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Dealing With Humidity

Most people do not like humidity. If it rains while it’s cold outside, the outdoors can be miserable. After the rain has stopped, the overall humidity can become muggy when the weather is warm. High humidity at home leads to bad hair days, bad smells, and sudden mold discoveries.

Overall, high humidity in the home is just a bad thing. A little humidity (roughly 45%) is good because it prevents skin from drying out and can make your house feel warmer in the winter, but higher levels can lead to several problems.

Problems with High Humidity

You may think that high humidity just makes the air feel a little damp, but that’s not the only problem. Issues with indoor humidity range from the irritating to the severe. For example:

Frizzy Hair – a bad hair day is common when the humidity is too high. As comfortable as a nice shower is, the steam adds to total humidity too, making it that much easier for your day to start with frizzy hair.

Smelly Pets – The fur on dogs, cats, and other animals can take on a particularly bad odor when it’s wet. It can smell nearly as bad on really humid days too.

Smelly People – High humidity can block the effects of deodorant, leaving some people who don’t want to get out of the house.

Hot Weather – The higher the temperature, the hotter the air feels. Since we cool off by the evaporation of water from our skin, high humidity leaves us feeling sticky and nasty since the water can’t evaporate into the surrounding air. It’s uncomfortable, which can lead to sleep problems and irritability.

Swelling Wood – Wood is porous and absorbs water. When humidity is high, wood (in doors, windows, and cabinets) swells and changes shape. Most of the time, it swells just enough to make the door stick within the door frame. But then again, prolonged moisture levels cause wood to deteriorate. In the same way, high humidity promotes rusting. Keeping wood and metals painted protects against this deterioration, saving you on future home repairs.

Mold and Mildew – Growing mold and mildew is the very worst result of high humidity in a home. Mold spores exist everywhere (you can’t really remove them entirely) but they require a lack of light, high humidity, and a surface to grow on. When the humidity in your home is higher than normal, take a look in the dark corners and anywhere that humidity is usually a problem (basements, closets, bathrooms) to see if mold or mildew has started growing. If you find it, get it cleaned up immediately. Larger infestations will need a professional touch.

How to Fight Humidity

Fortunately, there are many ways to lower humidity in your home. If you run an air conditioner or furnace regularly, both of these will dry out the air. But sometimes, the average temperature is perfect, so this isn’t a good option. If your HVAC unit has a “dry” feature, then you can use it as a dehumidifier. Otherwise, purchasing dehumidifier is a good call (since running just the dehumidifier is always going to be cheaper than running an air conditioner).

Ventilation is another good choice. Moving air helps to keep things cool in the home. The movement of air through a room helps refresh it with slightly drier air, causing water to evaporate from surfaces. Eventually, enough air will be cycled through to lower the overall humidity.

But preventing high humidity in the first place is just as important. Plant soil collects and releases a lot of water, so covering the soil to prevent water from entering the air is a good idea. You should also consider line-drying your clothes outside and taking shorter showers. Bringing water into your home will raise the humidity level, which is why clothes should be dried outside. For showers, you can also run the ventilation fan in your bathroom to help pull the steam from the room.

A low-humidity house will leave you feeling better and prevent the need for costly repairs in the future. So if you’re fighting high humidity try a few of these methods and look forward to comfort!


Cassel Home Comfort Heating & Cooling is committed to being your best HVA/C contractor choice in Central Illinois in both Value and Customer Service! Call us to maintain your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems in the Champaign, IL area: (217) 866-1596.

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