Now that we’re in the midst of summer, surely you’re hearing all about the humidity—outdoors and in—and surely you know what this humidity does to your hair, but do you know what it does to your home?
Humidity is the amount of moisture contained in the air and when there’s a lot it tends to feel sticky and hotter than it actually is.
This makes for an uncomfortable living environment, yes, but there’s more: too much humidity can destroy your home aesthetically and make black mold more likely to grow.
At times you’ll contribute to the humidity inside your home; showering and even breathing adds moisture to the air. The good news is, you can reduce humidity and stop it from doing damage—and here we’ll tell you how.
If the relative humidity (RH) inside your home is beyond the 30-50 per cent range, you might notice the following:
- “Cupping” wood floors
- Water stains on the walls
- Unpleasant odours
- Black spotting
- Paint peeling off the walls
While you should always watch for these signs, take care to continually regulate the RH to avoid these problems in the first place. The following are a few ways to do this:
Book an energy audit
You might suspect high humidity levels after you get your next energy bill. Why is that?
If the windows and doors are not sealed tightly and you’re running the AC, you’ll still feel the humidity. You’ll likely crank the AC too for relief, wasting energy and incurring unnecessary costs.
One way to keep tabs on, and thus regulate, the humidity levels inside your home is by booking an energy audit. An infrared energy audit pinpoints where in your home energy is not being used most efficiently.
After an energy audit, you’ll know to properly seal your home and effectively reduce humidity indoors.
Use an air conditioner
On that note, an air conditioning unit removes moisture from inside your home while it cools. Whether it’s a portable unit, a window unit or central AC, the air is circulating better than it would be without AC.
If you would prefer, consider using a dehumidifier, which works to control moisture levels without cooling the air.
Whether you’re using either an air conditioner or dehumidifier, make sure you’re properly maintaining the unit. This means emptying any drip pans and restoring dryness.
If you don’t, you’re significantly increasing your chance of developing a mold problem—what you’re already trying to avoid by reducing the humidity.
If you’re not willing to invest in air conditioning, at least keep the windows open and the air flowing!
Fire up the grill more often. Using the oven and stove inside makes it all the more humid, especially in the summer. Take advantage of nice weather by heading outdoors to cook.
It’s crucial you keep comfortable this summer and protect your home from the adverse effects of high humidity (i.e. mold) by continually regulating and working to reduce it.
For more information about moisture control in your home, contact the indoor air quality experts in Ottawa and Montreal.