Humidity — Is it a Problem in Your Home?
Too much moisture in a home can cause a host of problems, from wood rot on window sills to mold in the bathroom and kitchen. Fortunately, there are a number of solutions for a home humidity problem. Follow these tips and balance humidity better in your home.
Why Is It So Damp?
Here are a few typical sources for excess indoor humidity:
- Leaking pipes
- Moisture-producing appliances, including dryers and dishwashers
- Showering and bathing
- Improperly vented combustion appliances
Ideally, your home’s relative humidity should be between 35 and 50 percent. Low humidity can aggravate breathing problems and dry out wood; excessive humidity can cause mold and wood rot, help dust mites flourish, and cause an uncomfortably damp feeling. Buy an inexpensive device called a hygrometer to measure your home’s humidity.
A little moisture can make the home’s air feel a bit warmer so you don’t have to turn up the thermostat in winter. It also eases breathing problems. But excessive indoor humidity in wintertime can cause too much condensation on windows and wood rot on the window sills. If you run a humidifier in winter, adjust the humidistat to obtain the optimum level of humidity.
Winter or summer, if your home seems too damp, take action. Fix plumbing, roof, or basement leaks. Vent dryers and dishwashers to the outdoors. Bathrooms and range hoods should also have exhaust ventilation to the outdoors. If you have a lot of plants, put them in one room and close the door.
Is your home still too damp? Turn off the humidifier. If that doesn’t help, you may need to install a dehumidifier. A whole-house dehumidifier installed in the HVAC system works best, but sometimes portable dehumidifiers will do the job.
For more advice on a home humidity problem, contact Sobieski Services, Inc.
At Sobieski Services, Inc., our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues – especially HVAC and plumbing issues – so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.