In summer, the temperature isn’t the only thing that rises. In North Carolina, humidity and summer come hand in hand. Humidity in the home can be exacerbated by household activities such as laundry, cooking, showering, and washing dishes. Excess moisture can encourage the spread of harmful mold, cause discomfort in your home, degrade wood, and speed up rusting. In this article, we will cover different methods for reducing indoor humidity.
1. Improve Ventilation
A simple yet effective way of reducing indoor humidity is to improve the ventilation in your home. Areas such as the bathroom and kitchen, which tend to experience excess moisture, should be given higher priority. Simple improvements such as installing exhaust fans or cracking windows while cooking or showering can help to push moisture out of these areas. Another potential source of humidity could be a poorly ventilated attic. In such a situation, attic vents and fans can dry up the area. If you can’t trace the source, then using ventilation fans throughout the house can help to lower humidity.
2. Repair Windows and Doors
Worn out windows can cause moisture to accumulate inside your home, raising the humidity levels. If your windows have become drafty, you can seal the leakages with weather-stripping or by adding a plastic film on top of your glass. You may also need to caulk the internal and external parts of the windows. If the windows remain drafty after trying these techniques, consider replacing them because moisture usually builds up between the panes and will only add to a humidity problem. Likewise, doors can be sealed with weather-stripping. But if you want to add a layer of insulation, you should install a storm door to prevent moisture build-up. As with windows, the best solution for failed or faulty doors is to replace them.
3. Buy a Dehumidifier for Reducing Indoor Humidity
If ventilation and fixes on your home don’t lower the humidity in your home, you should consider buying or installing a dehumidifier to your AC system. While more expensive, whole-house dehumidifiers are more effective and convenient than the mobile models. A dehumidifier will get rid of the moisture in the air that passes through the system and your AC will also run less in lower humidity. If you have smaller areas of the home that are humid while others stay dry, a smaller portable dehumidifier may suffice.
4. Take Shorter Showers
Showers, especially hot showers, produce excess steam that raises indoor humidity levels. The longer the shower is, the higher the humidity. An effective way of reducing indoor humidity is to leave the exhaust fan running after the shower or crack a window. On top of this, try to take shorter and cooler showers to reduce the amount of steam produced.
5. Add Some Houseplants
Certain houseplants absorb the moisture from the air into their leaves. Strategically place them around your home and be careful not to overwater them. Overwatering houseplants can thwart your attempts at reducing indoor humidity because the water will evaporate from the soil back into the air. Some examples of plants that reduce humidity indoors are Boston fern, spider plant, peace lily, and reed palm.
Having high humidity in your home is uncomfortable for your family and can be harmful to the home. The damages range from weakening the structural integrity of the house to the spreading of mold and mildew. Try the strategies above to reduce indoor humidity in your home. If you are not sure about the cause of high humidity in your home, hire a professional to do an inspection and identify areas of water intrusion and poor insulation, both of which contribute to moisture.