You’re probably already familiar with the telltale stickiness associated with high humidity levels. You can feel the oppressive heat whenever you walk outside during the summer or in the early stages of a rain shower. The moisture in the air makes everything around you feel hotter and more uncomfortable, even if the temperature is reasonable.
Humidity inside the home can be just as problematic, particularly in the summer months. Relative humidity levels are often much higher during the warmer months due to the science behind how the air is able to hold onto moisture. As the air increases in temperature, it acquires an expanded capacity to hold onto water droplets. This means that as your home grows warmer, it isn’t uncommon to find it becoming more humid as well.
Cutting back on the humidity inside your home could help you to lower your monthly cooling costs. Even though your air conditioning unit is cooling the house down effectively, the humidity may actually be the reason why you’re still sweating.
Some homeowners simply aren’t sure whether it’s too hot or if they have a humidity problem that’s getting out of control. Here are a few expert signs that your house might be too humid.
You have a pest infestation
Have you had a surge in the number of insects crawling their way into your home? If a routine pest control service is having a hard time getting them under control, it may be because of the humidity in your home. Pests tend to thrive in warm and humid environments. It manufactures the necessary water to help them survive and lends itself to better reproduction conditions. In no time at all, you can have an infestation that is really out of hand.
There’s condensation on the windows
Windows that are filled with tiny water droplets made from condensation are a telltale sign that you have high humidity. The moisture in the air connects with the cool glass to form these tiny droplets. When you start to see water droplets actually form inside your home, you really need to take care of the issue quickly. The water can build up on window sills and walls, creating the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew.
Your walls are wet
Similar to condensation that forms on the windows, you may start to encounter moisture droplets forming on the walls and ceiling. This is a sign of high humidity only when it occurs separately from any cooking or showering you may be doing. You can use an exhaust fan to help pull the moisture out of the air in these areas and alleviate some of the problem.
You identify a mold problem
Are you seeing a lot of green, black, or orange mold developing in areas around the home? Mold spores can reproduce more easily whenever there is too much moisture nearby. In fact, moisture is the perfect breeding ground for mold growth. Homeowners who can identify a rampant issue with mold may be seeing exaggerated growth due to the humidity in the air.
While you will ultimately need to get the mold issue taken care of, resolving the humidity is usually the first step in preventing it from returning. Be aware that mold can lead to some serious health effects if it isn’t taken care of promptly. This is one sign of high humidity that will need to be addressed immediately.
There’s a musty smell in the air
You may be an excellent housekeeper, but there’s a musty odor that continues to linger even after you clean. Once you’re positive that there are no outstanding issues that are causing the aroma, you may need to accept that you have high humidity. The musty odor could be a sign that you have mold and mildew growth somewhere in your home or deep within the ductwork.
You’re experiencing more allergy symptoms
Did you think you had a summer cold that just kept lingering? The bad news is that an increase in your allergy symptoms could be a sign that the humidity in your home is creating a breeding ground for allergens that irritate you. This can be the result of dust mite reproduction, other pests that thrive in humidity, or mold spores. Replace your air filters and see if the issue persists longer. If it does, it could be the result of high humidity.
The easiest way to determine if you have high humidity levels in your home is to buy an inexpensive hygrometer. You can likely find these online for just a few dollars, and they can conclusively tell you how much humidity is in your home. Most experts will recommend keeping your humidity levels between thirty and fifty percent.
If you have high humidity levels in your home, you likely need to start pulling some of the moisture out of the air. Your air conditioning unit performs this task to some degree, but it may not be able to keep up with the constant supply of water. A whole-house dehumidifier might be the best solution if this is a recurring issue for your family.
Sometimes, only a certain room will have a need for dehumidification. You may be able to purchase inexpensive portable versions that can be moved from room to room according to your need.
A simpler solution would be to make good use of your exhaust fans or windows if the temperature outside will allow. This can allow some of the drier outdoor air into the home while letting the moisture escape quickly. Be careful that you don’t use this technique unless you’re positive that you won’t be allowing irritating allergens or pests into the home. You may need to wait until evening or early morning to open the windows in order to avoid making your home uncomfortable temperature-wise.
High humidity levels can make the whole house feel hotter and more oppressive. With a few easy changes, you can start to feel cooler and more comfortable without making any changes to your air conditioning unit.
Classic Air Conditioning and Heating can help answer any questions you may have regarding a whole-house dehumidification system. To find out what we recommend, give us a call today!