Controlling Humidity In Your Home: A Checklist

bathroom ventGetting a handle on home humidity control not only enhances household comfort, it also lowers cooling costs and benefits indoor air quality, including reducing the incidence of toxic mold growth. In a locale with a naturally humid climate, indoor sources can create even higher levels of humidity inside an enclosed house. By identifying and mitigating sources of water vapor, as well as maintaining the dehumidifying function of your central air conditioner, home humidity control can keep the indoor environment within the EPA-recommended range of 30% to 50% relative humidity.

  • Vent kitchens and bathrooms. Water vapor produced by bathing and cooking quickly moves out of the bathroom and into living spaces. Bathrooms and kitchen should be equipped with ventilation fans that exhaust humid air all the way to the exterior of the house through dedicated ducts.
  • Address water leaks and seepage. A chronically wet crawl space is a reservoir of moisture that rises into the house. If flooding routinely occurs during rain, take steps to seal the space and divert water away. Also, install a plastic vapor barrier on the dirt floor of the crawl space to stop moisture exuding from the soil. Any dripping plumbing routed through the crawl space must be repaired.
  • Check attic ventilation. An overheated attic full of humid summer air cools down at night, condensing water vapor and saturating the structure and insulation. This zone of chronic humidity can infiltrate into living spaces below through structural cracks and gaps. Make sure upper and lower air vents in the attic are unobstructed to admit a continuous flow of fresh air. Where chronic moisture exists, consider a powered attic vent fan to augment passive ventilation.
  • Get professional A/C service. Low system airflow due to various causes impairs the critical dehumidifying function of the air conditioner. Also, very short on/off cooling cycles prevent effective extraction of water vapor from air. Schedule service for these issues as well as regular preventive maintenance from a qualified HVAC contractor.

Ask the pros at Rytech, Inc. about the benefits of home humidity control to prevent water damage and mold contamination.

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