The term "relative humidity" refers to how much water vapor is in the air compared to how much water vapor the air could hold at that particular temperature. For example, if it's 80 degrees Fahrenheit outside and relative humidity is at 70 percent, that means the air is holding 70 percent of the water vapor that it could possibly hold.
As relative humidity rises, things can get uncomfortable. No doubt you know the signs – sticky clothes, sweaty faces, damp hair, and difficulty sleeping are just a few of them. However, high humidity over a long period of time can also cause other problems throughout your house, such as encouraging dangerous mold growth and warping wood. But how do you reduce humidity levels? Here are a few tips worth knowing.
Use a Dehumidifier
A dehumidifier is a device designed to filter water out of the air. You typically set up these devices on the floor in a room where it's important to be comfortable, such as the bedroom or living room, and turn them on. Given a few hours, a dehumidifier can make a very big difference. While some versions have a hose you have to run outside for drainage, others fill up a reservoir that you must periodically take out and empty for the system to keep running.
Install a Dehumidifier in Your HVAC System
Alternatively, you could also set up a dehumidifier directly into your HVAC system. These are installed in the ductwork much like an air filter, except they remove water vapor as well. It's an excellent way to lower the humidity throughout your whole house – although it's important to keep doors and windows closed so that moist air doesn't keep entering the home. Because these units are part of the HVAC system, they drain directly outdoors and you don't need to worry about emptying anything.
Use a Smart or Programmable Thermostat
Smart and programmable thermostats can help you control the temperature in your home more directly, as well as setting schedules for specific temperatures throughout the day. Smart thermostats can even detect when people are moving around the house and adjust themselves accordingly. All this helps to ensure that temperatures are lowered at the right times of the day to make humidity less oppressive, while saving energy when people aren't around, and combination of humidity and temperature isn't as important. A well-managed thermostat also makes it easier to avoid opening windows in an attempt to cool down – a move that usually backfires, since it lets more humidity into the house.
Grow More Plants in Your House
Plants need moisture too! In fact, many plants constantly absorb moisture from the air to grow. Putting a few more plants in your house can be an innovative way to keep humidity down around your home.
Do you have more questions about humidity, what installations can help reduce humidity, and what those projects might look like in your house? Contact Action Heating and Air today! We are happy to answer your questions and go over specific projects for your home.