How can I lower the humidity in my home this summer?
Summer is here, and sometimes it’s not the actual heat that is the biggest problem. It’s the humidity. The temperature can be relatively normal, though if it’s clammy outside, you’ll feel much, much hotter. Indoor humidity can cause a great deal of discomfort during a heatwave. It can also cause other nasty problems like mould and extra health hazards.
What is normal indoor humidity in the summer?
Relative humidity can be measured indoors using a hygrometer. The ideal relative humidity (in an indoor setting) for both health and comfort is around 40-50%. During the summer, Hunter Valley homes can get much steamier than that.
Reducing humidity in the home through summer
Air-conditioning can significantly reduce the humidity in the house, while also helping to lower the temperature. The AC system provides better circulation whilst cooling the home, reducing the humidity, which will also help you save money on your running costs.
In addition to having an efficient, regularly serviced air-conditioning system, there are other steps you can take to reduce indoor humidity. These include:
- Installing a dehumidifier – this can help reduce the workload on your AC system, saving money in the long run. Because humidity is significantly decreased, you can turn up the temperature setting on your AC thermostat, which will also save a tonne in running costs.
- Use proper ventilation – make sure that when hot activities such as warm showers and stove-top cooking take place, you’re using the ventilation fans. Also, cover pots and pans while cooking, and keep hot water usage to a minimum.
- Watch the laundry – doing hot loads in the washing machine and using the dryer for all your clothes and linen will add a significant amount of moisture and humidity to the home. Ensure your laundry appliances are properly vented, that you have a ventilation fan, and that you reduce the usage where possible.
- Keep all surfaces dry – mould tends to grow when water puddles are left alone. Make sure spills and accidents are cleaned quickly. Also, dry surfaces like the kitchen sink after the dishes are done, and the bathroom vanity after the kids are finished brushing their teeth. You may want to towel dry the floor after showers as well.
- Indoor plants – plants are aesthetically pleasing and good for the soul, however when they open their pores to absorb carbon dioxide, they also release water into the air. Keep some plants inside, but maybe not too many. Overwatering them can also contribute to indoor moisture, so be careful to feed them appropriately.
- Insulation in problem areas– moisture can gather in just about any area of a home or building. Windows, pipes and entryways all have access to outdoor water sources, then when you add the internal contributors to moisture, such as those mentioned above, it can become a real issue. Good insulation is designed to limit the amount of moisture that enters the home through problem areas.
Ultimately, your air-conditioner should do wonders in helping to reduce the humidity in your home. That’s why it’s important to keep your unit clean and running efficiently by having it regularly maintained and serviced. If you’re having issues with indoor humidity causing mould and other health hazards, it’s probably time to have the unit assessed. It may need servicing, repair or replacement.
If you have any questions regarding air-conditioning and how it can help with indoor humidity this summer, please call our friendly team at Clements on 4932 3833.