Humidity refers to the amount of moisture in the air. Cooking, bathing, and laundry are some common activities that increase humidity levels indoors. Taking steps to reduce humidity in your home keeps your environment comfortable and healthy.
Why Reduce Humidity in Your Home
While very low humidity levels can cause dry eyes and itchy skin, high levels of humidity cause problems as well. The most significant concern associated with high indoor humidity is mold growth. It’s best for your home and health to keep indoor humidity levels below 50 percent. Purchase a hygrometer to monitor the humidity level indoors.
1. Turn the HVAC System On
On mild days, it’s nice to turn off the HVAC system and let fresh air inside through open doors and windows. However, your HVAC system does more than moderate temperature. It also lowers humidity and prevents mold growth. Open doors and windows on days when the humidity level is below 70 percent. When you leave home for an extended period of time, adjust the temperature on the thermostat to save money and energy rather than turning the HVAC unit completely off.
2. Seal Windows and Doors
Outdoor humidity can affect the home even when doors and windows are closed. Seals around doors and windows can crack or break, allowing outdoor air to enter the home. This air carries moisture that raises your home’s indoor humidity level. Because these seals are easily damaged, check and replace them annually. Along with addressing humidity, new seals will help maintain the desired temperature indoors and make your home more energy efficient.
3. Use Ventilation Fans to Reduce Humidity in Your Home
Most homes have ventilation fans in rooms where moisture is created like the laundry room, the kitchen, and the bathrooms. However, these ventilation fans are often not used regularly. Turn on these fans when cooking, showering, or washing clothes. Ventilation fans draw moisture out of the house and lower humidity levels indoors.
4. Install a Whole-House Dehumidifier
If humidity is a problem in your home, installing a whole-house dehumidifier may be the solution. This attaches to the HVAC system and extracts moisture throughout all rooms. In the process of removing moisture, it also extracts some indoor pollutants. Running a dehumidifier will help prevent mold, which improves indoor air quality. If you have smaller areas that get humid easily, use a portable dehumidifier to target the issue.
If your home is uncomfortably humid or if you have a mold problem, take these steps to reduce humidity. Each will be helpful in lowering moisture levels in your home.