Reducing Humidity in Your Home

Reducing Humidity in Your HomeOptimum home humidity is a question of balance: not too little, not too much. When the level is too low—below 35 percent—occupants feel the effects of scratchy throats and dry skin. Wood furniture and flooring shrinks and splinters. When there’s too much moisture in the air, however—above 55 percent—paint peels and windows are streaked with condensation. The indoor environment is noticeably less comfortable, too as performance and efficiency of air conditioners and heaters is impaired. Also, chronically high levels of water vapor can trigger indoor mold growth that may cause health issues.

In our moderately humid climate here in western Indiana, a multi-faceted approach works best to control indoor levels. Here are some steps to take:

Vent kitchens and bathrooms

Water vapor from cooking and bathrooms migrates throughout the house, making the indoors more humid. Ventilation fans should vent all the way to the exterior of the building through dedicated vent ducts.

Circulate air

Keeping air in motion helps reduces water vapor content. Use ceiling fans and window fans (when weather permits) to sustain air circulation.

Check the clothes dryer

Air vented from the dryer is very humid. Make sure the dryer vent isn’t obstructed by lint accumulation and that the vent extends all the way to the outside of the house.

Don’t use unvented gas heaters

Natural gas combustion creates water vapor as a byproduct. Unvented units like space heaters emit a large amount of humidity into the indoor environment. (Unvented space heaters also pose potential safety issues including fire and carbon monoxide.)

Keep your air conditioner in shape

Reducing humidity is a critical part of the air conditioning process. Make sure your A/C is performing up to specs by getting annual preventive maintenance by a qualified HVAC contractor.

Consider a whole-house dehumidifier

Installed inside your HVAC ductwork, this unit constantly monitors and adjusts water vapor content in the household airflow. Desired levels can be user-selected at a wall-mounted digital humidistat.

The Wabash Valley’s source for trusted HVAC sales and service since 1922, Paitson Bros. has more information about keeping indoor humidity levels in the safety and comfort zone.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about TOPIC and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 812-645-6859.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “coyot/Pixabay”

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    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

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