How to Reduce Humidity in your Home
High humidity can lead to HVAC issues, mold and mildew, damage to your belongings, and more.
There are many things to love about our Western New York summers, humidity isn’t one of them. When the humidity in your home is too high or too low, it can make living conditions unpleasant, and it can also do damage to your property. Just like dry air can affect your home during the fall and winter, moist and damp air can make a difference in your home during the summer months. No one likes feeling uncomfortable, sticky, and damp in their home due to high humidity levels, and your home doesn’t like it either. High humidity can lead to HVAC issues, mold and mildew, damage to your belongings, and more. If you are wondering how to reduce humidity in your home, we can help.
What is Humidity?
Humidity is the concentration of water vapor present in the air. Water vapor, the gaseous state of water, is generally invisible to the human eye. Relative humidity measures the amount of water in the atmosphere, in relation to the maximum amount of water vapor it can hold. In warmer temperatures, the atmosphere can hold more water vapor. This is why humidity is usually much higher in the summer months than the cooler months of the year.
How can High Humidity Impact my Home?
You may be wondering why, other than just you and your family’s comfort, you should reduce humidity in your home. To put this simply, high humidity can cause significant damage to your home, health, and belongings. Mold, mildew, bacteria, viruses, and more, thrive and grow when humidity levels are in excess of the recommended levels (we review those below).
What are the Ideal Humidity Levels for a Home?
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that you keep the humidity in your home between 30 and 50%. You need to reduce the humidity in your home if it is above 50%, but especially if it gets to 60% or higher, to prevent damage and mold growth.
How can I Reduce the Humidity in my Home?
How to reduce humidity in your home, really depends on the home and the source of the moisture. Below we review some common ways to help lower your humidity levels and alleviate some of the discomfort it is causing you and your family.
– Fix Leaks: The first step in keeping the humidity in your home within the ideal range, is making sure you are not allowing unnecessary moisture to occur. Fix any leaks you notice around your home. Check pipes, faucets, etc. Make sure water is not entering from the outdoors and seal any areas of concern.
– Use Your AC: One of your air conditioner’s main jobs is to reduce indoor humidity by introducing cooler air while removing warm, humid air. Make sure your AC is ready to take on the task by having an AC tune-up and regularly replacing the air filter.
– Embrace Ventilation: Check your laundry room, bathroom, kitchen, etc. to ensure there is proper ventilation and it is working as intended. When you shower, cook, or do other things that create moisture, turn on your exhaust fans and leave them on a little while until all the condensation is gone.
– Cool Down Your Showers: Who wants to take a hot shower on a warm day anyways? Hot showers will create humidity, so during the summer months, cool them down a bit to prevent excess steam and humidity.
– Use a Dehumidifier: A dehumidifier is a device that reduces and maintains the level of humidity in the air. These can be freestanding and added to rooms that become more humid, or they can be directly added to your HVAC system. Dehumidifiers remove moisture from the air as it passes through, making the air dry and cool.
If your home is too humid it can be miserable and create long-term issues. It’s important to reduce the humidity in your home if it is too high.