Did you know that your home produces its own moisture, through any different ways? Cooking, washing clothes, bathing working out, and even breathing all cause moisture to be put back into the air. Add that to the moisture that is added to the air by other people living with you, pets, and the natural moisture added to the air from the soil under your crawl space, and you’ve got all the elements you need for a very humid environment.
But the fact is that a home isn’t supposed to be too humid. Too dry is not healthy, but too humid can lead to serious problems like mold, insects, and other allergens. These can cause asthma attacks, allergic reactions, and other problems like issues with your electronics and food going bad. So how do you know what is too humid, and what can you do about it?
Ideal Humidity Level
For most of us, the ideal humidity level is between 40 and 60%. You won’t get sick if your home is temporarily higher than that – after all, you don’t get sick every time you get into the high-humidity environment of the shower. But long-term exposure to high humidity can be dangerous, so it’s best to aim for this region as much as you can. Humidity can be controlled through using a dehumidifier in moist regions, and a humidifier in dry areas. But if you have a home that is too humid, the best way to control it is to identify the reason.
Why Is My House So Humid?
Back to the original question, what makes a house so overly humid? There are several things that can cause humidity in a house:
- The Season: In the summer, warmer air holds on to moisture more, so it will be more humid all over during these months. If you are wondering why your house is suddenly so humid, and the summer has just hit its hottest peak, that’s probably part of the problem.
- Poor Ventilation: In rooms where there are no windows, or where ventilation is not the greatest, like bathrooms and basements, it can be much more humid. This goes double for rooms that create moisture, like laundry rooms without ventilation fans or big windows.
- An Abundance of Plants: If you have a lot of houseplants, especially if they are all grouped in one area together, that area can be more humid than other areas. Plants release moisture into the air, and if you overwater them, the problem can be even worse.
- The Presence of Firewood: Freshly cut wood releases water vapor into the air as well.
- Poor Insulation: if your crawl space or basement is not well insulated, it can collect water. This can in turn become a too-humid environment that causes many problems in areas with poor ventilation.
- Your AC is the Wrong Size: If you have a very large air conditioner that cools your house down too quickly, it isn’t doing its job as a dehumidifier. Alternatively, if your AC has been broken, this can also cause more humid environments.
- The Weather: Finally, if the weather has been particularly wet recently, you could be having more humidity due to the excess humidity in the air around you.
How to Fix Humid Environments
If your home has been too humid for your health and comfort lately, there are many things you can do to fix it. First, be sure that you are running your air conditioner in the summer, and be sure that you have some dehumidifiers if it is winter. Consider putting plants and firewood outside, or at least move your plants so that they aren’t all in one area.
If the problem gets very bad, you may need to consider upgrading your insulation, changing your air conditioning unit, or making household improvements like putting in new ventilation fans or ceiling fans. You can also try drying your clothes outside on a line to reduce humidity from the dryer, and taking shorter showers to cut down on humidity in the bathroom.
Check your home for water leaks that can be fixed, and be sure to replace air filters that may be past their prime. If you have carpet in your home, consider changing it out for hardwood. Carpet can hang on to moisture more than other types of flooring. You should also consider waterproofing your basement walls if they are concrete.
Get Professional Help
Finally, if none of these solutions have helped make your house less humid, you may need to call a plumber or an appliance tune-up service, to make sure that your home doesn’t have any underlying issues. Be sure to get your HVAC system thoroughly checked, and have a professional check for mold or mildew in your home to keep your family healthier.