Indoor humidity can have a huge impact on your comfort level in your home. It also can affect your home itself. Ideally, the humidity in your home should fall in the range of 30-50%. If the humidity in your home is too high, it can not only be uncomfortable, it can also lead to condensation and mold growth. High humidity can lead to wood rot and peeling paint in your home and can even contribute to respiratory problems. To achieve that proper balance of 30-50%, here are a few things you can do.
First, if you want to get an accurate reading of the humidity in your home you can purchase a hygrometer at your local hardware store. If your humidity is too high, using your air conditioner will help automatically. By removing hot air and replacing it with cooler air (which holds less moisture), using your air conditioner will naturally help to reduce indoor humidity. Properly maintaining your air conditioner and changing your filters frequently will help keep airflow unrestricted and reduce humidity as well.
Using exhaust fans that ventilate air outside (not into the attic) when cooking and showering can reduce humidity. It is a good idea to leave them on a little longer than just when you are cooking or showering to reduce the humidity even more. It can also make a difference to reduce the temperature slightly when you shower as it will introduce less steam into the air.
Anything you can do to lower the amount of moisture that is introduced in your home is good. If you have leaky or dripping pipes, fixing those, and insulating your pipes to prevent condensation will both help lower the indoor humidity. Also make sure that drip pans and drain lines on your air conditioner are clean and free flowing. Even checking your gutters and areas around your home to make sure there is no standing water is helpful.
Did you know … that charcoal briquettes can work as a desiccant? Place a few charcoal briquettes in a plastic coffee container with a vent holes cut in it and replace them every 2-3 months. It is a great low cost and simple way to pull moisture out of the air.
Of course, the most effective way to reduce indoor humidity is by using a dehumidifier. You can get portable dehumidifiers that are inexpensive and work very well. But they do have to be emptied daily. An even more efficient way to control the humidity in your home is to have a whole-home dehumidifier installed. A whole-home dehumidifier goes inside your furnace/air handler and will pull moisture out of the air as it passes through. This brings cooler dryer air into your home and actually helps your air conditioner work less, saving you money on cooling bills.
If you would like to reduce the humidity in your home, Royal Heating and Air can help. Give us a call or request a quote on our website to learn more about having a whole-home dehumidifier installed, or for routine HVAC maintenance to keep your system working at peak efficiency. Helping you control your indoor humidity is just one more way that Royal Heating and Air is the King of Comfort!