During summertime in the South, especially in East Tennessee, the atmosphere can grow steamy. Even indoors with the air conditioner running, the air can sometimes become sticky. But the relative humidity is important for personal comfort –high heat combined with high humidity hampers your skin’s evaporation rate and makes you feel sweaty. That’s one reason why it’s important to keep the humidity in your home lower than 60% – preferably 30-50% – in the summer. So if the air in your house is feeling a bit muggy, here are four ways to lower the humidity.
Check for leaks. A simple way to decrease humidity in your home is to seal any leaks in exterior walls and surfaces. Visually inspect windowsills and doorframes and hold your hand near them to detect any air currents. Replace worn weather-stripping and caulk or otherwise fill any cracks to keep your air-conditioned, dehumidified air inside. Also, check how well-sealed your clothes dryer’s exhaust pipe and vent are. This is one humidity source that homeowners often forget to periodically review. But if your dryer vent is leaking inside the house, it’s adding a lot of heat and humidity to the atmosphere. So make sure its exhaust outlet is tightly sealed.
Install exhaust fans. Daily activities such as cooking and showering add considerable moisture to your home’s atmosphere. If your kitchen and bathrooms are not adequately ventilated, that moisture stays in the house. This not only increases the humidity – it also can cause health concerns like mold and mildew and structural concerns such as wood rot. So, if you don’t have them, consider installing exhaust vents in these rooms.
Promote air flow. If only certain rooms feel stuffy, you can try stand-alone fans to provide better air circulation and decrease humidity levels in those areas. But remember, to save on energy costs, only use fans, including ceiling fans, in occupied rooms. Fans cool by removing moisture from the skin. If no one is in the room, there’s no reason to run a fan. Also remember that in summer your ceiling fans should rotate counter-clockwise to draw cooler air up from the floor and distribute it through a room.
Have your HVAC inspected and maintained. Your air conditioner doesn’t just cool your home – it also removes moisture from the air. Leaks in your HVAC ductwork or an AC unit that is not functioning at peak efficiency will not only allow the humidity to creep higher in your home, it will also cost you more in cooling costs. That’s why it’s a good idea to have Pioneer Heating and Air do an inspection of your HVAC twice yearly, in spring and fall.
If you are concerned that your home may have more serious humidity issues, Pioneer offers humidity control service. Just give us a call at 865-922-2817, email us at [email protected], or contact us through our Website. We’ll be happy to assist you.