With the extremely high heat index temps that we have been graced with lately, it is very easy for the humidity levels in your home to also increase.
During summer months the Hampton Road climate can lead to a lot of moisture in your home, which can cause damaging mildew. To control this moisture, you should think about getting a dehumidifier, which helps to remove unwanted humidity. How your home deals with humidity depends heavily on the design and construction; a building that is more energy-efficient and airtight will have a higher chance of increased humidity problems. This happens because the tighter your house is, the less air is exchanged.
When this becomes an issue is when you are trying to cool your house. The air conditioning can cause your house to cool down to a level where moisture condenses. One way to think of it is what typically happens to a can of soda when you take it out of the refrigerator on a hot summer day…it begins to “sweat.”
If there’s too much moisture in your home, that moist air gets trapped in corners, basements, laundry rooms and other closed areas. Bedrooms and rooms closer to these areas will have a higher humidity level than ones further away. Often in bathrooms for example moisture tends to gather in the corners, in your bathtub and on tile, creating a mildew that takes some effort to remove. Be careful to not have condensation accumulate in your windows because that dripping water will cause your wood frames to begin to crack and eventually rot.
Humidity that is too high will also stain ceilings and walls, cause paint and wallpaper to peel, and hardwood floors to buckle. With all this moisture you’re providing the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, mold and insects.
As a homeowner it’s important to maintain the proper humidity levels in your home. Indoor humidity levels should not exceed 55% on the main level of the house. Ideally you should be between 30% and 50%. With proper dehumidification and air conditioning, your home most likely will be about 45%. This range will help to protect your wooden furniture, musical instruments, drywall, and delicate materials from the damaging effects of excessive moisture while also providing the maximum comfort for both you and your family.
Humidity levels can be quickly checked with a hygrometer (a small user-friendly instrument with a display that shows what the relative humidity level is in the room where it is located). They are inexpensive and look quite similar to a thermometer and allow you to very easily check the air in your home, so that you can then adjust your humidity level by adding a dehumidifier if needed.
Here are several quick signs that you should invest in a dehumidifier:
1. Window and Patio Door Condensation
2. Mold Spots on Ceiling or in Corners of Walls
3. Musty Smell or Odor
4. Water Bugs and House Centipedes