You may have heard that humidity levels usually drop in the winter because cold air contains less moisture than warm air. Although this is true for many parts of the U.S., it doesn’t always apply to Quincy, FL. On the contrary, December is one of the two months with the highest humidity levels in the city, averaging 78%!
If that moist air penetrates your home, it can cause your indoor humidity levels to spike. And if it’s already high, you can expect the inside of your home to feel even stuffier.
Fortunately, you can employ several humidity control strategies to keep your indoor spaces comfy throughout the winter. We’ve discussed the top ones in this guide, so read on.
Monitor Indoor Humidity
The first step to controlling humidity in the home is knowing its indoor relative humidity (RH). Indoor RH is a measurement of the water in the air compared to the amount it can carry at a specific temperature.
An RH level of 100% means the air holds the most moisture possible without precipitation.
Some experts recommend keeping indoor RH at 30% to 50% and never over 60%. Others say a better range is 40% to 60%. Either way, 60% seems to be the ideal maximum threshold.
One way to monitor your home’s indoor RH is with a hygrometer. It’s a small instrument that calculates the amount of water vapor in the air within a space. It’s portable and hand-held, so you can bring it to different areas of your home to test their RH levels.
Fix Air and Water Leaks
Does your hygrometer show readings of over 60% in specific rooms? If so, they likely have leaky windows or plumbing pipes somewhere.
You can fix drafty windows with weatherstripping or caulking. Installing high-quality window films can also help insulate older windows.
If you suspect you have hidden plumbing pipes, it’s best to call your local plumber for help ASAP. They use high-tech equipment to pinpoint the exact location of pipe leaks.
If the plumber finds leaking pipes, have them conduct the repairs imstoragetely. Fixing water leaks prevents them from causing more humidity and mold issues that can damage your home and affect your health. It also means you can stop wasting water and keep your water bills from skyrocketing.
If you have a whole-house humidity problem, your roof may be leaking. This is even more likely if you see moisture or water stains in your attic. Get your local licensed roofer to inspect and fix your roofing system.
Run Exhaust Fans
During Quincy’s colder days, you’re likely cooking loads of hot meals and, thus, running your dishwasher more often. You may also be taking longer, hot showers more frequently.
All those activities can contribute to a spike in your home’s indoor humidity level in winter. Things can get worse if these rooms aren’t well-ventilated.
You can prevent such issues during cooking by using your range hood’s exhaust fans. When taking hot baths or showers, run your ventilation fan if you have one. You can also crack open a window as you do these activities to help promote better ventilation.
Use a Dehumidifier
A dehumidifier is a device that sucks air, extract moisture from it, and then blows out drier air. So, it can help control humidity and improve indoor air quality in your home.
Some dehumidifiers are portable and can dehumidify the air in individual rooms. Other models are whole-house systems, offering extra perks like air purification and ventilation. Your local HVAC technician can guide you in choosing the right one for your home.
Invest in Additional HVAC Humidity Control Technology
A well-maintained HVAC system already helps control humidity through mechanical ventilation. However, you might be able to improve this function by using it with a Wi-Fi thermostat.
Also called intelligent thermostats, Wi-Fi thermostats are controllable with smartphone apps. This allows you to adjust your HVAC settings from anywhere, anytime. They can even sense occupancy, respond to your voice commands, and do many other things.
Among those extra functions in some models is humidity monitoring. These devices have built-in sensors that can measure indoor relative humidity. Some may even notify you via the mobile app or a message that your indoor RH is high.
Reliable HVAC companies in Quincy, FL, provide Wi-Fi thermostat installation. You can also ask them for help setting up a humidistat. It’s like a hygrometer but also works with other devices, such as an HVAC system and a dehumidifier.
You can set a humidistat to your desired indoor RH level. If the humidity in your home exceeds this setting, the humidistat “communicates” with the connected devices. As a result, your HVAC system or dehumidifier automatically turns on to lower the indoor RH.
Get Your HVAC System Tuned-Up
One of the tasks involved in an HVAC tune-up is replacing dirty air filters with clean ones. Clean filters efficiently trap air pollutants before they dirty up your system. For the same reason, they help you breathe fresher air.
On the other hand, a lack of maintenance can make your HVAC system contribute to poor IAQ and high humidity levels.
For instance, dirty air can bypass clogged filters and circulate throughout your home. Moreover, pollutants can reduce your system’s ability to extract moisture from the air.
Lack of HVAC maintenance can also lead to clogged and overflowing condensate pans. Since the condensation can’t leave your home, it can evaporate and mix with indoor air, raising your home’s RH.
So, if you haven’t had your fall HVAC maintenance yet, schedule one now.
Use These Humidity Control Tactics This Winter
Excessive indoor humidity can make your home uncomfortable. Worse, it can lead to property damage and health issues.
So, as early as today, try our humidity control strategies. The sooner you do, the sooner you can breathe fresher air.
You can also rely on our team of HVAC professionals here at Key Heating & Cooling. For over 40 years, we’ve helped our customers in Quincy and the surrounding areas achieve optimal indoor RH and IAQ.
So, connect with us today! We’ll happily discuss how we can help you achieve the perfect home climate.