Humidity can have a lot of effects on the home, particularly when it is higher than it’s supposed to be. Regular humidity levels in a home range from 30%-60% and should not go above or below that level. With that in mind, it’s important to know what can cause high humidity and what it looks like. After understanding what causes it, the high humidity will need to be combated.
High humidity is an uncomfortable feeling and, worse yet, causes a lot of damage to the home. When humidity is too high over the 60% level, the home can begin to experience excess water and condensation. If it is and this problem persists, the excess moisture will begin to cause mold and mildew issues.
Having mold present in the home can have huge negative impacts on our bodies. The most common effect that mold has on our bodies is allergic reactions and it can also cause asthma attacks, eye and/or skin irritation, irritated throats/nose, and lung problems. Repeated mold exposure can increase one’s sensitivity, causing more severe allergic reactions. Exposure to certain molds that produce toxins called mycotoxins can cause more serious illnesses as well.
Not only does mold affect our bodies and immune system, but it can also damage items in the home. Most items are not designed to withstand high levels of moisture and will begin to show signs. Paint and wallpaper will crack and peel, mold will grow on walls and furniture, and plaster, joists, and studs will swell. The longer that moisture is present in the home, the more damage will occur and the costlier repairs will be.
If it is suspected that the humidity is high in a structure, a hygrometer can measure the exact moisture level in the air. After checking the levels on a hydrometer and it is above 60%, steps will need to be taken to reduce the humidity levels.
Proper ventilation is key when trying to keep moisture levels at bay, especially when using the shower, cooking, or doing laundry. This can be as simple as opening a window, but the A/C unit or fans can be utilized as well. Use the ventilation hood when cooking, and use extractor vents when taking a shower or doing laundry. When doing laundry, avoid drying wet clothes in the home, especially if the atmosphere already experiences high levels of humidity.
If the humidity level is consistently high, a dehumidifier may be an extremely useful item to reduce it. Dehumidifiers are installed directly inside the furnace air handler and remove moisture from the air as it passes through. When the air makes it through the system, it’s dry and cool. The best benefit of this is that it can lower the cost of running the A/C unit since it won’t need to be used nearly as much.
When a home is experiencing high levels of humidity, it is never a fun experience. It makes for a miserable and muggy Fall. Professionals at All Seasons Heating & Cooling can ensure that this doesn’t happen in your home. They are always available to help with anything from dehumidifier installation, to HVAC repairs, and much more to help your Fall be the best it can be with comfortable indoors.