If you’re not already feeling summer’s heat, additional humidity can make your home feel even hotter. Why is this? It’s because airborne moisture prevents your body from being able to cool quickly since sweat can’t evaporate as effectively as it would in drier conditions. Ohio tends to be pretty humid overall, and during the summer when your windows and doors are closed all day humidity can start to build up. You’ll also notice an increase after a good rain as the extra moisture begins to return to the atmosphere.
Besides causing discomfort, excess moisture in your home can cause damage and can encourage the growth of mold and mildew. It lowers the quality of your air and can cause you to feel sick or congested.
To help reduce your moisture levels indoors, we’ve compiled some tips on how to get rid of excess humidity in your home.
Perhaps the simplest and easiest way to prevent humid air from lingering is by ventilating your home. Start by opening your windows and by using the vent fans in rooms with higher humidity, like your bathroom or kitchen. Your bathroom probably has a ceiling vent installed that you can use to remove excess moisture during or after showering to help pull the humid air out. In the kitchen, your range hood’s vent (sometimes built into an overhead microwave) can help distribute the humid air from cooking.
Take a shorter, colder shower
A hot, steamy shower feels fantastic – especially in the winter – but all of that wonderful steam eventually has to go somewhere. When you open the bathroom door, it wafts through your home, raising humidity levels. To prevent this, you can either take shorter showers, to produce less steam or lower the temperature of the water. Colder showers don’t create as much steam and are better for your overall health, especially your skin!
Dry those clothes outside
Hanging your clothes to dry inside acts like turning on a humidifier. As wet clothes dry, moisture evaporates into the surrounding air, which happens to be the inside of your home. Wherever possible, dry your clothes outside or at least in a well-ventilated indoor area. As an alternative, you can still dry your clothes in the dryer – just run it at lower temperatures to reduce humidity – and this will also help prevent damage to your garments!
Relocate your plants outside
All plants release a level of moisture into the air. Plants open their stomata (small pores on the underside of their leaves) to absorb carbon dioxide (CO2). When this happens, small amounts of moisture are released. The soil around the plant also contains moisture, and any water the plant doesn’t absorb will evaporate back into the air.
This moisture can accumulate and raises the humidity level in your home. To prevent this, keep only a few plants in your home or even move them all outside. Also, keep the size of your plants in mind, as ones with larger leaves will give off more moisture.
Replace your AC filter
While replacing your HVAC system’s filter regularly is always a good idea, installing a new one also helps control the humidity in your home. Air filters are designed to remove dirt and debris from the air, but also to allow the air to flow efficiently throughout your home. Air can’t flow through a clogged filter effectively, which allows moisture to accumulate due to inadequate ventilation.
Most air filters cost no more than $20, so this is a quick and inexpensive way to decrease the humidity level in your home.
Use your air conditioner
Warm air is more likely to be humid than cold air due to water’s tendency to condense at lower temperatures. Moisture condenses and collects in colder temperatures, rather than evaporating into the air like it does in warm weather, leaving your home’s air less humid.
To benefit from this effect in your home, use your air conditioner more often. The air in your home will be cooler, and your air conditioning system will help to make it less humid as well.
Get a dehumidifier
If you’re still having trouble with humidity in your home, it could be time to invest in a dehumidifier. These units work by pulling in humid air, passing it over cooled coils, and then collecting the moisture as it condenses inside the unit. Depending on the size of your home or how many rooms you need to reduce humidity in, there are many dehumidifier options, including portable dehumidifiers for easy relocation throughout your house.
If you have questions about humidity in your home and what you might need to resolve it, give us a call!