The four seasons in the Delaware Valley come with variations in humidity throughout the year. For this reason, the answer to ‘How to control my home’s humidity’, could differ between winter and summer. In summer, you may need to dehumidify your indoor air. In winter, you may need to humidify the air to increase comfort and prevent overly dry skin. Beyond the weather, poor ventilation or missing vapor barriers can promote excessive moisture.
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High Humidity Problems
High relative humidity within the home above 40% to 50% also reduces your comfort in hot weather. The air conditioner must work harder to cool humid air. As a result, your electricity bill increases.
- Mold growth and odors
- Paint peeling
- Home structural damage
- Metal corrosion
- Respiratory system irritation
Low Humidity Problems
Low household humidity normally emerges as a problem in winter. Humidity is lower during this time of year, and your heating system will dry out the air as it runs.
When your home’s humidity goes below 30%, the dry air makes it easier for you to feel cold. Your body will lose heat through evaporation from your skin. Your most likely response will be to turn up the heat and thereby increase utility costs.
- Dry skin and hair
- Respiratory irritation
- Static electricity shocks
- Cracking wood floors
How to Control My Home’s Humidity Steps
- Your first move is to track the humidity in your home.
- Obtain one or more hygrometers. A hygrometer measures humidity.
- Ideally, place hygrometers throughout your home to measure differences in humidity across the structure.
- Place a hygrometer in your basement or crawl space. These areas are susceptible to moisture problems.
- Put a hygrometer in the kitchen and bathrooms.
- Put another meter in a room without water, like the living room or a bedroom.
- Collect readings from the hygrometers. The numbers will likely vary from room to room.
- Take action to control humidity in spaces that is above or below the 30% to 50% range.
To control high humidity:
The extent and source of the humidity problem guide your response to answering ‘how to control my home’s humidity’. Depending on the situation, you may:
- Install ventilation fans in the bathroom and kitchen.
- Seal a crawlspace with a vapor barrier.
- Repair leaking pipes.
- Improve insulation and door and window weatherproofing.
- Install a portable dehumidifier in the moist area, such as a basement.
- Install a whole-house dehumidifier that controls humidity as air passes through heating and cooling ducts.
To control low humidity:
- Simmer a pot of water on the stove.
- Open the dishwasher to release steam as soon as its wash cycle finishes.
- Install a portable humidifier in the driest rooms.
- Install a whole-house humidifier that adjusts humidity as air moves through the heating and cooling ducts.
Humidity Control Solutions from Oliver
To optimize your home’s humidity consistently year-round, you should consult our indoor air quality professionals. At Oliver, our skilled team can evaluate your home’s ventilation and insulation issues and recommend the best mitigation strategy.
If leaking pipes or condensation is behind your moisture woes, count on our plumbers to fix those problems. Our HVAC specialists are also qualified to install whole-house humidifier or dehumidifier systems. To make the best humidity control plan for your home, contact Oliver today.