Humidity in the home is something that many people struggle with on a daily basis. You can tell you have a humidity problem when you spot foggy windows, smell a mildewy or musty odor, or your skin just feels clammy. If humidity in your home has been present for long enough, you will see some indicators like damp spots on your walls, mold, and rotting wood. These are without a doubt serious side effects of too much moisture in the home and can be very expensive, time consuming, and nerve-wracking to remedy.
But even if you do not have any indicators of too much moisture, it is wise to take a few precautionary measures, as it will make you feel better both physically and mentally. That is why we have created this Ideabook – to show you a few tips and secrets on how to reduce the amount of humidity in your home.
There are many ways to lower the humidity in your home once you become more aware of what is raising it in the first place. But first and foremost, you need to ventilate – especially in the rooms of the home that create moisture, like the bathroom, the basement, and the kitchen. In the kitchen, humidity accumulates while cooking, especially when you are boiling something. Installing a vent above the stove or somewhere on the wall near the cooking area will easily combat the rising humidity levels. Once installed, you can turn on the vent fan whenever you start cooking. Ventilation fans work the same way in the bathroom – turn on the system while you are showering and you will notice a huge difference when you step out. Your mirror and windows will not be foggy.
Because basements tend to be muggier no matter what goes on down there, a dehumidifier would be the better option. You can leave a dehumidifier running for a few hours a day to reduce the overall moisture in the air.
We all know the multiple benefits that house plants have on the psyche and the aesthetic of the home, but did you also know that certain species of plants actually help to reduce the amount of moisture in the air? That's right – certain tropical plants called epiphytes get most to all of their water from the air instead of through their roots.
Plants like the English Ivy, Peace Lily, Reed Palm, Boston Fern, and Tillandsia will help you take some of that moisture from the air and put it towards a better use. These plants are also perfect to get if you have a particularly black thumb, as you will not have to worry about caring for them as much as you would need to with a plant that requires daily watering.
Along with installing ventilators and adding a few moisture-sucking plants to your home, you may need to change some aspects of your home structurally. This involves insulation. The addition of wrap or tubular insulation on pipes in the home will help you tremendously. Because of the warm surrounding air and the cold water of toilet tanks or water pipes, condensation builds up on the outer surfaces of these areas. Applying insulation to cold water pipes will help to decrease the sweating on the outside and subsequently keep that water from entering your air supply.
Cold surfaces such as windows will also develop condensation. To combat this type of sweating, you can install storm windows, add plastic film to the window, make any minor repairs in cracks around the window if they are present, or by installing weather stripping or caulking the interior edges of the window.
The tricky thing about humidity is that we do not always know when the levels in our homes are higher than they should be. This is especially true if you live in a naturally warmer and more humid climate. But luckily, there is a way to combat this as well. You can install humidity sensors anywhere in the home that will let you know the water to air ratio of whichever room you put them in.
You can buy a humidity sensor in just about any hardware store you can find. The best places to install these sensors are areas that do not mainly contribute to the humidity of the home – so don't worry about placing them in the bathroom because you already know your hot and steamy showers will make moisture levels rise. Instead, place them somewhere innocuous like the media room.
Installing an air conditioning system in the home works a lot like a dehumidifier does, except the air conditioner does not remove moisture from the air, but regulates it. Air conditioners have an evaporator coil inside them that condenses water vapor from the air in process that you have seen when condensation shows up on the outside of a cold glass of water.
The air conditioner takes in the hot, moist air from your home, where it then comes into contact with the cold evaporator coil. The moisture then turns into liquid water, which is condensed out of the air, making your home less humid. The moisture that the air conditioner collects then goes to a drain and is sent outside of the home.
There are also ways of reducing humidity in your home through more natural means. This could simply mean installing a window where there needs to be one. For example, if you do not want to go through all the trouble of installing a ventilation system in the kitchen, but you do not have enough windows in the space either, you might consider adding in another one, perhaps above the sink. Installing a window takes a lot less time to do and it is also more cost effective than a ventilation system, so it will save you money down the road and also add to the aesthetics of your home and help to increase the amount of natural light that comes in.
You can also do the simplest thing of all and just place a table fan in the kitchen or in the bathroom in front of a window so that it can blow the moist air outside.
If you found this article interesting, why not check out how plants can help you to have a happier, healthier home!