No matter which part of the country you call home, indoor humidity can significantly impact those living inside the home as well as the home itself. For starters, high moisture levels can pose a serious threat to your health and compromise your home’s overall structure.
To safeguard your own physical wellbeing and the condition of your home, it’s important to monitor and maintain indoor air quality—which means keeping indoor humidity levels between 30-50%.
With that said, here are a handful of tips to help you manage the moisture in your home so you can live a better life.
Reasons to Manage Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air quality is often considered a luxury. After all, it’s just air. Yet, high humidity levels encourage mold growth, mildew, and even a musty odor from the dampness. As you may have guessed, none of these things are advantageous for your health.
When it comes down to it, improving your indoor air quality can make you feel more comfortable in your own home. Not only can you breathe better, but you reduce allergens and pest infestations as well. As a result, you tend to struggle less with certain illnesses such as sinus infections, persistent coughs, and hard-to-beat colds.
As mentioned, though, it’s not only your body that will benefit from improving your indoor air quality. High humidity can easily damage your home’s paint and wood. Even the siding is at risk when the amount of moisture skyrockets.
Even more than dry air, warm air poses a unique threat to window frames, encouraging the build-up of black mold and such. It can even seep into your structure and some surfaces, slowly destroying everything it touches.
Another reason to control a humidity problem is to extend the life of your appliances. Your air conditioner specifically benefits from improving indoor air quality, making it more energy efficient.
How to Control Humidity Levels
When you recognize that your indoor air quality isn’t optimal, the next step is typically to control the amount of moisture in the air. And there are several ways to do this.
However, purchasing a dehumidifier is often the go-to move. And rightly so as dehumidifiers can work wonders on excess humidity. Even a little number such as this bathroom model can make a huge difference, especially after showering.
Another option, which can be combined with a dehumidifier, is using a desiccant such as calcium chloride to dry out the air. Calcium chloride draws moisture from the the surrounding air and makes it dry. The moisture from the air collects as water in a container that is positioned below the desiccant. These need to be emptied every few weeks and reloaded with more calcium chloride crystals.
If your lifestyle can accommodate a more impacting solution, it may be time to install a whole-house dehumidifier. Using its humidistat, a whole-house unit can respond to relative humidity in your home. Which, will benefit your entire household and their personal property—family members, pets, clothes, instruments, etc.
Also, opt for an air conditioning unit with an air handler able to function at variable speeds. Basically, there’s a fan motor inside your air conditioner. This fan moves air throughout your home’s ductwork. Having more than one speed allows for better airflow control and, therefore, improved indoor air quality.
Although it can be tempting to simply lower the thermostat to reduce high humidity (which may be a sign of an oversized unit), try using a smart thermostat instead. Lastly, avoid re-humidifying the house by setting the fan to automatic rather than keeping it in the “on” position.
Ways to Cut Excessive Moisture
Once you have a handle on a humidity problem, it’s never a bad idea to find ways to cut excess moisture. Some ideas include:
- Use a plastic vapor barrier to cover your crawl spaces, which are often dirt floors.
- Install and use vent/exhaust fans to remove moist air from your kitchen and bathrooms.
- On days that are humid, delay activities that create more moisture such as taking hot baths/showers.
- Cover pots as you boil water, especially on humid days.
- Keep a cover or lid on aquariums.
- Choose houseplants that soak up moisture such as Boston ferns or Reed palms.
- Store firewood outside rather than in the house.
- Seal up any air and duct leaks to keep moisture from infiltrating through the cracks.
- Clear your gutters to keep moisture away from your home’s foundation.
Managing moisture in your home isn’t usually an enormous undertaking. Small steps add up quickly to improve the overall air quality. As a result, you work to help safeguard your own health as well as to extend the life of your home.
And if you are looking to keep moisture out of your self-storage unit, you’ll need to choose a climate-controlled unit. Read more here.