humidity in the home

Moisture Control In The Home: Here’s What to Know

Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky’s wet season is between March and August. You probably noticed a little more moisture and precipitation during these months, especially recently! The months of April, May and June are especially humid and wet in this area of the country.

Because this is considered a fairly humid climate, challenges can arise when it comes to maintaining temperature control and moisture control in your home. May through September has the highest ranking dew points throughout the year, creating that muggy feeling we know all too well. If that moisture is allowed to collect in your home, damage and other problems can arise (1).

Excessive moisture in your home can damage electronics, create an inviting home for bugs, mold and mildew, and create an uncomfortable environment, costing you more money in temperature control or repairs (2).

Additionally, water or moisture accumulation can cause water stains, ice damage in colder months, peeling paint, deterioration of wood features or breakdown of building components. There are things you can do to control the moisture levels, humidity, and ventilation of your home to avoid household issues from all that wetness (2, 3).

Benefits Of Controlling Moisture

Controlling the moisture levels of your home actually makes your heating and cooling system more energy-efficient, which saves you money to heat and cool your house.

Proper control of moisture improves the effectiveness of your insulation and air sealing efforts. This works as a self-helping cycle, because the more effective your insulation and seals are, the more these features help control moisture levels.

Keeping the humidity and moisture levels under control in your home will enhance your comfort level, and prevent some of the undesirable side effects mentioned above, such as mold and deterioration (4).

How Moisture Gets Into The Home

Water vapor moves in and out of a house in three ways: with air movement, by diffusion through materials, and by heat transfer.

Air current movement accounts for over 98 percent of all water vapor and moisture movement in buildings. Air naturally moves through cracks, holes and gaps, bringing with it any moisture it carries. So in a humid environment like ours, carefully and permanently sealing any unneeded openings is extremely effective in controlling moisture levels (4).

Diffusion of moisture through materials and through heat transfer are both slower processes. Adequate insulation in your home is the best defense against these moisture leaking mechanisms.

Colder air can hold less water vapor than warmer air. If humid air becomes cooled, condensation occurs on those cooler surfaces in the home. You can imagine this is a big problem during hot, humid summer months when the air conditioning is running and cooling the interior air. If this condensation happens on an external wall, wet insulation, framing, and moisture issues can result (3, 4).

Areas with less temperature control and less insulation, such as attics, certain basements, crawl spaces or walls, can be more prone to moisture related changes or damage (4).

Controlling The Problem

Because of these factors, proper temperature control, humidity control, and proper insulation will serve to reduce heat transfer. This also helps regulate temperatures inside the building space, which significantly reduces moisture transfer and condensation from forming (4).

Sufficient ventilation is vital to reduce water vapor build-up within your home. Proper ventilation allows excessive moisture to be dissipated back outside. In attics, basements and crawl spaces, ventilation and circulation are very important strategies as well (3).

Ventilation and circulation happens via passive ventilation, such as ventilation openings, in spaces like the attic. These need to be sheltered from potential entry of rain or snow (3).

It’s important to have active ventilation and circulation options, such as ventilation fans, in high-use areas, such as the kitchen, laundry room and bathrooms. These rooms, by their nature, include activities that increase humidity and moisture (3).

Proper insulation installation reduces heat flow and transfer, which moderates how much condensation and moisture transfer can occur. Vapor diffusion retarders can also be used to reduce moisture transfer in a home. These two features work together to reduce the chance of condensation in the ceilings, walls and floors, helping to prevent unwanted mold or damage (4).

Any known leaks, holes, cracks, or improper seals should be tended to immediately, because these can create a direct entry point for water and moisture. Leaks can also make temperature  and humidity control less efficient and more expensive (4).

Greater Comfort Is Here To Help

Our goal is to help make sure your system runs efficiently. We know that part of your comfort is also about moisture control! We want to help you prevent problems and surprises down the road related to temperature control and moisture buildup.

Contact the heating and cooling experts at Greater Comfort today: 859-491-4915.



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