Controlling Humidity Levels: Improving the Healthiness of your Home
Our homes should be a haven during hot summer months – a place to escape dangerous heat and humidity and a location where people can stay comfortable. While homeowners give a lot of thought to the temperature inside during the summer, they often forget about the quality and condition of their air.
Indoor air quality is greatly impacted by humidity levels. Increased humidity can decrease comfort significantly more than temperature alone.
“When there is too much humidity in the air, skin often feels clammy, sweaty or sticky,” explains Norman Woolley, President of Woolley Home Solutions in Maplewood. “Musty-smelling odors, mold and mildew begin invading the living space and the house becomes a breeding ground for termites, cockroaches and other pests.”
High indoor humidity can also damage wood furniture, floors, trim and musical instruments in the house. Some people’s health suffers as well, with humidity leading to an increase in symptom severity for individuals with asthma or other respiratory issues.
How to Control Indoor Humidity this Summer
This is the time of year when moisture builds to uncomfortable levels. Here’s what you can do to treat the problem of too much humidity:
- Use ventilation fans in kitchens and bathrooms when in use. Ensure your fans are venting directly outside.
- Cover dirt floor crawlspaces under your house with plastic to act as a vapor barrier.
- Check to make sure your dryer is vented to the outside.
- Ensure air conditioning drip pans are clean and drain lines unobstructed.
- Fix any water leaks in pipes, toilets, showers, etc.
- Clean and repair roof gutters regularly – use covers to keep leaves and sticks from building up in the gutters.
- Make sure the ground slopes away from the building foundation, so that water does not enter or collect around the foundation.
- Use down spout extenders that carry water at least six feet away from the foundation.
- Seal unwanted air leaks, such as around holes for plumbing and wiring, this is where humid outside air sneaks into the home.
- Use whole-home ventilation to keep the air in your house fresh.
- Dehumidify the air in your house. Use a dehumidifier in addition to your air conditioner to pull out excess moisture that your air conditioner alone can’t handle.
In addition to ventilation, controlling the humidity level in your home is a significant factor in air quality and comfort in general. If you or members of your family are experiencing any of the health and comfort issues associated with summer humidity, call Woolley Home Solutions at (973)762-7400.
Woolley Home Solutions is a local HVAC business specializing in Indoor Air Comfort. For more information call Woolley Home Solutions – or visit Aprilaire.com.