If you’re like most homeowners, you may not pay close attention to the relative humidity levels inside your house. But if you want to stay healthy and prevent moisture-related damage to your home, you should. Most people only notice humidity when it feels excessive or when their indoor air starts to feel a bit too dry. But being proactive rather than reactive about keeping your relative indoor humidity levels within the proper range is something every homeowner should strive to do.
What can happen when humidity levels get exceedingly high or low inside your home? Our Dust Doctors team explains below.
How Do You Know if Your Home Is Too Humid?
Does the air inside your home feel heavy and moist? Do the insides of your windows fog up easily? Can you feel or see condensation on any surfaces around your home? Do you have a hygrometer that registers a relative humidity of more than 50%? If any of these things are true (particularly the hygrometer reading) the interior of your home is too humid. And unfortunately, that humidity may be affecting your health — and not in a good way.
Excess humidity doesn’t just feel uncomfortable; when allowed to persist unchecked, it can trigger a cascade of consequences around the house, none of which contribute to a healthy, happy home. What kind of consequences might you encounter?
● Mold and mildew growth
● Deterioration or rotting of your home’s structural components
● Pest infestations
● Respiratory issues
So what causes too much moisture in your indoor air? Let’s take a look below.
Why Are Some Homes More Humid Than Others?
If you have an HVAC system, the health of your air conditioner plays a major role in determining the amount of moisture that accumulates inside your home. If you neglect routine a/c cleaning, your air conditioner cannot efficiently remove moisture and heat from the air, which can make your indoor air feel heavy, moist, and even musty. But your A/C isn’t the only contributor to high humidity levels; the following culprits are also common.
If you have a leaky roof, windows, or doors, moisture will inevitably enter your home from outside. Though it will eventually evaporate, unlike outdoor moisture that travels into the clouds, indoor moisture really has nowhere else to go.
Ultimately, that moisture (which is typically condensation) will stay inside your home, especially if your air conditioner and/or furnace doesn’t dehumidify your home efficiently. When that happens, moisture can eventually soak into wood, carpet, drywall, and other materials inside your house, where it will likely prompt mildew and mold. In some cases, it even attracts indoor pests.
Water Around Your Foundation
If your property doesn’t have an efficient water drainage system or you don’t have gutters, water can quickly accumulate around your home’s foundation when it rains. If it has nowhere to drain, it will gradually seep into the foundation, and if the problem persists long enough, that moisture will eventually travel into the structure of your home.
Household Activities Involving Water
Anything you do inside your home that involves water will add moisture to the air. Showering, running the dishwasher, washing dishes, etc. — all such activities increase the relative humidity within your walls.
As mentioned, your HVAC system is designed to remove excess humidity from your indoor air. But to do its job efficiently, it requires routine maintenance and cleaning, preferably on a yearly basis. In many households, dust and debris accumulation inside the attached ductwork also limits the HVAC system’s ability to maintain appropriate indoor humidity levels.
Solutions for Regulating Relative Indoor Humidity
To remedy a high relative indoor humidity problem, professional duct cleaning and a/c cleaning are great first steps. Ensuring that your air conditioner is thoroughly clean and regularly serviced will help the unit remove excess moisture from your indoor air as efficiently as possible. Keeping your air ducts clean will also help prevent moisture from clinging to buildup inside the ducts, which can further control humidity levels that tend to get too high.
Aside from scheduling regular air duct cleaning and a/c cleaning service, you have a few other options for reducing your home’s relative indoor humidity level:
● Use dehumidifiers in rooms that tend to get more humid than others.
● If you hang-dry your laundry indoors, try trying it outside instead to prevent more moisture from evaporating into your home’s ambient air.
● If you have houseplants, consider moving them outdoors as excess moisture in their soil will eventually evaporate into the air inside your home. Alternatively, move your plants into rooms that tend to stay dryer than others.
● If you have a crawlspace with exposed dirt, lay plastic sheeting over the dirt to prevent moisture from entering your home through the ground. Make sure your crawlspace is properly ventilated, too.
● Open interior doors to improve air and heat circulation throughout your house. When you have more air circulation, more heat will make contact with the cold surfaces around your house that tend to accumulate condensation.
● Check your home for leaks that may allow water to enter from outdoors. If you find damaged seals around windows, pipe leaks, or any other type of leak, get the damaged area fixed as promptly as you can.
If you’ve dealt with chronically high humidity levels in your house, you may also want to consider getting a whole-house air purification system or portable air purification devices to improve your indoor air quality. When indoor humidity stays too high for too long, it can contribute to mold, mildew, and fungus growth that may cause respiratory issues, allergies, or other undesirable health problems.
Improve Your Indoor Air Quality With Dust Doctors
If excessive indoor humidity is affecting your indoor air quality, our team at Dust Doctors is here to help. We specialize in a variety of services designed to improve the quality of your indoor air, including duct cleaning, a/c cleaning, furnace cleaning, and air purification systems, among others. To learn more about our services, request your free quote, or schedule an appointment, contact our team today at 651-319-9777 or send us a message via our contact page, and we’ll be in touch promptly.
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