Humidity is a common problem for many Cleveland homeowners. Excess moisture in the air creates uncomfortable living conditions, contributes to respiratory and other health problems, reduces indoor air quality, damages woodwork, and decreases the efficiency of your cooling system. To eliminate these and other issues, here are a few tips on how to spot and reduce humidity in your home.
Signs of Excessive Indoor Humidity Levels
While extremely muggy conditions might be readily apparent to those living within the home, other signs of high humidity are less obvious. Those musty odors you’ve detected or water stains on your walls or ceilings should send up a red flag. Also be on alert for signs of mold growth or condensation on your windows. Even allergy symptoms could be directly tied to excess humidity.
How to Reduce Humidity in the Home
Lowering indoor humidity levels is easier than you might imagine. Some of the simplest and most effective means of doing so include:
- Adjusting thermostat fan settings: Switching your fan to “auto” instead of leaving it set to “on” will prevent air from passing over wet coils and re-humidifying the home.
- Sealing air and duct leaks: Air leaks and leaky ductwork can cause major humidity problems. Evaluate your home for problems and seal these leaks.
- Ventilating to the outdoors: Ventilation is essential to minimizing humidity. Dryer, kitchen and bathroom vents should only vent outdoors.
- Applying vapor barriers: Dirt floors in basements and crawl spaces should be covered with a vapor barrier.
- Making simple changes: Keep excess moisture out of the air by not boiling water or showering on especially humid days.
- Replacing plants: Some plants contribute to humidity while others, like the Boston fern, can actually reduce humidity. Replace those known to worsen indoor humidity.
In some cases, installing a properly sized air conditioning system with a variable-speed air handler is necessary to reduce humidity levels. Portable or whole-house dehumidifiers are also viable options.
For more useful tips on how to reduce humidity, contact the experts at Stack Heating and Cooling. We handle the home comfort needs of residents throughout the greater Cleveland area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about humidity and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Memo Angeles/Shutterstock”