The signs of high indoor humidity are easy to detect. Your skin feels sticky, you may smell a musty odor, and mold and mildew may begin to grow indoors. If you need to reduce the humidity in your home, there are some simple steps you can take.
Simple Ways to Reduce Humidity in Your Home
Left unchecked, moisture in the air can damage wallpaper and carpet and cause wooden surfaces to deteriorate. Use a hygrometer to monitor humidity in your home, and if it reads over 50%, take some of these steps to keep humidity at a comfortable level.
Ventilation of the Bathroom
- When in the bathroom, turn on the ventilation fan. This is an important step in preventing excess humidity in your home.
- If showering, keep the water as cool as possible to reduce the amount of water vapor in the air. Install a low-flow showerhead and keep your showers short so you’re introducing less moisture into the environment.
- Turn off the faucet while shaving or brushing your teeth. Not only does this save water but it contributes to drier air.
- Close the toilet lid when you flush to keep water vapor contained.
Ventilation in the Kitchen
- Turn on the exhaust fan while cooking. Foods release moisture and steam as they’re being cooked.
- Keep the exhaust fan on after you are finished cooking. The fan cycles drier air into your kitchen and helps to reduce humidity in your home.
- Leave the lids on the pots and pans when you’re cooking. Keep the water inside the pot instead of in the air.
- Grill outdoors when the weather is nice. You’ll enjoy being outside and avoid producing moisture in your kitchen.
Additional Steps to Reduce Humidity in the Home
- Make sure your dryer is vented to the outside. The water that evaporates from your clothing will increase the humidity in your home if it is not pushed outdoors.
- Run the air conditioner. You don’t need to keep your house uncomfortably cold, but keeping the air conditioner on at a moderate temperature will reduce humidity.
- Install ceiling fans to keep the air in motion. Used in combination with the air conditioner, ceiling fans help remove the moisture from your home.
- Use a dehumidifier. These devices remove and collect water from the air. Make sure you empty the collection reservoir regularly.
Removing excess humidity in your home will keep you healthier and keep your home in better shape. For more tips on how to reduce moisture in your home, visit the US Department of Energy.