Here in Central Florida, humidity is joked about, complained about, and pretty much one of our primary characterization factors as a whole. Our almost tropical climate lends itself to high levels of moisture in the air through much of the year, especially in the spring and summer months, and that can lead to a miserable existence, especially if you don’t know how to properly manage humidity levels inside your home. Keeping the moisture down inside your house is important since high humidity in your home can lead to many issues, including:
mold and mildew
water (moisture) damage
dust mites (they thrive on humidity)
difficulty managing the temperature inside your home
Reducing humidity in your house means you will not only be more comfortable, but you will mitigate many of these risks. With a few simple measures you can help maintain the proper moisture level in your home, and lower the humidity. How?
First, ventilate, ventilate, ventilate. Ever gone camping? Even in mild temperatures, the temp inside a tent can rise quickly if you have the windows shut, and you’ll notice moisture developing inside the tent walls. By opening the windows, you release the water vapor being released by your own breathing, and you’ll notice that the temperature not only seems much cooler inside, but drier as well! The same concept applies to your house. Moisture will accumulate inside if you don’t have proper ventilation, especially in areas like kitchens, bathrooms, and even laundry rooms. Use vent fans whenever possible, and in bathrooms, leave them running for a period of time after taking a shower to help remove moisture remaining in the air. Don’t have vent fans? Crack windows near the area to let moisture out, and consider placing a regular fan in the path of the doorway to pump air (and water vapor) out.
Also, avoid adding to the humidity in your home when possible. For example, instead of a long, hot shower, aim for a short, cooler shower instead. Instead of using your dishwasher for a small load, hand wash your dishes instead to avoid the humidity released as the washer runs. Even small decisions such as these can have a big impact! Also reduce the number of houseplants in your home, or opt for plants that pull their water from the air around them. ALL plants release water into the air, but some are better than others for keeping the humidity down in your home. Another fun tip? Send your kids out to play! Each person emits approximately 1/4 cup of water each hour simply by breathing. Fewer people in the house means less moisture in the air!
Finally, consider investing in a dehumidifier if lesser measures fail to give you the results you want. Investing in this piece of equipment will save you money in the long run if your moisture levels are causing mold, mildew, and rot issues in your home. The cost of repairs and renovations that this could lead to are much higher than what a small dehumidifier for your bathroom or basement will be.
Another important piece of equipment for managing the temperature and humidity levels in your home? Your HVAC system. Maintaining the indoor temperature relative to the outside temperature is vital in keeping humidity levels where they should be. Your air conditioner and/or heater play a huge role in this process. Failure to maintain them and letting them falter will not only mean a VERY uncomfortable environment for you, but will also cause moisture issues like those we mentioned above. Prevent this from happening by scheduling routine maintenance of your HVAC system. For residents in and around the Polk County area, Ridge Energy Savers is here for you! We offer emergency repair services, as well as maintenance and cleaning on HVAC systems. Schedule your appointment today before our Florida summer temperatures arrive!