If you want to keep your home comfy-cozy all year long, you need these top four tips for controlling moisture and humidity in your home
There are few things worse than sweating your way through the August muggies and then getting a scratchy throat and sandpaper eyes when the winter air rolls in. It’s all about balance when it comes to controlling humidity in the summer and the winter. The following four tips will help you achieve the ideal home humidity level.
Excess moisture can lead to dangerous mold and mildew growth and contribute to rot and decay in your home, possibly causing costly structural damage. On the other hand, if the air is too dry, you might experience skin, eye, throat, and lung irritation. And your home will suffer, too—when the environment in your home gets too arid, you might notice cracks in your woodwork and molding. Here’s how to take back control.
1. Seal It Up
One of the most important things you can do is check for air and water leaks throughout the house. Inspect walls, windows, and doors for drafts, and seal those problem areas with insulation, caulk, or rubber cement. Excessive humidity in your home can also cause window condensation.
At the same time, you need to be on the lookout for damp areas or water leaks, especially in the basement. A damp, leaky basement will increase the humidity levels throughout your home. You can also conduct an easy DIY with plastic sheeting to test your concrete’s moisture level.
2. Use Exhaust Fans
It’s probably no surprise that your kitchen and bathrooms are pretty much the saunas of your home. They’re often the most humid areas in your living space. For that reason, you should make it a habit to use exhaust fans in these rooms, especially when you’re cooking or showering. Otherwise, that moisture is just going to disperse throughout the house.
3. Be Mindful of What You Fill Your House With
Paying attention to what you bring into your home isn’t just good housekeeping practice; it’s also a great way to control humidity levels.
For instance, if your clutter is taking over your basement and attic, you’re creating prime conditions for moisture buildup. Air can’t circulate freely with too much junk in the way.
But it’s not just the clutter that can cause a problem. Indoor plants may be beautiful, but you may spike humidity levels if you overload your home with greenery. This is especially noticeable during the cold winter months when the windows stay closed.
4. Invest in Good Humidifiers and Dehumidifiers
One of the best ways to control moisture and humidity in your home is to invest in effective humidifiers and dehumidifiers. A humidifier will help diffuse much-needed moisture into the air during those dry winter months when your heat is on blast and will help you feel warmer.
Your indoor humidity level should be between 30 to 40% during the winter. For all season comfort, place humidifiers in your most-used living spaces and turn them off when the warm, moist air of summer arrives!
A reliable dehumidifier is also a great investment and not just for summer. If you have a damp basement, for instance, using a dehumidifier can help dry the area and prevent the growth of mold and mildew.
You can even install a whole-house dehumidifier or humidifier if moisture (or lack thereof) is a particular concern in your home, but this is a project that will likely require the services of an HVAC contractor. A whole-house humidifier costs between $100 and $300, not including the cost of labor for installation.