In your Southwest Florida home, humid air and wet surfaces can cause mold and mildew, unpleasant odors, and even surface damage. On the other hand, breathing in air that is too dry can aggravate your respiratory system. This is why it is so important to monitor humidity levels year-round and take steps to control them.
Learn more about humidity from our indoor air quality pros at Best Home Services!
What is Indoor Humidity?
Overly damp air can happen in any weather, though in our already humid climate in Florida, it is a prevalent issue.
Moisture condenses into water droplets when warm and humid air comes in contact with a cool surface. A great example is a windowpane that’s been cooled by your HVAC system.
Moisture can be released into the air by numerous daily activities including:
- Drying clothes
- Washing dishes
Humidity can make your home feel uncomfortable, especially in the summer months. In the winter, though we don’t often turn our heaters on in Southwest Florida, some heaters can also increase the moisture inside your home.
Plus, any other surfaces such as walls, doors, or water pipes that lack proper insulation can also gather condensation.
What is the Ideal Humidity Level?
The majority of HVAC experts concur that the ideal indoor humidity range for a home is between 30 and 60%. Problems may arise at either the lower or upper limits.
To discourage the growth and spread of mold,
humidity levels should be kept below 50%.
Ultimately, if you are in the above range, we recommend controlling the humidity based on your comfort levels.
Controlling Indoor Moisture Levels
When you see moisture accumulating, make sure to dry it ASAP and figure out what the source of the problem is.
Here are a few ways to control moisture accumulation in your home:
Install Storm Doors & Windows
Storm doors and windows help minimize cool window surfaces by separating the cool interior from the warmer outside air. Double and triple-pane windows also insulate interior glass from temperature fluctuations.
Improvements like these not only reduce moisture but also make your home more energy efficient year-round.
Add Insulation to Cold-Water Pipes
Adding insulation to cold-water pipes will eliminate a common humidity-causing surface in warm weather. Straight and angled sleeves let you fit special insulation onto your pipes. All you need to do is slide the sleeves on and seal the joints with duct tape.
Use Caulking and Weatherstripping
Caulking and weatherstripping the windows and doors in your home can improve energy efficiency and prevent humid air from entering your home. They also help reduce the air exchange that allows moisture to move in and out of the home.
Make Use of Exhaust Fans
Bathroom exhaust fans, ducted kitchen exhaust hoods, and dryer exhausts can remove moisture that is created by showering, bathing, washing dishes, drying clothes, and cooking.
Make sure to keep these devices free of dust and other debris that could keep them from working efficiently.
Other simple ways to reduce indoor air moisture include:
- Covering pots when cooking
- Leaving interior doors open to boost air circulation
- Covering aquariums
Schedule HVAC Maintenance
Another way to control indoor air humidity is to have your HVAC system inspected and maintained regularly.
Your air conditioning system lowers the humidity levels in your home as the air cools, and furnaces reduce humidity with dry heat.
Keep air registers open and unblocked to promote good airflow, and have the systems inspected and services regularly to ensure that they are functioning properly.
Using a Dehumidifier
If high humidity is a problem that you can’t take care of with the above methods, you may want to use a portable dehumidifier that dehumidifies individual rooms or install a whole-house dehumidifier.
Look for ENERGY STAR®-certified models, which consume less energy than most conventional dehumidifiers.
Learn More > Why Seasonal HVAC Maintenance is Essential
Southwest Florida Air Quality Services
It’s true. The indoor air quality of your home directly affects your family’s health and the comfort levels in your home. If the above tips don’t work to control an overly-humid home, you know who to call! Our team at Best Home Services is here to enhance your home’s air quality and humidity levels with whole-home dehumidifier installations, HVAC maintenance, and more!