Portable air conditioners can help reduce indoor humidity by improving ventilation in your house. Fans, dehumidifiers, and foundational work can help prevent serious damage to your home from high levels of humidity.
Do you experience high levels of humidity in your house during the summer? Humidity can be unbearable, especially if you work from home, don’t have a backyard or patio, or find that your sleep gets disrupted when it is too hot and sweaty in your room. Indoor humidity isn’t just uncomfortable—too much moisture in the air can cause all sorts of serious damage to your health and your home.
Besides heat relief, there are several reasons why you should take the necessary steps to lower humidity at home. Here are four common problems caused by humidity:
- Damage to the home
- Insect infestation
- Respiratory and allergy problems
The ideal indoor humidity range is 30-50% and an easy way to measure this is with a hydrometer. A hydrometer is a little devise that tells you how much moisture is in the air. But knowing the indoor humidity range of every room in your house is just the beginning. In this post, you’ll learn some of the major causes of high humidity, and how to fix it.
What Causes High Humidity?
High humidity doesn’t simply occur because of where we live. How we live and what we do about it determines if we will experience higher than normal levels of moisture indoors. Here are three common causes of high humidity:
- Indoor activities (cooking, bathing, dish washing, etc.)
- Poor insulation
- Unvented heating appliances
When warm, humid air contacts a cool surface, like windows or walls, water droplets begin to form and accumulate on these areas.
Photo by caait.ruzsa
Without proper insulation, the warm moisture will have nowhere to escape too, it will condense into water, and seep into the structural components of your home—causing peeling paint, mold and mildew growth, and wood rot. It doesn’t stop there. You may begin to experience respiratory problems, and asthma and allergy flare-ups.
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Tips to Control Humidity Levels
Fortunately, there are many ways you can lower the humidity levels throughout your house. Here are 10 tips that’ll take you closer to the heat relief you crave.
Invest in High-Velocity Fans
Take Shorter, Cooler Showers
The place where indoor humidity becomes most evident is in your bathroom after a long, hot shower. Installing a fan into your bathroom light is common practice to get rid of accumulated moisture after showers, but sometimes these appliances are no match for water droplets that cover the walls, windows, and door of a bathroom. Cut down on your shower time or lower the temperature a couple of notches. These simple tips will seriously help keep warm moisture to a minimum.
Invest in a Portable Air Conditioner
Photo by magan.poole
Portable air conditioners can help reduce indoor humidity by improving ventilation in your home. This type of air conditioner comes with a venting kit that helps remove hot air from a space while replacing it with cool air. Their lightweight design makes it easy to move from room to room to lower humidity levels throughout the house.
Keep Plants Outside
Photo by realmklibrary
This tip may be hard to do for any plant parents reading this. And while some studies suggest that certain houseplants can remove indoor air pollutants within 24-hours, they are also shown to increase humidity in the air. They do this by undergoing a process called transpiration. Once plants have absorbed water through their roots, they circulated it through their stems before the water reaches the leaves and evaporates into the air. To decrease humidity in your bedroom or overall home, leave your plants on the porch or patio.
Fix Leaking Pipes
Leaking pipes are an open expressway for warm, moisture to escape into the air. Mold and mildew also thrive in warm and wet environments. By fixing your leaky pipes, you are creating an unwelcoming home for these dangerous health hazards to grow.
Use Kitchen Ventilation Fans
If billows of warm steam are a common stove top occurrence, then it’s time to investigate kitchen ventilation fans. They remove all the moisture created from home cooked meals—taking any risk of humidity with them. And at the very least, they will keep your fire alarm from crying out every time things heat up in the kitchen.
Cover Pots While Cooking
If kitchen ventilation fans are out of the budge or current foundation, then something as simple as covering your pots and pans while cooking can make a difference. A lid keeps warm moisture from escaping from your cooking food and seeping into your wooden cabinets and walls.
Leave Patio Doors and Windows Open
Photo by alannah.kent
Air flow is an important player in reducing indoor humidity. While lounging or working from home, keep all your windows and doors open. This allows cool air to come in and gives hot air a place to go.
Clean Gutters Year Round
Dirty gutters are another place where moisture can build up and cause water leaks, ultimately leading to foundational damage. Routinely clean your gutters and be sure to downspout the collected runoff at least 6 feet away from your home.
Hang Dry Laundry Outside
There are certain clothing items that don’t belong in a dryer. While drying clothes inside during the winter is no problem, doing so during the summer creates more humidity. Check your neighborhood bylaws, then come up with a system that allows you to hang your clothes outside while temperatures heat up.