The Baltimore area is no stranger to humidity. While that heavy, sticky feeling may be unavoidable outside, having humidity indoors may do more than raise your heating and air conditioning costs. High humidity inside of homes can lead to mold, mildew, wood rot, and damp spots in drywall not to mention cranky inhabitants. Fortunately, the answer to reducing humidity inside of your home may be simpler than you think.
It may take only four to six pints of water to raise the humidity inside of a 1,000 square foot area from 15 percent to a whopping 60 percent. The answer to keeping that humidity level low may be as simple as allowing it to travel outside. If you have vent fans in the kitchen, laundry room or bathroom, use them every time moisture is present and leave them on longer than you think you should. If you do not have a vent fan, crack a window for a few minutes to allow the heavy, wet air to travel outside where it belongs. Attic fans can also help keep the moisture level in your home low as warm, humid air rises and escapes through the attic rather than hanging around in your rooms.
Take Cooler, Shorter Showers
Setting your water heater to a lower temperature and installing low-flow shower heads can reduce the overall humidity in your home by restricting the amount of steam that is created. Not only will you find your home is less humid, but you will also have the added benefit of lower water heating costs.
Run the Air Conditioner
If it is especially humid inside of your home, running the air conditioner may be the only option for drying it out. Introducing cool, dry airflow into the rooms of your home reduces the relative humidity rather quickly, but it can be costly. Be sure your air conditioner is running as efficiently as possible by having it serviced regularly by a certified repair and service technician.
Vent Your Dryer Outside
Clothes dryers not only produce large amounts of warm air, but they also produce massive amounts of humidity. As heat is introduced to the wet clothes, humid air is pumped out of its vent system. Many newer homes are designed to vent this warm, humid air outside, but if yours does not, it may be worth having a handyman redirect your dryer vent. Not can venting your dryer outside dramatically lower your heating and cooling costs, but you will find your dryer works more efficiently as well.
Clean the Dryer Vent
While we are on the subject of clothes dryers, in 1998, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission published a study that said that 15,600 fires were the result of clothes dryers resulting in 20 deaths and 370 injuries. Cleaning out a dryer vent is a simple process. Simply attach a vacuum hose to one end of the vent and a leaf blower to the other. Not only will you reduce the likelihood of a fire, but your dryer will also work more efficiently than before, thereby reducing the humidity in your home.
For more information on ways to reduce the humidity in your home, contact Farnen & Dermer for an in-home consultation.