Steps to Reduce Humidity in the Home
Summer is in full force and that means sunshine, beaches, and unfortunately, humidity. Besides being uncomfortable, humidity breeds mosquitoes, warps our furniture, rusts our appliances, and encourages mold and mildew. There’s nothing that can be done about humidity in nature, but we can combat humidity in the home if we focus on three basic techniques.
1. Air Flow
Generally, we want to keep the humidity indoors between 30 and 50%. Anything above and you run into trouble. Our first strategy, airflow, gives us the most optimal way to regulate moisture inside. The natural enemy of humidity is airflow. It can be used in a variety of ways to combat humidity in the home. Ventilation is key here, as such we look at our three most common tools:
Air Conditioning Units
A/C units are a nice option here as they give you the most control over adding and removing moisture in your house. Most units can be run on ‘dry’ mode, which actively leaches moisture from the air while keeping your household cool. Some units also may automatically switch into a dehumidifying mode when the air inside reaches the set temperature.
Fans are also effective tools for reducing humidity in the home. Although they allow for less control than A/C, they are masters at circulating air throughout a home and assist in dispersing water vapor that collects in the air.
Lastly, we have ventilation systems. Ventilation systems use fans to circulate air to the outside, taking the moisture with it. They are especially useful in bathrooms where condensation tends to collect after showers or baths. Be sure to always turn on the fan when you are doing activities like cooking or taking a shower.
2. Moisture Reduction
Moisture in the air causes humidity in our homes. As water collects and begins to evaporate it stays in the atmosphere gradually driving the humidity index above the comfort threshold of 50%. So one simple but effective way to combat humidity in the house is to reduce the amount of moisture.
Certain Houseplants are known to absorb moisture from the air, so strategically placing them around your home helps with your battle against humidity. Click here for a list of plant species that reduce humidity in the home.
It is also important to check your pipes for condensation as that is another moisture source we rarely consider. If you find such a pipe, the fix can be simple and cheap. Using swimming noodles, cut along the long edge, wrap it around the pipe in question, and secure it with duct tape. This acts as an insulator and prevents the water from dispersing into the air.
Lastly, limit usage of indoor dryers, as they tend to extract the moisture from washed items and release it into the environment where it collects and drives the humidity index past comfort levels. When possible try to line-dry your clothes outdoors.
The last tool to combat humidity in the home is the dehumidifier, which acts to reverse the process of evaporation. Dehumidifiers have a vast price range depending on their quality and capacity. You could choose to place dehumidifiers in only the most humid areas of the home that are more likely to grow mold, such as the kitchen, bathroom, and basement, or purchase a whole house dehumidifier.