You will want to keep excess humidity out of your home. You can measure humidity and you can buy thermostats that measure it for you, but you can also feel it. Damp spots, mold and rotting things might appear in dark areas of your home. You might see fog on the windows for too long and you might get that sagging, damp feeling you get when things are just too humid.
Here are some handy ways to reduce your environments humidity levels, help your family stay healthy and increase the life of your home altogether.
- Ventilating areas of your home such as the bathroom, utility rooms, and kitchens can reduce humidity levels. Make sure your crawl space or basement is sufficiently ventilated to the outside. Keep windows open for a while to use natural air currents to dry up areas.
- Take a colder and shorter shower. Hot water produces steam and this increases humidity. You will save on the energy bill if you don’t use so much hot water also. Purchase a low-flow shower head.
- Use ceiling fans to keep air circulating. Evaporation will occur faster if air is moving.
- If you run the HVAC system, it will condition the air to have less humidity.
- Make sure your clothes dryer is vented to the outside of the home.
- When you cook food, put lids on the pots and pans.
- Make sure your water heater, furnace, and boilers are using correct drafting pipes and vents to get rid of exhaust and humidity appropriately.
- Make sure your drain lines and drain pans for your HVAC system are not clogged. This stagnant water will evaporate and place unhealthy contaminants in the air also.
- If you have house plants, take them outside every now and then. They give off moisture into the air.
- Keep your downspouts and gutters clean as they will direct water away from the house and prevent moisture buildup underneath the house structure.
- If you happen to store firewood inside your house, understand the wood drys up and releases moisture into the air. Store your firewood outside or in a room annex.
- Install a dehumidifier or purchase a portable room for the most often used areas of your home.
- Check your carpet for wear and tear. Older carpets retain more moisture.
- Inspect all the pipes in your home to which you have access. Wrap them with insulation. Cold pipes will sweat and give off moisture.
- Make use of storm windows or place plastic film on your windows. Use weatherstripping and caulk. Your energy usage will drop and you will prevent cold drafts. Moisture coming in from the outside will also be decreased.
- Insulate your basement or craw space with a vapor barrier. This can prevent moisture from evaporating from the soil and reduce the spread of moisture from the outside air to the inside.
- Repair any cracks that appear in your basement or crawl space walls. Water can leak in through these.
- Make sure the outside grading of your yard directs water away from the house and not toward the walls.
- Inspect your roof for shingles and flashing that may be allowing water into the attic or walls.
Keep your humidity levels correct. Consult with the manufacturer of your HVAC system for correct levels or contact an HVAC provider to discover the correct humidity levels for your situation. Excessive moisture can increase air borne disease, the spread of toxic pollutants and allergens. Moisture in the lungs, throat, and mouth can result in wheezing, shortness of breath, headaches, allergies, and a chronic cough. General data indicate that humidity levels for the summer are best kept less than 60%. Humidity levels for the winter are best between 25-40%.
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