Although it seems to be getting a bit cooler this past week here in Greater Cincinnati, it definitely has been humid and hot in recent weeks. Since humidity has been such as popular topic recently, we decided to break down some of what you should know. Here’s to hoping mother nature sends us a few cooler and less humid days in the coming weeks!
What is Humidity?
Humidity is how water vapor is in the air. It’s one of those feelings that can be difficult to describe to people, but once they experience a climate that is humid (at least, compared to a dry climate), they will understand! Depending on where you live, things like jet stream patterns and altitude can impact how humid the air is day to day and month to month.
How to Reduce Humidity in the Home
Since we spend so much of our time indoors, we don’t want to suffer just because it’s humid outside. There are several steps to take to make sure the air is comfortable in your home. Remember that the temperature of air is one component that can impact how comfortable we are—but humidity is another factor. While not all of these are necessary, some of them are worth considering depending on how severe your issue is.
- Change your air filters. Does it seem like we mention this one a lot? It’s part of why we send it out in almost every newsletter we send. Make sure your AC is working as effectively as it can by changing out your air filters. If you have to, set up a reminder on your calendar. Then, when you see your reminder to yourself, be sure to change the air filters right away. If you don’t change your air filters, you likely negatively impacting the air flow in your home and your just adding unnecessary “work” for your system to overcome.
- Be sure your exhaust fans are venting outside the home. Remember that your exhaust fans—such as those found in your kitchen, bathrooms and other areas—can very much impact the air flow in the home (1).
- Consider a dehumidifier. While it’s not always necessary, in some homes, it can help to change the humidity levels of your air. Ask us for more information if you feel your home (or living area) simply has less ventilation than it should (1).
- Insulate your crawl spaces. Did you know that you can actually use a vapor barrier to help insulate your crawl spaces?
- If you do use a vaporizer in your home, turn it off. Just think: you are adding more moisture to the air when this is on! Even though it might seem obvious, it’s still important to point out.
- Take a in-depth, closer look at your ventilation. Remember that in areas that are very prone to moisture, you need great ventilation. If you feel like your kitchen or bathrooms are not ventilated properly, it may be time to install better or more effective vent fans (1).
- Look at how long your showers are. In the summer, sometimes we are showering more often and in some cases, the duration of our shower increases. This can create more steam which can contribute to greater moisture in the air.
The Benefits of a Home with Ideal Humidity
The benefits of a home that has ideal humidity levels goes beyond just comfort! Dehumidifying a house that has humidity levels that are too high can help lower costs, reduce damage that can happen over time to furniture and to the home itself, reduce the risk of mold and mildew, reduce toxins, help people deal with allergies, and it can mean less bacteria, viruses and bugs in the home (3). If you have an allergy problem you haven’t had before, it could be tied to too much moisture in the air in your home.
As far as keeping the actual heat out of your home, be sure to see areas where you can keep the sun out and make sure all the air leaks are as sealed as they can be. If you have more questions, give us a call so we can look at your home to examine certain areas—such as crawl spaces, basements, attics or other areas—that could be causing you comfort issues.
When your home is so humid it’s noticeable, it’s going to feel less comfortable, more hot, and you open yourself up to having mold grow and multiple in the home. If you have any pets in the home, it can be negative for a number of reasons, including the fact that they will smell worse and it can be irritating for them as well (2).
Learn More About Steps You Can to Reduce Your Home’s Humidity
Call us today to learn about HVAC upgrades and ventilation changes you can make to improve your family’s comfort.