In Florida, we have high humidity levels all year round, but they spike particularly high with the arrival of spring and summer storms. But, while you should be able to depend on the sanctuary of home to protect you from oppressive humidity, that’s not always the case. Indoor humidity can increase as a result of both environmental factors outside, such as heavy rain and high temperatures, and indoor activities that use water, such as cooking and showering. Unfortunately, the more humid the air, the more heat it retains.
If you’ve noticed that your home feels warm and swampy, especially when your AC is off, there are ways to control the excess moisture and reduce humidity.
Knowing When Humidity Levels Are Too High
While using a humidistat can tell you the exact level of humidity in your home, there are other telltale signs you can look for that won’t cost you anything but time. Do a thorough inspection of your home, keeping a lookout for mold spots, condensation, and water damage or stains. Make sure to smell around for musty odors as well. While musty smells may not always mean high humidity, it’s a likely indicator. Check out our tips for how to remove musty smells from your home.
Limit Sources Of Moisture
Moisture gets into our homes through everyday activities like showering, cooking, washing, bathing, and more. While you obviously can’t stop doing these activities, you can limit the amount of time and how much hot or warm water you use. Cold showers reduce humidity because lower temperature water dissipates easier. Even house plants can add to the humidity due to their natural water cycle. Moving them outdoors can still provide you with a hobby without creating a stifling indoor greenhouse. Also, if you hang your clothes to dry, make sure to hang them outside instead of inside. And never let leaks go unaddressed.
As we mentioned, cooking is a significant source of in-home moisture. Use the ventilation system built into your range’s hood to pull steam from the air. Even if you have an older model that doesn’t have a ventilation system, you can use small tabletop fans to dissipate the moisture. Utilize bathroom fans as well when taking a bath or a shower. This way, you won’t necessarily have to take cold showers to reduce moisture. Using ceiling fans or floor fans can also push stagnant air around, reducing the accumulation of water contributing to mold growth.
Check Your Filter
An HVAC filter is responsible for keeping impurities out of the air, but when it becomes blocked with dirt, dust, and other microscopic particles, airflow decreases. No matter how often you use fans or ventilation systems, if your AC isn’t moving air efficiently, you’re going to start noticing the humidity levels rise. It’s also crucial to use a filter with the correct MERV rating. A filter with a rating that is too high will have the same effect as a clogged filter. If you’re not sure what’s right for your system, seek the consultation of a professional.
Get A Dehumidifier
There are several dehumidifiers on the market that can pull excess humidity from the air. When deciding on which one to buy, consider what spaces are responsible for introducing the most moisture, including bathrooms and kitchens. Also, take a look at what type of air circulation is available in each area. Make sure to buy a unit that is the right size for the intended room. If you prefer a natural, more budget-friendly option, consider investing in rock salt of charcoal briquettes that will pull and trap moisture from the air.