It’s summer in the south…this means ice cold sweet tea, barbecues, wild thunderstorms, and unfortunately the muggy heavy humidity in the air. The high humidity is what keeps the wind from feeling like a hot hair dryer blowing on us but when high humidity levels are inside your home, problems will develop. Today we are sharing how humidity hurts your home and what you can do about it.
What is the Ideal Humidity Level in Your Home?
The ideal humidity level in your home is between 30 and 50%. This means that the air is holding between 30-50% of the most water vapor it can hold. Your air conditioner usually does a decent job of keeping humidity levels down but many homes would benefit from a dedicated dehumidifier.
High Humidity Effects on a Residential Home
If your HVAC system is running in good condition and you recognize any of the below effects of high humidity, a dehumidifier would help the air in your home to feel better.
High humidity in your home can result in musty odors throughout the home, caused by the growth of mold and mildew. Be sure to note if these smells are stronger around your crawlspace entrance or basement entrance. Water in either your crawlspace or basement can increase humidity levels in the air above and be the source of the musty smell in your living areas above.
Mold and Mildew Growth
High humidity provides the perfect environment for mold and mildew to thrive. These can damage walls, ceilings, carpets, furniture, and fabrics. They also pose health risks to you and your family, leading to respiratory problems and allergies.
When warm, moist air comes into contact with cooler surfaces like windows and toilet tanks, it can cause condensation to form. This is why your ice cold drink “sweats” on the outside of the glass. This can lead to water damage, peeling paint, and mold growth around window sills.
Excessive moisture in the air can cause wood to warp, rot, or swell, leading to structural damage in the form of sagging floors, cracked walls, and weakened foundations. If you have noticed doors or windows sticking or loud creaks when you walk, humidity could be causing damage to the wood in your floors and walls.
Damage to Electronics
Our homes are a hub for so many delicate electronic devices. These devices are sensitive to moisture, and high humidity levels can cause corrosion and damage to circuits, leading to malfunctions or even permanent failure.
Increased Energy Costs
High humidity makes it harder for air conditioners to cool the air effectively. As a result, they need to work harder and consume more energy, leading to increased energy bills.
Solutions for High Humidity in Your Home
If your HVAC system is running effectively and you still have high humidity levels in your home, a dehumidifier will help to reduce the humidity level.
Types of Dehumidifiers
When choosing a dehumidifier for your home you must take into account the square footage of your home you would like treated, the sound level, and the type of water storage tank. The water that is removed from the air by the dehumidifier must be stored and then emptied at some point. Some models have a large tank capacity and can also be attached to a hose to divert the water away easily.
The most common type of dehumidifier for home use is a refrigerative/compressor dehumidifier. These work similarly to air conditioners, using a refrigeration cycle to remove moisture from the air. They draw in the humid air inside your home, cool it to condense the moisture, and then reheat the air before releasing it back into the room. These dehumidifiers are effective in many different temperature and humidity conditions.
Desiccant dehumidifiers are similar to the refrigerative/compressor dehumidifiers but they utilize silica gel to absorb moisture from the air. These dehumidifiers can be more energy efficient and quieter than the refrigerant models. The silica gel must be replaced periodically to effectively absorb the moisture also.
Whole Home Dehumidifiers
Another dehumidifier type is a whole home dehumidifier. This dehumidifier is integrated with your HVAC system and does its job on its own. They are typically installed in basements, crawlspaces, or utility rooms. They offer high moisture control power and can be adjusted through your thermostat.
Waterproofing Your Basement or Crawlspace
Many homeowners may not realize how much a damp crawlspace or basement contributes to high humidity in their home. If you suspect your basement or crawlspace is wet and are seeing signs of high humidity in your home, it is worth having a professional evaluation. Waterproofing your basement or crawlspace may eliminate or greatly reduce any high humidity levels in your home.
Aqua-Guard Can Help with High Humidity
The waterproofing experts at Aqua-Guard understand the nuances of how humidity hurts your home. Contact us for a free evaluation and estimate. We can help you determine the best steps for reducing humidity in your home whether it be by installing a dehumidifier in your crawlspace or in your basement, or waterproofing them completely. We perform quality work at competitive prices and you will have a single point of contact throughout the whole process. Let’s improve the air quality in your home and rid your home of high humidity. Contact us today!