Tips and Tricks on Dehumidifying Your Living Space

Posted by Haley Biggins on 6/5/2019
Tips and Tricks on Dehumidifying Your Living Space
To tackle a moisture issue within a home, it is useful to know the process behind humidity. An uncomfortable environment to live and breathe in is not fun for anyone, but it can certainly be resolved in a few ways.

Humidity is the measurement of water vapor in the air. When the air in your living space is absorbing water more frequently, as it would in warmer climates and the summer months, you will begin to feel the levels of humidity increase. The truth is, several situations can promote the levels of moisture in your home. Warm weather, cooking, showering, even your breath can increase humidity! Wherever there is water and moisture, humidity is likely to follow.

Ever wonder why some basements have a funky smell like mildew or mold? Most of the underground foundations in homes are surrounded by moist soil, which can seep into the walls and accumulate into mold and/or mildew. You can see if your basement has this problem by merely breathing in the air; if it smells off, you may have trouble coming to you. You can spot if the other rooms in your house have humidity issues by seeing damp spots on the wall. Your walls should never be sweating! Moisture can also enter your home through cracks and leaky pipes, so always be on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary.

The Levels of Discomfort a Bad Level of Humidity Can Cause

A comfortable level of humidity is around 35-50 percent. Generally, when the levels peak over 50 percent, you are at the risk of facing discomfort and several other issues. Your home is your sanctuary; it’s important to keep it maintained. High humidity can cause wood and drywall to rot, cause harmful molds, and potentially lead to more significant foundation issues that can be a costly repair. Not only is this damaging to your home, but to yourself as well. When you are in an environment with high humidity, you will feel clammy, experience excessive sweating, and you are at risk for overheating.

These conditions can trigger allergies due to the growth in bacteria caused by a damp atmosphere. Other health issues caused by these environmental conditions can be cough, congestion, respiratory problems, flu-like symptoms, and more. When you begin acquiring indoor mold and bacteria growth, it is time to tackle the issue of moisture and humidity in your household.

Now that we know what causes humidity and the importance of maintaining a healthy percentage in your living space, knowing how to control and remove it is essential. Ventilation is the key. If you are cooking, boiling water, taking a hot shower, you are releasing moisture into the air. If you have no ventilation, the moisture has no way of escaping and will create humid conditions.

What You Can Do to Resolve Humidity Issues

To help with this, you can crack a window. It helps even more if the window is in your bathroom or kitchen, where most moisture is produced. Speaking of showers, cool it down! Did you ever notice how much steam comes out from the curtains of your scorching hot shower? Or the fact you could draw a picture on your bathroom mirror from the condensation build up? Taking a colder, quicker shower can relieve the humidity levels in your home. During the summer months, it also helps to adjust your cooking habits. Cover your pots to trap in the moisture instead of exposing it into your home. Put on the ventilation fan above your stove. Or, use other appliances like a toaster oven or slow cooker as they will produce much less moisture into the air.

If these quick tips and tricks are not enough, do not fret, you are in luck! Air conditioners and dehumidifiers are the answers to your prayer. A lot of people have the misunderstanding that the only function air conditioners offer is just blowing cool air into the area. However, air conditioners work much harder than that. While blowing that cool air, they are also removing heat and humidity from the atmosphere as well. This appliance circulates refrigerant back and forth between gas and liquid, which ultimately transforms moisture from heat into water, which can be removed and drained through the appliances condensate pan which exits through the exterior.

The last and perhaps best tool you can use to dehumidify your home is to own a dehumidifier! This convenient appliance works in a way similar to an air conditioner, only the dehumidifier’s sole purpose is to extract as much moisture out of the air as possible.  They are built to pull water from the atmosphere. These appliances can pull so much H20 out of the air that some even come with hoses so you can drain the condensate container yourself to prevent spillage. However, if you forget to empty the machine yourself, it will automatically shut off when the water gets filled to a certain level.

Some dehumidifiers come with built-in pumps, like the one pictured above. As it continuously expels moisture from the air, this makes the appliance even more convenient as you will not have to empty the condensate container manually. Some of the functions can include:

  • A timer 
  • A low energy savings 
  • Changeable mesh filters that give you the ability to maintain your appliance to keep the harmful germs and allergens out of your home. 
  • Automatic shut-off and some may even come on wheels so you can move it throughout your home to areas that need it most. 

Whether it is your bedroom, basement, bathroom, or crawl space, healthy levels of humidity are essential for you and your home. If you start to see the unwanted signs of excessive moisture present, it is crucial for you to follow the guidelines on removing it. The options above may be helpful to your situation. Becoming the owner of an air conditioner or dehumidifier can clear any atmospheric obstacle you may face in creating a comfortable living space.