About Humidity Problems
Moist air can lead to illness or property damage
A dehumidifier takes moisture out of the air when humidity is an issue. Air that is too humid will show up as condensation on your windows, mold and water damage to walls and can cause a variety of ailments from itchy skin and nasal passages to more serious conditions. It is important to keep a level relative humidity in your home. To control this you may need a humidifier for drier air or a dehumidifier for damp air for your health, the health of your home and contents.
Obviously, warm air holds more moisture than cool air, so in many climates you may need a humidifier in the winter and a dehumidifier in the summer. You may find the air in your bedroom is drier than the air in your basement, so you may need a humidifier for the upper floor of your house and a dehumidifier for your basement.
How does the humidity get in? Major issues like floods and plumbing leaks can have terrible consequences if not cleaned up and repaired properly in a timely fashion. Moisture in the outside air is a critical contributor, of course, but you also contribute to humidity in your home.
You contribute by washing your floors, washing your dishes, using showers and baths, drying your clothes indoors (including dryers that vent inside the home), breathing and sweating. Your home also may have surface water drainage issues and may not have the correct ventilation – especially if you have an older home.
There are ways of fixing some causes of humidity problems:
- Dry your clothes outdoors.
- Vent your dryer outside.
- Air out your home on good humidity and temperature days.
- Grade the soil around your home.
- Fix any basement or crawlspace groundwater leaks correctly.
- Immediately clean up any wet spillage, plumbing leaks, etc.
- Buy a hygrometer to check humidity levels and adjust accordingly with your humidifier or dehumidifier.
- Bathroom fans should vent outside.
- Install a heat recovery ventilator or HVAC system with variable humidistat.
- Humidifiers and dehumidifiers.
- If you are building a new home, ensure the home is properly ventilated to avoid places for moisture and mold to perpetuate.
High humidity can contribute to the following health concerns:
- Asthma, allergies and upper respiratory issues.
- Increased risk of illness or death to people with heart or circulatory problems.
- Increased risk of heat stroke and heat exhaustion for those susceptible.
- Dust mite allergies and the proliferation of colonies.
- Mental lethargy, irritability and confusion.
- Edema (swelling) of the ankles and other areas.
- Headaches and migraines.