Too Much Humidity Can Damage Your Home, But There Are Solutions
- April 17, 2015
High humidity is a common problem in North Carolina, with the annual average humidity level over 70 percent. However, you want to keep your home humidity levels between 30 and 50 percent. Too much humidity indoors can lead to many problems, but it’s avoidable when you know how to protect your home properly.
Dangers of High Humidity
Too much humidity causes excess moisture to build up and linger throughout your home. Mold and mildew can thrive anywhere there’s excessive moisture over an extended period of time. These growths are more than just unsightly; they can also affect your health. Mold spores can cause respiratory irritations, trigger asthma attacks, and irritate your eyes. Some types of mold even cause rot, eating away at your home the longer they go untreated.
Protecting Your Home With Insulation
Your first line of defense against too much humidity is insulation. Insulate your home properly from top to bottom. Begin by examining the attic. This easily overlooked area can wreak havoc on your home comfort if it’s not managed properly.
Pay extra attention to your insulation anywhere you’re noticing frequent mold or mildew growth. Some jobs to tackle include increasing wall insulation throughout the home and insulating water pipes.
Properly Venting Your Home
Insulation will help keep humidity out, but proper ventilation is your second defense for the inevitable humidity that will creep into your home. The attic should have one foot of venting for each 300 square feet of space. The exception is an attic with a vapor barrier. This allows you to cut venting in half, providing one square foot of venting for each 150 square feet of attic space.
Similar guidelines apply to crawl spaces. A crawl space with a moisture barrier needs a square foot of vent area for every 1,500 square feet of space. If you don’t have a moisture barrier, you need a square foot of vent for each 150 square feet.
Proper airflow throughout the home will reduce humidity in living spaces. Turn on the exhaust fan and leave the bathroom door open after showers for about 15 minutes. Leave space between shelves and hanging clothing in closets to allow adequate airflow in these small stuffy spaces.
Installing the Right Air Conditioner
A properly sized cool system will work hard to reduce humidity in your home. If you’re struggling with high humidity, consult with an HVAC professional to make sure your air conditioner is the right size for your living space. You should have regular maintenance performed on your HVAC system each spring and fall. This is the perfect time to assess your overall system and make sure it’s meeting your needs.
Using a Dehumidifier
An HVAC professional can help you select and install a dehumidifier directly in your home’s HVAC system, instantly increasing its efficiency at keeping your home comfortable. You can also install separate units throughout your home. A whole-house dehumidifier is best for homes with humidity problems in multiple areas. If you need to focus on one area of the home, however, a single unit may be adequate.
Tweak Your Habits
A few small changes to your daily habits will also help control humidity in your home. Keep pots and pans covered while cooking to trap the extra moisture and keep it from gathering on nearby surfaces. Shorter showers will reduce humidity in the bathroom. Make sure your clothes dryer vents to the outside. If you hang clothing to dry, do so outside whenever possible rather than in the house.
Learn more about controlling too much humidity with Comfort Services, Inc.’s home humidity solutions, or give us a call at 866-357-4613 to schedule a visit from one of our HVAC professionals.
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