Controlling Your Home’s Humidity Level

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Controlling Your Home’s Humidity Level

While the South is well known for its high humidity -especially during the summer-it s not the only region of the U.S. where people have to deal with high humidity levels. For instance, when people in Colorado refer to the “dry cold” of the winter’s mountain air they are talking about the humidity just as Miami’s muggy, sticky heat is a result of humidity. Since humidity is no respecter of regions, it is often necessary to take control of the humidity level within your home.

The EPA recommends that the indoor humidity level be no more than 30-50% relativity humidity. This relative humidity is the amount of water vapor the air contains compared to the maximum amount it can hold at any given temperature. Consequently, if your indoor humidity level is too high, it should be controlled in one of two ways: by lowering the humidity level with a properly sized air conditioning system or by having a humidifier (or in some cases a dehumidifier) installed.

To effectively keep your home’s humidity level comfortable by using an air conditioner, it is of utmost importance to have an AC unit that is the proper size for the amount of space to be maintained. If it is too big it will turn on and off too often and result in there being too much moisture in the air. Of course, during the winter months, when heaters are in use, the same rule applies. If your heater is too big, it will dry out the air so rather than having cold “clammy” air, it is dry and can often make breathing difficult.

How to Tell If You Need a Dehumidifier

If you are not sure whether or not you need a home dehumidifier, there are several signs that you can judge by:

  • Wet stains on walls and ceilings
  • Stuffy feeling in a room
  • Rotting wood
  • Condensation on windows
  • Musty smells
  • Allergies due to the air in your home being too moist which will encourage the growth of bacteria and mold

Additional Ways to Control Your Home’s Humidity Levels

If you already have a dehumidifier but your home’s air still has too much humidity for your liking, or are perhaps trying to put off the inevitable, there are several steps you can take to reduce the humidity level in your home. These include:

  • Improving the drainage around your home’s foundation by making sure that gutter downspouts put water away from the foundation; keeping gutters and downspouts clean and open; making sure that the soil slopes away from your home so that water does not pool around your home and by not overwatering plants near the foundation.
  • Making sure that your clothes dryer is properly vented; not only will this improve the humidity level, but your clothes will drive faster.
  • Using vent fans in the bathroom and kitchen to remove humidity where it starts.
  • Repairing leaking faucets, this will save on your water bill and lower humidity!

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