Now that the cooling season is well under way, you and your family will also be dealing with high humidity both outside and inside. While there’s nothing you can do about the muggy weather outside, there’s plenty you can do to remove moisture from your indoor air. This will enhance household comfort, improve indoor air quality and save money on energy bills. Find out why it’s important to reduce home humidity, and what specific steps can be taken to dehumidify a home.
- Better comfort – When the air is clammy and moist, your body has a harder time eliminating heat that builds up in hot weather. When you sweat, it doesn’t evaporate, making you feel even more uncomfortable. Dehumidified air feels cooler, and sweat evaporates more readily, creating an instant cooling effect.
- Improved indoor air quality – Humid indoor air provides an inviting habitat for mold and mildew, as well as bacteria and other unwanted microorganisms. For individuals with respiratory issues, muggy air can make it more difficult to breathe. Indoor air with a relative humidity of 40 to 50 percent is ideal for your health.
- Energy savings – During the cooling season, dehumidified indoor air feels cooler than muggy air. This means you won’t have to turn the A/C down as much to feel comfortable. The higher temperature setting gives your cooling system a break and saves energy.
Steps to Reduce Home Humidity
- Have a well-maintained, properly sized air conditioner in your home – A poorly maintained, oversized A/C will struggle to remove moisture from indoor air. If the air filter is clogged or the coils are dirty, the heat exchange and dehumidification process will be compromised. If the cooling system is too big for your home’s cooling load, the system will cycle on and off frequently. This means it won’t be running long enough to remove moisture from the air.
- Make sure your home has effective ventilation – This is especially important in areas where humid air collects as a result of human activities or location in the house – bathrooms, the kitchen and finished basement. Exhaust fans in those areas remove muggy air, though you should make sure they’re vented to the outside.To ensure pure, dry indoor air, consider active mechanical ventilation, such as with an energy recovery ventilator (ERV). These systems exchange heat energy and moisture between two parallel air streams connection the outside to the inside. During the summer, moisture in in-flowing air is transferred to out-flowing air, to help dehumidify the home.
- Your attic should be properly ventilated, too – Moisture can build up in the attic, compromising insulation and indoor air quality. The right type and number of attic vents should be installed, and an attic fan can be added as well.
- Open windows and doors – This is a good strategy when the weather outside is relatively mild and dry. Good, old-fashioned natural ventilation will flush out the stale air that collects inside over time.
- Take shorter showers and don’t make them so hot – Steaming up the bathroom after a 15-minute hot shower will keep the air moist for a long time after, affecting not just the bathroom but nearby areas as well. Install low-flow shower heads, which deliver less water with less steam.
- Don’t overdo the air conditioning – There’s no need to have it lower than what’s comfortable, and very cold A/C settings make humid air more noticeable.
- Run the air conditioning when possible – In addition to cooling, a well-maintained air conditioner dehumidifies the air. If your air conditioner has a variable-speed blower motor and/or modulating or multi-stage compressor, it will run nearly continuously, providing better dehumidification than a standard A/C motor.
- Get a whole-home dehumidifier – If you’ve taken other steps to reduce home humidity and still have a problem, talk to your trusted HVAC contractor about the right whole-house dehumidifier for your home. These systems connect directly to your HVAC system, and ensure that a healthy and comfortable humidity level is maintained.
Learn more about how to reduce home humidity and IAQ, as well as McAllister’s dehumidifier options, or contact us today at 877-216-3505.