Humidity in homes has always been a bad thing, especially when combined with the high temperatures of summer. At such times, 80 degrees feels more like 100 degrees or more. You feel too hot and sweaty, and your comfort is ruined when your house is too humid. But that’s not even the worst part of it.
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A lot of humidity in your house can pose serious health risks, considering that increased moisture often encourages the development of mold and rot on surfaces, bringing about serious health risks. In some states, humidity levels go as high as 60% during the sizzling and steamy summer days. If this happens in your home area, your HVAC unit will have to work harder to bring the humidity levels down.
How to tell whether your home is too humid
Other than being all sweaty and uncomfortable, the easiest way to tell whether there is too much humidity in your home is to use a hygrometer. Hygrometers measure the moisture content in the air, and the good thing is that they are easily accessible at affordable prices. The ideal humidity level in your home should be 30-50%. If the level is higher than 50%, you’ll need some tweaks to lower humidity in your house.
How can you lower humidity in your home?
Lowering humidity isn't rocket science, and doesn't necessarily require the use of complex machines and techniques. Would you believe it if someone told you that something as simple as opening a window could lower humidity levels in your home? Well, that’s just the truth. As such, you can lower the humidity level in your home using the following tips:
1. Use a dehumidifier
The best way to reduce moisture in your home is to use a dehumidifier. These devices are specially designed to “suck” water from the air, hence lowering humidity levels in your home. They do so using refrigerated coils which collect the moisture. The water then gets deposited in an attached container, which should be emptied once full.
You should consider using a dehumidifier in the rooms with the most moisture, such as bathrooms and the basement. You can also get a dehumidifier for your bedroom and living room for additional comfort as you relax or sleep.
2. Get fresh air
It's true; opening your windows can help in lowering humidity levels in your house. If the air outside is less humid compared to what’s in your house, you may want to open the windows so that some fresh air can come in. That way, there will be better air circulation in your home, and the humidity levels will go down as well.
3. Use exhaust and ventilation fans
Hot showers and cooking can produce steam that will increase humidity levels in your home. You should run ventilation fans when cooking or showering, to get rid of the extra moisture. Consider leaving the fans running a little while longer even after you are done, to get rid of as much moisture as possible. If you don’t have exhaust fans, you can open your windows when cooking or taking a bath, as long as the air outside is not extremely humid.
4. Shorter, cooler showers
Have you ever stayed too long is a hot shower? The glass seems foggy, and you may even notice some water droplets. That should tell you that there has been a release of way too much moisture into the air. The humid air will spread to other areas of your home, contributing to a rise of overall humidity level in your home. So, why don’t you take a shorter and cooler shower to reduce the amount of moisture escaping into the air?
5. Seal basement walls
Concrete basement walls can be a great source of the extra humidity in your home, especially if they are not waterproof from outside. But hey, don’t give up yet. You can still use products such as Drylok and Xypek to try and waterproof your basement walls. Keep in mind, however, that the results, in this case, are somehow uncertain. You also have to repair any wall cracks, as those too could be a passageway for the extra moisture in your house.
6. Make some laundry tweaks
Your washer and dryer release a lot of moisture, which can heighten the humidity levels in your home. To tackle this issue, you should use these machines only when you have a full load. Also see to it that the dryer vents outdoors, to avoid steam and condensation in your home.
Another option is to hang your clothes outside on a clothesline or drying rack. You, however, want to ensure that there aren’t restrictions in your neighborhood that may prevent you from doing so. If you have to hang your clothes indoors for them to dry, consider using a dehumidifier.
7. Keep gutters clean
Gutters have been designed to facilitate the collection and direction of water away from your house. If, however, they are not clean, they may not work as expected. Clogged gutters can experience water build-ups, so that water starts to drip over the edges. If such water collects at your house’s base, it may find its way inside through the foundation, contributing to increased humidity.
8. Avoid boiling water especially on humid days
Boiling water on a humid day raises the chances of increased humidity levels in your home, especially if there is no efficient technique put in place to get rid of the steam. You should avoid boiling water on humid days unless it’s crucial.
9. Get rid of plants
You may love plants because they make your home look and smell nice, but they can also be sources of moisture in your home. This is in consideration that even though most plants will help eliminate carbon dioxide, they still release water afterward. If your home has high humidity levels, you should consider keeping the plants outside. You can, however, go for plants such as Boston ferns since they absorb moisture from the air.
10. Insulate your home
If you live in an area that is known to have a lot of humidity in the outside, you should consider insulating your house. This way, the moisture outside will not find its way into your home. Insulation ensures that the air in your home remains inside, while the air from outside remains there. You want to pay a lot of attention to windows and doors, as these are notorious for air leaks when not properly sealed.
Lowering the humidity level in your home has loads of benefits and is the best way to ensure that you stay comfortable without having to deal with high energy bills. The good thing is that the tips mentioned in this article are quite easy to use and will work effectively as far as lowering humidity levels is concerned.
You, however, might have to try different tips until you find the one that works for you. Where applicable, moving to an area with drier weather can also be a solution to high humidity issues in your home.