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5 Cool Methods for Controlling Indoor Humidity Levels

Updated December 9, 2020

Do you ever notice that even though your home is a comfortable temperature, it just feels muggy? Have you ever woken up sweating in the middle of the night only to discover the thermostat is set plenty low? If this sounds familiar, you may have a problem with indoor humidity in your home.

Humidity is the amount of moisture that’s hanging around in the air, and it can affect everything from your allergies to the structure of your home. You want to make sure your home stays at the right humidity level to keep both you and the house healthy.

Read on to discover some tricks for lowering your home’s indoor humidity.

Ideal Humidity Range

Humidity control is part of what your air conditioning system does. Part of why it’s so important to get the right size unit is so you don’t drop the air temperature too quickly without removing the moisture first. This can lead to condensation and all sorts of structural damage.

Ideally, you want your home to stay somewhere between 40 to 60% humidity. Higher than that, and you’ll start noticing smells, mildew, rot, and sleep problems. Lower than that is fine for your house, but you may notice the temperature is harder to regulate and your skin is drier.

How to Tell If It’s Too Humid

There are some obvious signs that your house is too humid – for one thing, you’ll start sweating all the time inside. But by the time it gets humid enough for you to notice, chances are it’s already too late. You’ve gone well outside that sweet spot; learning the signs of high humidity early can save your house from a good deal of damage.

One simple way to keep an eye on the moisture levels in your home is to buy a hygrometer. These measure humidity and aren’t too expensive. Your allergies may also get worse, or you may notice that your windows are often foggy.

1. Use Fans

If you want to avoid freezing your house out to get rid of the humidity, one thing you can do is run any vent fans in your house. When you’re cooking, run the vent fan over your stove to capture that heat. When you take a shower, be sure to get those fans going, too.

It may seem strange, but just this small bit of steam escaping into your house can do a lot to raise the humidity. Keeping those vent fans running will help move that moisture outside, keeping your house drying and more comfortable.

2. Skip the Hot Shower

On the subject of taking a shower, if you can, try to turn down the water temperature. For one thing, cold showers are said to be good for your health, and you could save some money on water heating bills. For another, you’ll generate less steam.

When you get out of the shower, think about how much moisture is trapped in that room. The mirror and the shower doors are fogged up, and when you open the door, that moisture doesn’t just vanish. Lowering your shower temperature by just a few degrees can go a long way towards decreasing the humidity in your house.

3. Keep Gutters Clean

Oftentimes, humidity in the house is a sign of a leak, and many times, the gutters are the culprits. When your gutters are clogged with leaves and gunk, water can’t move through them like it’s meant to. It piles up and starts running into all sorts of places where it’s not wanted.

Keeping your gutters clean is a simple step that can prevent roof leaks. Clean your gutters out at least twice a year, once in late spring and once in late summer. But if you notice your gutters getting filled up more quickly than that or if you have trees growing near your house, clean them more often.

4. Fix Leaking Pipes

Pikes can also be another source of inside leaks and high humidity. A pipe leak can also cause much larger issues – warped floorboards, rotting drywall, pests, and more. If you notice that your house seems more humid all of a sudden, checking the pipes is a good first step.

Look under all your sinks for damp spots, and call a plumber to fix them if needed. You may also want to keep an eye out for stained drywall or irregular water bills. Wrapping your pipes with insulation can also help prevent condensation and keep your home drier.

5. Put Out Charcoal Briquettes

It sounds crazy, but putting out a bucket of charcoal briquettes can actually help keep your home less humid. Charcoal is incredibly absorbent, which is part of what makes it so good for use in filters and overdose situations. This works for dehumidifying your house, too.

Put out a bucket of charcoal briquettes in a few strategic areas of your home. You can put them in decorative flower pots if you like in order to make them look nicer, or you can set them up by the fireplace. Swap them out every few months, and you’ll have a drier home in no time!

Learn How to Manage Indoor Humidity

Keeping your indoor humidity in a healthy range is an important thing as a homeowner. Not only does high humidity make your home uncomfortable, but it can also actually signal a larger problem like a leak or structural damage. Try out these tips to keep your home dry and comfortable all year round.

Rob Ambrosetti

Rob Ambrosetti

KGG’s National Training Director and go-to IAQ expert. Rob is a council-certified Indoor Environmental Consultant. He also holds Healthy Home Professional and HVAC Professional certifications from IAQA. Since joining KGG in 2018, Rob has focused on curriculum development and led KGG’s in-house training services. He is also the host of KGG’s industry podcast RepTalk.

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