With proper ventilation and HVAC systems, it’s not likely that you will develop mold problems in the home, but if you have too much humidity in the home, the chances of mold, mildew, and other moisture-related problems rise significantly.
Negative Effects of High Humidity
- Hair gets frizzy and hard to manage
- Makeup doesn’t stick, begins to slide off
- Air feels muggy and uncomfortable
- Sweat cools you down through the process of evaporation. If there is high humidity, sweat won’t cool you off, it will just make you feel uncomfortable
- Sleeping difficulties worsen
- Mold spores can develop and multiply
- Mildew, a form of mold, can start to develop on fabrics and clothing
- Wood begins to swell, doors stick, and wood begins to deteriorate
- More pests—insects love humid environments
- Pets (and people) smell worse than normal
- Speeds up rusting and other oxidization processes
There are many other reasons why you want to keep an eye on the humidity levels in your home. Besides the high costs associated with mold remediation and other high humidity solutions to your home, humidity problems can also affect your health, mood, and wellbeing.
Which brings us to the topic of this article—how do you reduce humidity levels in the home?
How to Reduce Home Humidity Levels
Populate your home with humidity-reducing houseplants.
Indoor plants usually contribute to high humidity levels in the home, but there are actually a number of houseplant species that actually help to reduce that amount of humidity in the home.
Here are some houseplants, researched by NASA, that can help purify the air and balance indoor humidity levels:
- Boston Fern
- Spider Plant
- Peace Lily
- English Ivy
Cover the soil in houseplants.
Be careful though, sometimes house plants actually increase humidity levels. In order to reduce the moisture vapor that enters the home after watering your plants, we recommend covering your soil with a layer of small stones. This also helps reduce the need for watering. You may also want to move your houseplants outside for a few hours after watering.
Fix home ventilation systems.
The three areas in the home that see the most humidity are the bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room. That’s why it’s so important to have working ventilation fans in these rooms. If you have mold and mildew problems in any of these rooms, make sure your ventilation fan is working.
If your home has good ventilation, you shouldn’t have to worry about low or high humidity. Make sure the ventilation system is working in all of your bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, and attics. Consider additional ventilation fans if you are lacking the proper ventilation. Speak with a professional HVAC expert about various ventilation solutions available.
In the meantime, try opening up the windows while you are cooking or showering. This will help remove a lot of the moisture that is building up these areas.
Take shorter, colder showers.
Cold showers have a lot of benefits besides reducing humidity levels. It’s been shown that a cold shower can lower stress levels, improve hair and skin, boost immunity, and give you a more energetic day and a better night’s sleep.
Try it for a week and see how you feel.
Other Simple Ways to Reduce Humidity Levels in the Home:
- Make sure clothes dryer is properly venting outdoors. If you don’t use a dryer, dry your clothes outside.
- Install a plastic vapor barrier over dirt floors in crawl spaces.
- Seal air leaks around your windows, doors, and air ducts.
- Schedule HVAC maintenance every year and make sure condensate drip lines are clear and unobstructed.
- If it’s humid already, don’t do any stovetop cooking.
- Take advantage of the dehumidifying nature of your air conditioner. Not only will it remove moisture from the air, it will also help circulate the air around your home.
- Make sure gutters and downspouts are clear and that they extend away from the home. If you are having drainage issues or water pooling around your home, speak with a professional.
- Don’t overwater your plants, especially if they are in or close to your home.
- Leave doors in your home open to help facilitate airflow.
- Store firewood outside.
- Cover your fish bowls and aquariums.
Ideal Humidity Level in the Home
The ideal humidity level for your home is somewhere between 30 and 50%. Anything higher or lower than that can cause structural damage, health problems, and comfort problems. If you want to prevent mold growth in the how keep your humidity levels below 50%. We recommend a humidity level around 40%.
Consider purchasing a hygrometer.
A hygrometer measures the amount of humidity in your home. It will let you know if you have too high or too low humidity, prompting you to make necessary changes, such as opening a window or turning on the humidifier.
Install a dehumidifier or install a whole-home humidification system.
Running your heating and cooling equipment actually lowers humidity in the home naturally, but many homes will greatly benefit from the additional protection and comfort of a humidification system.
If you have a whole-home humidification system, it will be able to measure your home’s humidity level and then automatically humidify or dehumidify your home to keep humidity levels within the ideal range.
If you have humidity levels above 50% and don’t have a whole-home humidification system to reduce humidity levels, purchase and use a point-of-use dehumidifier. You can find these plug-in humidifiers online or at your local home improvement store.
Unlike a whole-home humidification system which disposes the collected water for you, you will have to empty the water from a plug-in humidifier yourself. Don’t worry though, they normally shut themselves off when the water reaches a certain level. You can use this excess water to water you plants.
Learn more about the benefits of dehumidifiers, humidification systems, and ideal humidity levels.
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For HVAC, ventilation, and humidification solutions in the Birmingham area, contact OnTime Service at 205-942-1405.
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