Is your home feeling uncomfortably humid, even as things start to cool down this fall? It may not be a problem of outdoor humidity finding its way in, but rather humidity that is being created within your household.
For your family to be most comfortable, you’ll want an in-home humidity level of around 35% – 45%. Anything above 50% can start to feel a little ‘off’, and once you’re above 65% you’ll probably start really feeling discomfort. Since high levels of in-home humidity can be a big risk factor for mold and bacteria growth, it’s important to do what you can to combat this and keep your home feeling cool and dry. We’ve put together a few tips on how to de-humidify your home… naturally.
1. Make Sure You’re Using Your Bathroom Vents
Every bathroom in your home probably has an extra ‘light switch’ that turns on a vent in the ceiling. Any room, including mudrooms or laundry rooms, that involves a lot of humidity-creating activity should have one of these if possible, although a strong fan placed into the laundry room and left to run while you’re getting clothing clean will also help.
The best way to cut down on building humidity in what is likely the ‘wettest’ area of your home is to make sure you turn that vent on just after taking a shower or bath and leave on for about five minutes. This will help wick away the moisture in the air, and you should start to feel a difference almost immediately.
2. Check for Leaks
One thing that pops up far more often than you’d expect is leaking pipes. Especially in older homes, it’s not uncommon to find that the source of residual humidity in a home is a stubbornly leaking pipe that had simply gone unnoticed.
Check underneath sinks, behind your washing machine or fridge (the water hookups for these can be prone to leaking, especially if your appliances are more than 10 years old), and look for the telltale ‘dark spots’ in the wood or cabinetry surrounding them. If you find a leak, it may be easy enough to get out your tools, perform a quick DIY, and tighten the pipe up.
If that doesn’t seem to stop the problem, give us a call here at Donnelly’s Plumbing Heating and Cooling, and we’ll send someone out to take a look.
3. Cover Loose Soil in House Plants
Do you have a green thumb and like to surround yourself with house plants? Do you maintain a garden and bring many of your plants indoors for the winter? This may be causing an issue with humidity.
Water evaporates out of exposed soil and you may find that the room your houseplants are in is the most humid room in your entire house. If you cover the exposed soil, it will keep that water from evaporating as rapidly and help keep your air comfortable.
4. Replace Your Air Filter
This is one home maintenance task you’ll find we often bring up, and it really is essential, because an air filter that needs replaced affects how well your HVAC can do its job, no matter what season it is. A clogged filter will slow down air flow throughout your home, which can lead to an uneven distribution of humidity and some rooms feeling distinctly uncomfortable when compared to others.
We also recommend using a dehumidifier as needed in rooms with stubborn humidity issues. You may find that you only need to run the dehumidifier for a few hours every other week or so to keep specific rooms at a comfortable dryness level.
Need Help? Give Us a Call!
We’re here for you as fall turns into winter, for all your heating, cooling, and plumbing needs. At Donnelly’s Plumbing Heating and Cooling, we have more than forty years of experience working with our community here in Montgomery, Chester, Bucks and Delware counties in Southeastern Pennsylvania. We’re local and focused on making sure your home is comfortable and safe, whether you’re dealing with a broken heater at 3 am or busted pipes during rush hour. Reach us by phone at (215) 855-2014 or contact us online at any time to schedule service!