Why Is My House Humid?
Living in Florida, we’re all quite familiar with humid weather. We deal with it almost every day—especially during summer. Amid our constant battle against frizzy hair, clammy palms and sweat, the last thing we need is for the struggle to continue indoors.
Our homes should serve as an escape from Florida’s harsh humidity, not as another source of it. Learn more about what causes humidity inside our homes and how to prevent it.
What Causes Humidity?
Humidity is the result of too much moisture in the air. In the home, moist air can get trapped in corners, small rooms, attics, basements and other enclosed spaces. Here are some common causes of indoor humidity.
Improper Ventilation. Humidity levels are generally higher if you live in a particularly warm or coastal region (like Florida), and if your home is not properly ventilated there is a higher chance of humidity from outside creeping indoors.
Dryers discharging inside. Clothes dryers don’t just make moisture completely disappear; they turn the water into vapor. If this vapor is vented inside the home, it can be a huge source of humidity. Make sure your dryer vents to the outdoors and is properly connected to the back of your dryer.
Showers and Baths. Because most of us enjoy bathing in warm water, showers and baths end up adding a lot of humidity to the air. This issue can sometimes be solved by installing an exhaust fan in your bathroom.
Overcooling. When an area gets too much cold air, condensation is created. If your AC unit is oversized, it might not be able to properly cool your home without adding more humidity.
Cooking. When things get steamy in the kitchen, as they often do from boiling water or cooking with a frying pan, the moisture given off can linger in the air, adding to humidity. Washing dishes in hot water, as well as vapor coming from dishwashing machines, can also contribute to the problem.
What Are the Effects of High Humidity?
Regulating the humidity in your home is important not only for your comfort, but also for your health. Moisture in the air gives way to the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew that can be potentially hazardous to you and your family.
Humidity can also be harmful to your home. Window and door frames, moldings, musical instruments, drywall, wooden furniture and other items can all be damaged by indoor moisture.
How Can I Reduce Humidity?
A dehumidifier is the best way to control humidity. While free-standing dehumidifiers are available, having one installed in your air handler is the best way to reduce humidity throughout your entire home.
A dehumidifier works by cooling the air down to the dewpoint temperature, at which point water leaves the air. Within the dehumidifier, air is cooled to condense the moisture out of it, then heated back up before it is returned to the room. Moisture leaves the air in the form of condensation, which is caught in a drain.
Installing a dehumidifier in your air handler will allow you to measure and regulate the humidity level inside your home, just as you would the temperature of the air. A humidity level between 30 and 50 percent is recommended in most cases.
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