As pleasant as our weather may be, the high humidity in the Sarasota and Lakewood areas can become problematic at times. Lower humidity in your home can benefit you in a number of ways. It keeps you more comfortable, saves you money by reducing your need for air conditioning and heating, improves your indoor air quality by discouraging the growth of dust mites and mold, and protects your home from moisture damage.
If these benefits sound good to you, there are a few ways you can lower humidity in your home to achieve them.
Fix up Your House
Leaky pipes, dripping faucets and toilets that leave puddles not only waste water, but they also add to humidity problems. The water they release gradually evaporates, ending up as moisture in your home’s air. Repair or replace pipes as necessary and cover sweating pipes with foam pipe insulation tubes.
Leaks in the roof and walls also bring excess moisture into your home, as well as encourage rot that could eventually cause serious structural damage. Repairing the leaks now will bring down your humidity level and protect your home.
If your A/C’s drain line gets plugged, water will back up into your home. Once or twice each cooling season, use a wet vac to suck sludge from the outside end of the drain.
Invest in Home Upgrades
Air leaks around windows, doors, appliance and exhaust vents, and points where utility lines enter the house bring in hot, humid air during the summer. To keep the humidity outside and improve your home’s energy efficiency, apply caulk and weatherstripping as appropriate to seal these leaks.
Check that your clothes dryer is vented outdoors, not into a crawl space, basement or right into the laundry room. If it isn’t vented properly, contact a professional to have the vent restructured. If you have old windows that often accumulate condensation, consider replacing them with double-paned or Energy Star-qualified windows.
Make Some Lifestyle Changes
Taken together, simple changes in how you live can do a lot to lower humidity indoors. Aim to take shorter, cooler showers. When you cook, keep pots covered to hold the moisture inside. If you have a large collection of houseplants, put them outdoors for a while. Potted plants give off moisture, and if your humidity problems clear up when the plants are outside, you’ll know where part of your problem is.
Boost Home Ventilation
Improving your home’s airflow is one of the most effective ways to lower humidity. After cooking or showering, run exhaust fans for a few minutes to get rid of built up moisture, but don’t leave them on much longer. Left running, they’ll bring in more humidity than they let out.
Take a look at your home’s attic ventilation. If you have unbalanced ventilation, such as a single gable vent or soffit vents without ridge vents, your attic isn’t getting enough airflow. It will accumulate moisture that will then find its way into your rooms. Consult a professional about installing ventilation that allows for continuous airflow, such as a ridge-and-soffit system.
To reduce condensation on your windows, adding trickle vents can help. To clear up humidity throughout the whole house, a whole-house ventilation system may be in order. These systems remove stale, moist and bring in an equal amount of fresh air to replace it without creating a pressure imbalance.
Add a Dehumidifier
If better ventilation doesn’t solve your humidity problem, it may be time to install a whole-house dehumidifier in your heating and cooling system. Whole-house dehumidifiers affect a much greater area than portable models and they’re more convenient.
Air passing through your system runs through the dehumidifier, which removes moisture from the air using one of several available methods. The moisture removed runs into your home’s plumbing system and the dryer air flows into the ducts and out to your rooms. These dehumidifiers require professional installation.
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