Are you battling with excessive humidity in your house? Maintaining a good humidity level in your home is essential. Read on to know how you can reduce indoor humidity.
But how do you reduce humidity in your home? There are several strategies and tools you can use to reduce humidity in your home. You can reduce humidity in your home with dehumidifiers, adequate ventilation, humidity monitors, air conditioning systems, weather-stripping, insulation, and more. Your lifestyle also contributes to the humidity in your home, so lifestyle changes can also reduce indoor humidity.
The Ideal Indoor Humidity Level
The optimal home humidity level is between 30 to 50 percent.
This is measured as something called relative humidity, or RH. You can get this reading from a simple hygrometer, or from a dehumidifier if you have one. Anything below 50% prevents excess moisture, mold, and mildew, while anything above 30% is necessary to keep our lungs and skin in good health.
Excessive moisture in the home will make you uncomfortable and hot. Furthermore, it could have a negative impact on your properties and home at large.
As mentioned, too much humidity can lead to the growth of mold, so you’ll have bigger issues to deal with than just condensation to form on your walls. Mold can cause wood rot or structural damage. It also has a negative impact on one’s health, as it can trigger allergies, interrupt sleep, and cause respiratory issues.
Humidity that’s too low can also result in certain conditions such as asthma and trigger allergies because our mucous membranes in our bodies require at least 30% RH to maintain their health. Besides the health issues, low humidity can also crack and damage wood floors. Hence, it is best to always keep your home’s humidity at the optimal level. And that’s 30 to 50% RH.
How to Reduce Humidity Indoors
It typically isn’t difficult to get humidity above 30% RH. It’s actually rare to see a home that naturally goes below that level. So unless you never take showers, never cook, and your home is overly sealed from the outside, you probably won’t see this.
But you can come across humidity levels that are too high and this can take time to get down to normal.
One of the major causes of increased indoor humidity levels is moisture from the outside. When moisture enters your house, the humidity level in your home will likely increase. Hence, the first step to reducing indoor humidity is controlling how moisture enters your house or preventing it altogether. Here are the different ways you can reduce humidity in your home:
Use a Dehumidifier
One of the easiest and quickest ways to reduce humidity in your home is to set up a dehumidifier. Together with controlled ventilation, Dehumidifiers do an impressive job of reducing moisture in the house.
Many homeowners place dehumidifiers in their basements most times. Nevertheless, you can get a larger dehumidifier that can serve the whole house. Also, you need to seal off the area or room completely if you want the dehumidifier to function optimally. That means you should close your doors and windows properly to prevent leakage.
Dehumidifiers help to remove moisture from the air. However, you should not keep the device close to the wall or anything that could prevent adequate airflow. You can also put a dehumidifier in your furnace air handler.
With this device, the air in your home would be cool and dry at all times. While a portable dehumidifier can do the job, you can invest in a larger one to serve the entire house if you have the budget.
- How Do Dehumidifiers Work?
- How Should I Set My Dehumidifier In the Summer?
- How to Reduce Humidity In a House In the Winter (16 Tips)
- Do Dehumidifiers Prevent Mold?
Use an Air-Conditioning System
Air conditioners do more than just cool the room; they also help to reduce humidity indoors.
As the AC unit introduces cooler air into the room it removes humid and warm air just like a dehumidifier.
While it won’t be able to extract the same volume of moisture from the air as a dehumidifier would, using both the dehumidifier and air conditioner can help even with alarming humidity levels
Hence, by turning on your AC unit, you can remove moisture and reduce the humidity level in your home significantly. Just ensure that the air-conditioning unit you install is the suitable size for your home. You also want to make sure your AC is in good condition always.
Ensure Your Home Has Adequate Ventilation
If there are areas where moisture is present in your home, you want to ensure they are adequately ventilated to prevent stuffy, moist air where mold can grow. Proper ventilation plays a crucial role in reducing indoor humidity.
The bathroom and kitchen are two areas where moisture settles a lot. You want to make sure those areas are well-ventilated. Make sure your exhaust vent fans are working properly, and always turn them on when the room is moist. When taking a shower, keep the exhaust fan on for another 30 minutes after you’re finished showering.
If your vent fans cannot handle the moisture in the room, get additional fans. You can also crack one or more windows open if you do not have any exhaust fans. When cooking or showering warm water, turn on your vent fans.
Pay attention to the outside weather as well. Don’t just open doors and windows whenever you feel like it. Keep them shut when there’s humidity outside and open them up when the air is also dry outside.
Dry Your Clothes Outside If You Can
Do you know that drying your clothes indoors can increase indoor humidity? Drying your wet clothes indoors will expose your home to moisture. The moisture situation will worsen if you do not have proper ventilation or vent fans.
You should dry your wet clothes outdoors to prevent increasing the moisture level in your home. If you must dry your garments indoors, you should use a dryer. Using a dryer would help reduce moisture exposure in your room.
Clothes dryers also emit a lot of heat and steam while in use. Hence, the best solution is to dry your clothes outside. Make a clothesline in your backyard to dry your clothes if you can.
Weather Strip Your Home
Preventing warm and cool air from escaping in your home is another excellent way of controlling humidity. To prevent the escape of warm and cool air, you need to create an airtight seal by weather-stripping around the windows and doors.
Weather-stripping around the windows and door would also help prevent too much humidity from entering the house. This tip comes in handy during warmer seasons, where there is excessive outdoor humidity.
Take Shorter and Colder Showers
This is another simple but highly effective solution to this problem. Many people like taking hot, long showers, and they have made it a routine. While this might make you feel good, it exposes your home to heat and moisture.
Taking a hot shower for an extended period increases the humidity level in your home. Fortunately, you can reduce the humidity level in your home by taking shorter and colder showers. Appliances such as low-flow showerheads can contribute to the reduction of indoor humidity.
Don’t forget to also keep the exhaust fan on for another half hour after showering. Also, don’t let your wet towels dry on a rack in the shower. Immediately toss them in the dryer to take them outside to dry.
Move House Plants
Plants are very attractive, and they add elegance to our homes. But houseplants also contribute to the moisture indoors. If you have many plants indoors, you will experience a rise in indoor humidity levels.
In fact, whenever you water your indoor plants, they only use 3% of the water and expel the rest back into the air in your room. As you can tell, a couple of large houseplants can turn into a big moisture problem over time.
Hence, if you have plants that increase humidity levels, you can take them outside or move them to a well-ventilated space. There are some plants that clean the air and help to remove moisture from the air, such as Boston ferns.
These plants will not only reduce your energy consumption and humidity level but also add more oxygen and reduce carbon dioxide in the environment. Hence, you should consider growing plants that absorb humidity in the environment in your home.
A Basket of Charcoal
Charcoal is one of the most moisture-absorbing substances. It might not be the most pleasant thing to have in your home, but it does an impressive job of removing moisture from the air. With a basket of charcoal in your home, you can reduce indoor humidity by a considerable rate.
The charcoal does not have to be special. You can use grilling charcoal for this job, as it works just fine. Another beautiful thing about this solution is that it is cost-effective. Charcoal is very cheap, and you can use it for three months or more before replacing it. This solution does a great job of removing moisture from the air in larger rooms and spaces.
We recommend a few inexpensive active charcoal bags scattered about your home. Place them discreetly in a few decorative bowls in your home and they’ll barely be noticeable.
As a side note, there are also other natural desiccants like charcoal. Consider rock salt crystals as well. They usually contain calcium chloride. You may have seen them advertised as popular brands like DampRid.
Use Baking Soda
Baking soda is another great fix to this problem. If you are dealing with excessive humidity in your home, you can turn to baking soda as a dehumidifier. Get some baking soda, turn it in a bowl, and put it in places with high humidity in the home.
This solution is highly effective in smaller areas and rooms. It helps to remove moisture from the air quickly and effectively. After some weeks or months, you can replace the baking soda to restore its effectiveness.
Just don’t forget to keep it away from children and pets!
Replace Your Rug or Carpet
Carpets do more than just add visual appeal and cushioning surfaces. They do a lot more in homes than many people realize. Carpets can absorb and retain moisture in homes. As such, they can be increasing the humidity level of a home once they become old.
You can check if your rug is retaining moisture by sniffing it. If the carpet smells damp or musty, you can replace it or dry clean it. Look for stains, especially in the underlayer, as these can be a clear sign of moisture.
Signs of Excessive Humidity in the Home
Speaking if signs of moisture in your home –
Here are some signs that indicate high humidity levels in your home:
Clammy and Moist Air
If the air in your home starts feeling clammy and moist, chances are you have an excessive humidity problem. A damp and moist air would also leave your skin feeling moist and sticky indoors, especially in the summer.
Too much humidity can also cause visible mold in the house. You will most likely see visible molds in the laundry room, kitchen, and bathroom. Basements are also notorious for mold issues.
Mold can be a persistent problem if you do not take care of it quickly. So instead of waiting until its too late and having to pay thousands of dollars for professional mold remediation, take steps now to prevent mold. Seal any leaky windows, doors, sump pumps, or any other area where moisture can seep into your home, and invest in a good dehumidifier in your basement.
Another common sign of excess humidity in the house is foggy windows. When vaporized water (humidity) is trapped in the house, it can make your windows cloudy. Try sealing the cracks around your windows, or replacing them if the humidity is staying stuck between the panes.
If you have allergies that tend to worsen when you are indoors, you might have an excess humidity problem. Poor air quality can trigger allergies, and this is often caused by too much moisture in the air. It can result in the growth and spreading of airborne allergens such as mold spores that then enter your respiratory system and cause discomfort in your nose, mouth, eyes, and lungs.
Rotting wood is one common sign that many people tend to ignore. If the wood around your home starts to deteriorate, chances are you have an excess moisture problem. If you have wood floors, check for bending as excess moisture can cause wood floors to buckle.
Benefits of Reduced Indoor Humidity
Keeping the humidity of your home low comes with many great benefits. The benefits of lower home humidity go beyond temperature. The ideal home humidity provides a wide range of benefits such as:
Increased indoor humidity creates a breeding ground for allergy triggers such as mildew and dust mites. Living in such an environment would result in wheezing, sneezing, and stuffy noses.
This would make you uncomfortable and can be harmful to children as well. If the air is always moist and damp, these allergy triggers would live comfortably and multiply, which is not something you want. Hence, you should ensure you have complete control over your home’s humidity.
Sometimes, people use all the fragrances or cleaning agents they can lay their hands on to improve the smell in their homes but do not get their desired result. But masking the smell of musty air is temporary and doesn’t solve the problem. You’ll still have mildew and mold.
To get rid of the foul smell in your home, you have to do two things. First, you have to look for the source of the smell and find a solution for it. That means you have to find and remove any mold source that might be growing in your home.
The second thing you have to do is dehumidify your home to get rid of the moisture in the air. That would help to restore the normal smell of the environment. No fragrances needed, just fresh, clean air.
Structural Health of Your Home
Besides affecting your health, excess humidity can also affect your home’s “health.” At its worst, it can affect your home’s structural components like beams, walls, and floors, and even at its best it can cause your furniture and flooring to buckle, crack, rot, and deteriorate.
Over long enough time, if not taken care of, there really are no minor problems with moisture in your home. All of them eventually blow up into big issues that cost thousands of dollars to take care of.
That’s why prevention is worth its weight in gold.
Excess indoor humidity is terrible. In addition to the adverse effect on one’s health, too much moisture can damage your home as well.
You should always keep your home humidity at the ideal range, which is from 30 to 50 percent relative humidity. With the tips in this guide, reducing your indoor humidity should no longer be an issue.