How To Control Extreme Humidity In Your Home

excess humidity
Humidity control helps preserve the house and its contents, as well as keeping the indoor environment healthier. Because today’s homes are built to higher energy efficiency standards, they are very tightly sealed. This means accumulating water vapor can rise to extreme levels that cause ongoing damage such as warping/rotting wooden structural components and peeling paint as well as triggering growth of toxic mold. Overly humid homes also feel hotter in summer and clammy cold in winter, raising cooling and heating costs.

The Environmental Protection Agency recommends maintaining indoor humidity “ideally between 30% and 50%.” Here are some methods of humidity control to keep your house in the ideal range.

  • Exhaust humid rooms. Bathing and cooking are sources of high indoor humidity. Exhaust fans should be installed in bathrooms and kitchen to vent water vapor through dedicated ducts all the way to the exterior of the house. Also make sure the clothes dryer is adequately vented to the outdoors and the vent is regularly cleared of lint.
  • Maintain your HVAC system. A forced-air furnace helps dry out humidity in winter and an air conditioner extracts water vapor during summer. Proper airflow through the system is critical to this process so make sure the filter is changed regularly in all seasons and that HVAC ductwork is intact and does not leak conditioned air.
  • Check the crawlspace. Rising groundwater that keeps soil under the house chronically moist can form a source of water vapor that migrates up into living spaces. Installing a vapor barrier to contain soil moisture reduces humidity infiltration. Also look for ongoing plumbing leaks as well as uninsulated pipes that “sweat” and produce large amounts of condensation.
  • Consider a whole-house dehumidifier. Installed in your HVAC ductwork, the system continuously senses humidity level in the airflow and extracts excess water vapor. Because all air volume in the house passes through the ductwork multiple times daily, comprehensive humidity control is achievable. These units are permanently plumbed into the household drain system and require only annual cleaning.

Prevent moisture damage and mold with effective humidity control.

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