The first step in dealing with excess humidity is identifying that you have a problem. If walking into your home feels like stepping into a swamp, it is obvious that something needs to be done but what about subtler symptoms? Some indicators that your home may have a humidity problem include:
- Dark, damp spots on ceilings or walls
- Mold growth
- Peeling paint
- Sweating (water droplets forming on basement floors or walls)
- Condensation on water pipes and windows
- Lingering odors
- Decaying wood
- Increased allergy-related problems
Once you have established that you do indeed have a humidity problem in your home, what can you do about it? Here are some easy tips to help clear the air and leave your home smelling fresh and cool instead of musty and sticky:
1. Use Exhaust Fans: Exhaust fans are common in bathrooms, kitchens, and other places that are likely locations for hot water usage. Make sure to use these fans whenever necessary as they will keep the moist air from escaping to other parts of the house as well as decreasing humidity levels at the source.
2. Take Shorter Showers: Most of the moisture in the air in your home will get there from one source: steam. The most likely culprit for this is long, hot showers in improperly vented bathrooms. By reducing the amount of time you spend in the shower, you will not only reduce the amount of water that escapes into the air, you will also use less water and spend less money on heating that water.
3. Hang Damp Clothes Outside: Except in the case of adverse weather conditions, there is no good reason to hang wet or damp clothing to dry inside if you already have a humidity problem. The water evaporating from your clothing or towels has nowhere to go but into the air of your home. Instead, hang these items outside whenever possible so the unwanted moisture stays outside where it belongs!
4. Only Run Washers When Full: Some clothes or dishwashers have settings for the size of the load but many do not. Prevent unnecessary water wastage and unnecessary humidity by only running these appliances when they are full.
5. Don’t Turn Your Home into a Jungle: Plants can be a great addition to a home: they purify the air and are great decoration but they also create extra humidity in your home. If plants are forming mold, you may have too many. Consider giving one or two away and see if that helps the atmosphere of your home.
6. Open Windows and Doors: Air circulation will do a lot in reducing the stuffy, sticky feeling of a humid home so open up those windows and doors when possible to let in fresh air. Keep inside doors open so air flows freely through the home.
7. Do a Moisture Audit: Once you have taken care of these easy ways of reducing humidity, perform one final check around your property to look for any less obvious problems that could be contributing to the moisture in the air:
- Check under old carpets in places you suspect leakage
- Note any windows with frequent condensation
- Consider replacing old doors and windows with more energy efficient (and better sealed) new units
Congratulations! You are well on your way to a more comfortable and enjoyable home!