How Can I Reduce Indoor Humidity?
High humidity feels awful.
High humidity in your home in the summertime? The absolutely worst.
You’re hot, sweaty, uncomfortable, and all around miserable when it’s too humid in your home.
All you want is some way to relieve the discomfort: to get your indoor air quality back on track, and actually enjoy your home this summer.
We might just be able to help with that.
What is the Ideal Indoor Humidity Level in Summer?
The magic range for ideal indoor humidity is 30-50%.
Too much moisture in the air makes you hot, uncomfortable, and can actually have a damaging effect on your home.
It’s true: too much humidity causes mold growth, and can create condensation in your walls. This leads to structural damage and wood rot.
Too much humidity is also bad for you. It can lead to respiratory problems, allergy flare-ups, and sleep interruptions.
On the other hand, air that doesn’t have enough humidity also triggers allergies, asthma, and can damage wood floors. This is a big problem in the winter.
At a humidity level of 30-50%, you find the balance between too much moisture and not enough, which keeps both you and your home comfortable.
How Can I Reduce My Humidity Levels?
Now you know you have to reduce your humidity levels – but how do you do it?
1. Use Your Air Conditioner
Your air conditioner naturally helps reduce indoor humidity because it’s introducing cooler air while removing warm, humid air.
Keep humidity under control by getting your air conditioner tuned up, and frequently change the filter. Anything that restricts airflow or causes your air conditioner to stop working is no friend to you.
2. Actively Use Your Exhaust/Ventilation Fans
When you’re showering or cooking over a hot stove, use your ventilation fans.
While you may normally turn them off after you’re done your activities, keep them on a little longer. This will be a big help in reducing indoor humidity.
3. Take Cooler Showers
Hot showers = humid air.
We love hot showers as much as the next person, but they are the enemy of home comfort in this scenario.
We’re not saying you have to switch to ice baths. By lowering the temperature of your showers just a few degrees, you won’t add as much steam to the air, which helps with humidity levels.
4. Fix Any Leaking Pipes
The last thing you want to do when you’re trying to reduce indoor humidity is to add moisture. Leaking pipes and faucets do just that.
Fix any leaks you have, and wrap your exposed pipes in insulators – this will keep condensation from forming. Signs of leaks include stained drywall, wet spots, and irregular water bills.
5. Keep Your Gutters Clean
Gutters are often the cause of indoor water leaks, which are terrible for both your home, your humidity level, and you.
It’s important that you clean your gutters, and that your downspout is directed away from your home and extended at least 6 feet.
6. Dry Your Laundry Outside
Most of us have clothes we can’t put in the dryer. In the winter, we use indoor drying racks. But in the summer, all those damp clothes will just help make your home more humid.
We recommend hanging your clothes on an outside drying rack or clothes line. Before you do, you should check your neighbourhood bylaws – there may be some restrictions in place.
If you need to hang clothes to dry indoors, you may want to purchase a dehumidifier. For any home with a basement, this is a must.
7. Get a Dehumidifier
The most surefire way to reduce indoor humidity is to get a dehumidifier.
Dehumidifiers fit right inside your furnace air handler, and removes moisture from the air as it passes through.
When that air reaches you, it’s dry and cool – just the way we like to be in the summer.
The best part? You’ll actually have to use your air conditioner a lot less, because it now has help keeping humidity levels low. That means less money spent on cooling bills.
8. Move Your House Plants
Plants are lively and beautiful, but they do release their fair share of moisture. If your home has a lot of indoor plants, this could be causing your humidity level to increase.
We suggest a temporary relocation to either a single well-ventilated room, or to a place outside.
9. Use Charcoal Briquettes
Charcoal briquettes aren’t just for barbecuing anymore. They actually make a pretty good dehumidification tool.
We’re not kidding – this actually works!
All you have to do is take a few briquettes and place them in a receptacle – a basket or can will do. Charcoal is very absorbent, and will suck moisture out of your air. You just have to replace it every 2-3 months.
10. Open a Window
Sometimes just opening your window will help lower your humidity levels.
However, you don’t want to do this too much when your air conditioner is running. Otherwise, you’re spending money cooling air that is getting pulled outside.
Ask Us About Our Whole-Home Dehumidifiers
We carry whole home dehumidifiers that are top-of-the-line with all the latest features.
EPA PM2.5, PM10 & VOC IAQ Standards and Guidelines
Air quality is paramount for people’s well-being, as well as the environment. Poor air quality, both indoors and outdoors, can lead to numerous adverse health problems, such as nausea, headaches, skin irritation, sick building syndrome, kidney failure, and even cancer. In fact, since people spend around 90% indoors, indoor air quality has a significant impact on people’s health.
Therefore, it’s no surprise that setting strict standards and guidelines is fundamental for people’s environmental health. Note that for some pollutants there are no safe levels of exposure. Although threshold limit values vary between countries and organizations, the EPA outlines several common VOCs and substances and their threshold limit values in the US:
PM2.5: Particulate matter is one of the most dangerous forms of pollution as the size of the particles is so small that they can get into the lungs causing numerous adverse effects. PM2.5, in particular, are particles which are 2.5 μm or less in diameter. Their threshold limit value is 25 μg/m3, based on 24-hour data.
CO: Being an odorless and colorless lethal gas, carbon monoxide (CO) is one of the most dangerous compounds in indoor environments. The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) has given a threshold limit value of 25 ppm for an 8-hour workday, while the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has estimated a recommended exposure limit of 35 ppm.
CO2: CO2 is a natural compound in the air, with an average outdoor concentration of 300-400 ppm. Note that indoor levels are higher due to the confinement of indoor spaces. Human health effects can be observed at levels over 7,000 ppm. Therefore, the occupational limits set by ACGIH are 5,000 ppm TLV-TWA* and 30,000 ppm TLV-STEL**.
VOC / Formaldehyde: One of the most common VOCs – formaldehyde – can be emitted from numerous sources, such as furniture, incense burning, and cooking. Note that its threshold limit value is 0.1 ppm TLV-TWA* and 0.3 ppm TLV-STEL**
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