When moisture in your home is at high level you will see foggy windows, smell musty odor or mildew. At the moment you enter your house you feel like you are walking into sauna. If moisture is around for a while you might see mold, damp spots or rotting wood. These are all the signs that humidity is taking over your place.
Even if your home is not too humid, it is smart to measure the humidity levels so you can better control it. The ideal humidity levels for your home should be less than 60% in the cooling season and between 25%-35% during the heating season. There are some ways to lower the humidity in the indoor air. The most important thing is to ventilate. Especially the areas where moisture is at highest level like bathrooms, and kitchen. If you have vent fans-turn them on and leave them on for a while. Make sure that exhaust fans in the bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room are ventilated to the outside. If you do not have vent fans (especially in the bathrooms), consider installing them by an electrician. Installing additional attic fans and vents might help to. Long, warm showers, cooking and also dryers and washing machines are affecting the amount of moisture in the air. If you do not have ventilation system or exhaust fans installed, at least open window for a few minutes for air to dry out. Try to take shorter and cooler showers.
When you are cooking turn the exhaust fan on. Run your air conditioner. Air condition unit removes moisture for the air. If you have whole house humidifier installed, remember to turn it off for the cooling season. Keep clean air conditioner drains. Try not to over water your house plants. Do not keep freshly cut firewood inside your home since it contains large amount of moisture. Carpets in your house can retain moisture, so consider replacing them with hardwood floors. Replacing old windows or repairing them by weather-stripping and caulking will prevent the cold draft and lower your heating bill. Do not buy wallpapers since it can hold moisture and lead to mold growth. Waterproof the concrete walls in the basement because they can be huge source of humidity. If you have crawl space you should insulate it with plastic vapor barrier.
House built on bare earth crawl space will experience higher humidity levels. If you do not have vapor retarder installed, make sure that crawl space is properly ventilated. Inspect your roof for any potential leaks since rain water can leak into the attic and insulation and hold moisture. You can also buy a dehumidifier, especially if you live in older and less ventilated house. Most of the times dehumidifiers are placed in the basements, and they work the best with the closed windows and doors. In order to have better air circulation place your dehumidifier away from furniture and walls. You can either buy mechanical or peltier dehumidifier. Mechanical dehumidifiers are best suited for moderate to high humidity levels (basements).
You have to remember to empty the water tank unless you have drain connected. Peltier dehumidifiers are recommended for smaller areas like bedrooms, bathrooms and closets. They are very quiet and efficient. You can also call your HVAC Company to install heat pump dehumidifier to exchange humid air for dry air. They work almost like air conditioner. Humidity is removed from the air by fan that draws indoor air over a heat exchange coil that is reduced to near-freezing temperatures. Water in the air condenses on the coil and is drained into a tank below, the air is reheated and returned to the room.
There are different kinds of heat pump dehumidifiers. Cheaper models can work as effectively as the more expensive ones, but you will have to do more maintenance like emptying them even up to three times a day and changing filters frequently. More expensive heat pump dehumidifiers are better investment on the long run, especially if you do not have time for constant maintenance. HVAC companies are recommending to install heat pump dehumidifiers in houses located in the areas with flood problem. You shouldn’t underestimate importance of proper humidity levels in your home, especially if you or your family member suffers from allergies or asthma. Allergens, dust mites and chemicals love humid air conditions. Your health will benefit from lowering moisture in the indoor air.