Ah, summer in Ohio – the days are sunny, pleasant and hot…but there are times the pervasive humidity can leave you feeling a bit like steamed broccoli. The high humidity also can become a problem by making it feel warmer inside your home.
Working to achieve lower humidity in your home can benefit you and your family in many ways. It keeps you more comfortable, saves money by reducing the need for air conditioning and heating, improves indoor air quality, discourages dust mites and mold from growing, and protects your home from damaging moisture.
Here are several ways to lower the humidity in your home:
1. Take care of any leaky pipes, toilets or dripping faucets. The water they release gradually evaporates, ending up as moisture in the air of your home. Repair or replace pipes as necessary, and cover sweating pipes with foam insulation tubes.
2. Check your roof for leaks and repair any that you find. Leaks in the roof and walls can cause excess moisture to build up in a home. It also can cause rotting, leading to serious structural damage. Repairing leaks now will bring down your humidity level and protect your home from further damage.
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3. See if your air conditioner condensate line is draining properly. If your air conditioner’s drain line gets plugged, water will back up into your home, causing humidity. It also can cause your unit to fail, so it’s a good idea to check it on a regular basis.
4. Check all around the house for air leaks. Air can leak in and around windows, doors, appliances, exhaust vents, and points where utility lines enter the house. These leaks can cause hot, humid air to seep into the home, especially during the summer months. Keep the humidity outside and improve your home’s energy efficiency by applying caulk or weather-stripping to those areas to seal any leaks.
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5. Clothes dryers should be vented outdoors. Contact a professional to have vents restructured properly.
6. If you have older windows, think about having them replaced with more energy-efficient ones. There are many price ranges on windows. Replacing your windows can be an expensive project, but it will improve the value of your home and will lower your energy bills.
7. Making a few lifestyle changes can lower the humidity in your home. Some of the things you can do is take shorter showers. When cooking, keep pots covered to hold the moisture inside. If you have a large collection of houseplants, take them outside — potted plants give off moisture. Run exhaust fans after cooking or showering to get rid of any moisture that has built up.
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8. Improving the airflow and ventilation in your home is one of the most effective ways to lower humidity. Inspect the attic and other places in your home that may have unbalanced ventilation. Install a whole-house fan for additional ventilation.
9. Add a dehumidifier to your home. Dehumidifiers can help reduce the level of mold and moisture in your home, along with improving the air quality. A dehumidifier won’t cool the air, but by removing the excess moisture from the air, it works as a team with your air conditioner and keeps your a/c unit from having to work so hard.
10. Consult a professional for a whole-house inspection of the ventilation throughout your home.
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