Home comfort relies on more than just the temperature—the humidity level is also important. High outdoor humidity in the summer can make the air feel muggy inside as well. Follow these tips to pinpoint possible sources of moisture so you can work to reduce them.
Signs of High Humidity
Indoor humidity should ideally remain below 60 percent in the summer. Otherwise, you’re bound to experience discomfort and indoor air quality problems. Your home may be too humid if you notice these signs:
- Foggy or “sweating” windows
- Clammy skin
- Musty odors
- Water stains on the ceiling or walls
- Mold growth, especially in the bathroom or basement
- Warped wood furniture or peeling paint
- Heightened allergy symptoms, likely caused by mold and dust mites
Tips to Reduce Indoor Humidity
If you suspect high indoor humidity, you can check it with a hygrometer, an inexpensive handheld device that measures moisture in the air. If the readings confirm your suspicions, take the following steps to lower indoor humidity levels:
- Run exhaust fans in the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room when cooking, showering, or running the clothes dryer. This vents hot, humid air outside.
- Crack a window on mild days to bring less humid air inside.
- Run the air conditioner, which dehumidifies and cools the air.
- Run a dehumidifier if your skin feels cold and clammy, a sign that your air conditioner isn’t removing enough moisture from the air.
- Seal leaks around windows and doors to reduce air infiltration on hot, humid days.
- Install a vapor barrier in the crawlspace or basement to block the moisture seeping up from the bare earth floor.
- Hang laundry outside. This allows you to save energy by not running the dryer, but it also prevents increasing the indoor humidity level.
- Use lids when cooking to prevent steam from adding vapor to the air. You’ll also save on energy costs while cooking because you can set the stove to a lower temperature.
- Fix leaky pipes that increase indoor humidity and promote mold growth. While you’re at it, install pipe insulation to keep condensation at bay.
- Move plants outside to prevent moist soil from adding humidity to the air. If some of your houseplants can’t survive outdoors, confine them to one room, and be sure not to overwater them. If you can’t live without houseplants, opt for Boston ferns, which absorb moisture from the air.
Lowering the humidity in your home makes it feel more comfortable, decreases your allergy symptoms, and improves your overall health. Albert Nahman Plumbing & Heating in Berkeley, CA can help you take steps to reduce indoor humidity. We install whole-house filtration and dehumidification systems to improve the comfort and air quality in your home. We also repair plumbing leaks that could be contributing to high indoor moisture levels.