can hurt paint, wood, insulation, and siding, among other things? What about the fact that allergens and pollutants like mold, dust mites, and mildew can easily get into it? All these things can be very bad for your lungs, and it’s even worse if you already have allergies, asthma, or other lung problems.
Ideal indoor humidity levels are between 30 and 50 percent. Keeping humidity levels in your home at a manageable level will not only make you more comfortable, but it will also improve the quality of the air in your home and make it safer. Read on to find out more.
How Can You Tell If Your Home Is Too Humid?
Obviously, you can’t walk around all the time with a humidity or dew meter. But how do you know when the humidity inside your home is too high? There are a few telltale signs, like foggy windows, clammy skin, and a heavy but warm atmosphere. But when there is too much moisture in the air in your home, it can smell like mildew or seem musty.
Here are a few ways to find out if your home has too much humidity:
Look for noticeable condensation on windows, reflective surfaces, pipes, and the walls of your basement. If you do find it, touch the area around it and look at the walls and other nearby surfaces to make sure the moisture hasn’t spread.
On the ceiling, look out for wet spots or stucco that is falling apart. Moisture often shows up as a change in color, which can be hard to see in some lighting conditions.
Do you see paint that is peeling or hear floorboards that are creaking too much? That could be because of moisture.
If you or someone in your family has shortness of breath, common allergy symptoms like wheezing, a severe headache, or a cough that won’t go away, it could be because of the humidity.
Mold and mildew can sometimes smell like smoke, so check your home for that. If you’ve been at home for a long time, try going outside for a while and then coming back. After getting some fresh air, you should be able to smell, and notice smells better.
Are there any walls, floors, or shelves that feel soft or wet?
Do you see dark spots or spots of a different color?
Some of these signs may not mean you have a humidity problem if they are on their own, but if you’ve had more than one, you should probably have your home checked.
What Causes Humidity In The Home?
Several things affect how humid a home is, such as its design, construction, and materials, as well as the use of vapor retarders, insulation, and how airtight it is. Humidity is, of course, also directly affected by the weather and temperature in the area. In Florida, for example, a home’s average humidity will be much higher than that of a home in New England.
A home can also be more humid if the air conditioner is too big, which can happen in places where it is hot. When an AC unit is much too big for a home, it cools too quickly and in short, inefficient cycles. This makes it turn on and off often, which lets humidity build-up. The air conditioner’s evaporator coil pulls moisture out of the air, making it less humid. But that can only happen if the air has enough time to move through the unit. If your system turns on and off too often, the humidity of the air coming into your home won’t change.
You can tell if your air conditioner is too big by how often and how long it runs. On the hottest days, each cycle will only last about 10 to 15 minutes before it turns off. If you have your HVAC unit installed and maintained by experts, however, this should be much less of a problem.
How To Decrease Humidity In Your Home
There are a lot of things you can do and tools you can use to lower the humidity in your home. Don’t forget that you’ll want to know how to lower humidity in the house in the winter as well as the summer:
Dehumidifiers: Most of the time, dehumidifiers are put in basements, but you can get big ones that work for an entire property. They work best when all the windows and doors in a room or area are closed. They take water out of the air, but they can’t be close to walls or other things, or the air won’t flow right.
Proper Ventilation: You want to make sure that places with a lot of moisture, like the kitchen and bathrooms, have enough airflow. When there is moisture in the room, turn on the vent fans and leave them on. If you think that moisture is causing problems, get more fans. If you don’t have exhaust fans, you can open one or two windows.
Air Conditioning Devices: Air conditioning units do more than just cool the air inside a home. They also get rid of humidity and moisture. Just make sure that the unit you have put in is the right size for how big your property is.
Weatherstripping: Putting weatherstripping around your home’s doors and windows to make an airtight seal that keeps cool or warm air from escaping and stops excess humidity from coming in. They are especially important in places where it is hot and humid outside.
Insulation: If you don’t know, insulation is used to keep heat in and keep out extra dust and other particles. If a home’s walls are properly insulated and aren’t already damp, cool and warm air won’t be able to get out or in through cracks in the walls.
Interior Changes: There are many things you can do to change the inside of your home. For example, you can install ceiling fans, clean your AC ducts and filters regularly, and more.
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