How Can I Keep Humidity out of the House?
During the summer, it’s usually not the heat that creates the biggest problem; it’s the humidity. Even on a cool day, that heavy, muggy feeling in the air can make your skin clammy, your clothes damp, and keep you uncomfortable all day long. Not only that, but it can affect the structural integrity of your home and attract mold, dust mites, and other unwanted pests. It can even hinder your body’s ability to cool itself, since the moisture in the air prevents your sweat from evaporating.
You can avoid these unpleasant problems by maintaining an appropriate humidity level in your home. Most experts recommend a humidity level below 60% during the summer months. If humidity is plaguing your home this summer, we have a few tips that can help!
The most effective way to remove humidity from your home is to turn on your air conditioner. Your air conditioner doesn’t just cool the air, but it also controls humidity and filters the air at the same time. The evaporator coil, which is connected to your furnace, is cold, so water condenses onto it instead of being circulated back through your house. Because the coil is wet, it also traps dirt and other particles that are floating in the air. Because of this, the air conditioner pumps air into your home that is not only cooler, but cleaner and less humid than before!
However, it’s essential that your air conditioner is correctly sized for your home. If your air conditioner is too big, it will begin to short-cycle, meaning that it only turns on for a few minutes at a time and then shut off, having quickly cooled the air. Because of this, there isn’t enough time for the air conditioner to remove the humidity.
- Your air conditioner doesn’t have to work alone! There are a few other ways to keep the humidity out:
- Purchase a portable dehumidifier or two and place them in your basement, crawlspace, and other locations that tend to hold moisture.
- This one may seem obvious, but many people forget: turn off your whole-house humidifier during the summer.
- Insulation is key! Make sure to insulate your home properly and seal any areas where outdoor air can leak in.
- Though it may be tempting, avoid opening your windows after a rainstorm. Moisture tends to move toward dry air, so all that outdoor humidity will rush right inside.
- Use your exhaust fans in the bathrooms and kitchen to remove humidity created by cooking or taking showers. Also, taking a shorter, cooler shower can help, too!