High relative humidity can leave your Lufkin home feeling stuffy and clammy. Even worse, excess amounts of moisture throughout your home can cause a number of serious problems, including mold and mildew growth, water damage and the proliferation of illnesses that thrive on humidity.
It's important to take action to lower humidity levels, especially if you want to restore indoor comfort and maintain a healthy and safe home environment. The following offers plenty of helpful tips you can use to cut excess humidity and make your home feel comfortable again.
Controlling Humidity Throughout Your Home
For starters, ventilation is the key ingredient for controlling high indoor humidity. Having adequate amounts of fresh airflow through your home can help push out humid indoor air and replace it with drier, healthier outdoor air. In many cases, accomplishing this is as simple as cracking open a window for a few minutes each day, preferably when performing activities that put large amounts of moisture in the air.
Speaking of moisture-creating activities, ordinary household tasks like washing dishes, drying clothes, cooking and bathing can easily increase your home’s humidity levels. Adding four to six pints of water can raise humidity levels inside of a 1,000-square foot radius from 15 percent to 60 percent in just a short amount of time. With this in mind, it’s easy to see these activities can have a tremendous impact on your home.
- Turn on exhaust fans in your kitchen, bathroom and laundry room when performing common household activities in those areas. If you don’t have exhaust fans, consider installing them in places where they’re needed most.
- Cut those showers short and turn down the hot water tap. While those long, hot showers soothe and relax, they also add copious amounts of moisture to the air. Instead, take short, cool showers.
- Make sure the exhaust vent on the clothes dryer is properly routed outdoors. Don’t forget to check the vent for lint and other obstructions.
- Consider using your air conditioner as an impromptu dehumidifier. This option might not be as practical as a dedicated dehumidifier, but it helps in a pinch.
- Keep those pots covered. Boiling water and other cooking tasks create excess humidity.
- Don’t hesitate to use ceiling fans to increase ventilation and reduce excess humidity.
If the above measures aren’t enough to control indoor humidity, you may be able to lower humidity levels with the help of a dehumidifier. Unlike an air conditioner, a dehumidifier is specifically dedicated to removing excess moisture from the surrounding air, effectively lowering the relative humidity of your home’s indoor air. It's usually recommended to run a dehumidifier in spaces with the doors and windows closed.
Structural Improvements Can Also Help
In addition to modifying your household activities and adjusting HVAC settings, structural changes to your home can also help lower humidity levels and restore overall comfort. For instance, adding a plastic vapor barrier between crawl spaces can help block damaging humidity from infiltrating the rest of your home.
Here are some more tips you can put to good use:
- Add weatherstripping and caulking to the inside and outside of your windows. This helps control cold drafts and prevents condensation.
- Keep your roof in good shape by practicing proactive maintenance. Loose shingles and flashing can cause rain water to leak into walls, insulation and other unprotected areas.
- Consider having your foundation treated with water-absorbing clay. This material can help block water from infiltrating the basement and other below-ground level spaces.
- If it’s been a while since you’ve replaced your carpet, now’s the time to give it some thought. Replacing carpet not only removes a moisture-retaining element from your home, but it also gets rid of moisture-loving dust mites.
If you want to learn more ways to lower humidity levels and improve your home’s overall comfort, check out the latest in HVAC and home comfort solutions from McWilliams & Son Heating & Air, or contact us at 936-465-9191 in the Lufkin area!
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