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How to Lower Your Home’s Humidity

by VitalStorm Content on April 26, 2019

how to lower your home's humidity

While there are many wonderful things to love about the warmth of spring and summer time, stifling humidity is not one of them. Are you looking for ways to lower your home’s humidity? Here are some tips from the pros at Blue Flame to get you started!

How to Lower Your Home’s Humidity with Your Habits

Ventilate Your Home

One of the most important things you can do to lower the humidity in your home is implementing proper ventilation.

  1. Focus on the rooms in your house that experience the most moisture. This could include your bathrooms, kitchen, and basement.
  2. If you have exhaust fans, use them each time you shower or cook something.
  3. No exhaust fans? Crack a window! Just make sure you do what you can to air out these spaces and rid your home of excess moisture.

Let Your AC Do the Work

Sometimes the simplest solution to high humidity is turning on your AC. Your AC can do a lot to help cool the air and battle high humidity levels in your home, so long as you give your unit a little help by properly ventilating your home.

Set Your AC Fan to Automatic

If you plan on using your AC to help counteract the humidity levels this season, set your AC unit fan to automatic, rather than keeping it in the “on” position all summer long. When the fan is perpetually in the “on” position, it can begin blowing air over a wet coil when the condenser cycles off. As a result, your AC fan can re-humidify your home, rather than ridding it of humidity.

Properly Maintain Your AC Drain Lines and Drip Pans

To make sure your AC takes care of you, take care of it by regularly cleaning and maintaining the drain lines and drip pans. Allowing debris to build up in your unit’s drain lines and drip pans can impede your AC’s efficiency in cooling your home with clean, moisture-free air.

Trade in Your Regular Houseplants for Dehumidifying Plants

If you love the color and vitality your house plants bring to your indoor space but hate the humidity that comes with them, switch them out for a dehumidifying variety. Some plants can reduce humidity levels in your home and clean your indoor air, which can provide more restful sleep. Here are some types of dehumidifying plants to consider using:

  1. Xerophytes – These plants can survive in deserts or ice. Some common xerophytes are succulents, cacti, aloe plants, and palms.
  2. Epiphytes – Plants of this variety grow harmlessly on other plants or objects. Some common epiphytes are mosses, ferns, cacti, and orchids.
  3. Tillandsia – When it comes to dehumidifying abilities, this plant variety takes the cake. Considered a tropical “air plant,” these plants can survive without soil and root systems and take their nutrients and moisture from the air itself.
  4. Peace Lily – This plant has beautiful foliage with gentle white spathes. Even when watered, a peace lily is known to absorb moisture from the surrounding environment through its leaves. It requires a small amount of sunlight to survive and occasional dose of fertilizer to keep this plant fresh and in bloom.

Store Cut Firewood Outside

Because cut firewood can store large amounts of moisture that evaporates after being stored indoors over time, you should find a different place to keep it. Try storing firewood in a garage or shed, or outside on your patio underneath a tarp.

Keep Your Downspouts and Gutters Clean

While this maintenance task most directly serves your foundation and basement, it will help keep moisture from entering your home by way of cracks in the foundation or porous basement surfaces. Make sure your downspouts are directing water at least 5 feet away from your house.  Also, make sure your rain gutters stay clean of any debris clogs that might inhibit the easy flow of water to your downspouts.

How to Lower Your Home’s Humidity with a Dehumidifier

Invest in a Dehumidifier

One of the best tools for reducing humidity levels in your home is a dehumidifier. You can consider anything from portable dehumidifiers to installing a whole-home dehumidifier. Here are some different types of portable dehumidifiers on the market:

  1. Desiccant Dehumidifier – Desiccants are substances that naturally absorb moisture. This type of dehumidifier contains little packets of silica gel with desiccants to dehumidify the surrounding space. These can withstand freezing conditions. Well-reviewed examples of a desiccant dehumidifier can be found on Amazon.com.
  1. Mechanical/Refrigerant Dehumidifier – These dehumidifiers operate similarly to your refrigerator or AC unit. Airborne moisture is condensed as it passes across a cooled metal coil. Then, the moisture drips into a water tank. These units do slightly increase the air temperature, unlike an AC unit. We recommend using a mechanical or refrigerant dehumidifier in moderate to warm conditions, as it does not work well in cooler conditions. You can find well-reviewed examples of mechanical/refrigerant dehumidifiers on Amazon.com.
  1. Peltier Dehumidifier – Smaller in size, quiet, and efficient, Peltier dehumidifiers are ideal for small areas, such as average-sized bedrooms, bathrooms, closets, and even RVs. For well-reviewed examples of Peltier dehumidifiers, visit Amazon.com.

How to Lower Your Home’s Humidity with Some Home Improvements

Reconsider Your Carpeting

Not only do dust mites thrive in carpets, but moisture can linger there, too. Consider replacing carpeted areas of your home with materials that will not retain as much moisture.

Insulate Your Pipes

An often-overlooked cause of high indoor humidity is cold water pipes. When uninsulated cold-water pipes are met with hot air, they begin to sweat, creating humidity in the air. Eliminate this issue by protecting your cold-water pipes with tubular or wrap insulation.

Treat Your Water Supply Line

Another overlooked area in your home that can increase the humidity level is the cold water of your toilet tanks and water pipes. When the surrounding warm air confronts the cold water, humidity is born. You can fix this issue by adding a mixing valve to your water supply line.

Add Waterproof Insulation to Your Water Tank

To reduce the humidifying effects of warm air mingling with cool water in your tank, you can add rigid waterproof insulation to your tank.

Weatherproof Your Windows

In addition to adding some weather strips and caulking to the interior and exterior of your windows, you can install plastic film for added insulation to cold window surfaces.

Reconsider Your Vinyl Wall Coverings

Surfaces such as vinyl-covered walls around your home that are impermeable tend to trap moisture and raise humidity levels. Furthermore, when moisture is trapped, mold can start to grow. Consider revamping any vinyl or other impermeable wall coverings in your home.

Insulate Your Crawl Space with a Vapor Barrier

To avoid rising humidity levels in your crawlspace, insulate it with a vapor barrier.

Waterproof Your Basement Walls

If your basement walls are concrete, they can be a huge source of excess humidity in your home. You can protect your basement walls from humidifying moisture by coating them with waterproof paint.

Treat Your Foundation with Hydroclay

Another way you can waterproof your home from humidity and moisture is by treating your foundation with Hydroclay. This clay is pumped into the nooks and crannies in your foundation to keep water from permeating the surface and seeping into your home.

Ask Your Local Professionals for Help

From dehumidifying your home to repairing or replacing your HVAC system, the team at Blue Flame has you covered! Our knowledgeable and skilled HVAC technicians have years of experience helping homeowners get the most out of their heating and cooling systems.

At Blue Flame, we are committed to an exceptional and eco-friendly experience every time you use our heating, air conditioning, and electrical services. Call us at (206) 388-5667 and speak to a member of our team.