Maintaining a comfortable and healthy level of humidity in your home is important for many reasons: A humid environment makes the human body less efficient at releasing heat – making us sweat more. A humid home also provides perfect growth conditions for potentially harmful microbes and dust mites.
“What many people don’t realize is that mold can make you extremely sick or even kill you. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, all molds have the potential to cause ill health.”
Among the serious health problems caused by prolonged exposure to mold are headaches, concentration problems, muscle and joint pain, flu-like symptoms, respiratory problems and fatigue. It’s, therefore, essential that you take measures to keep humidity levels in your home within the normal range of 30% – 50%.
How to Tell You Need to Dehumidify Your Home
In addition to the health symptoms listed above, there are several telltale signs that the humidity levels in your home are too high. For example, mold spots in the corners of rooms and on ceilings might be a sign that there is too much moisture in the air.
Another clear sign of excessive humidity in a home is condensation – usually present on windows. Other indicators to watch out for include musty odors, excessive and sudden rotting wood, and water stains. If you notice any of these signs, measure the humidity in your home as soon as possible with a home testing kit. If the result is greater than 50%, you should take steps to reduce the moisture in your home.
Ways to Naturally Dehumidify Your Home
The easiest way to dehumidify a home is by using a dehumidifier. However, these machines are relatively expensive to buy, and they typically require a lot of electricity. Also, dehumidifiers can sometimes make the air in a home too dry – something that creates a new set of problems. Fortunately, there are a few natural methods of dehumidifying a building.
Absorb the Moisture
If you position pots of calcium chloride in problem areas of your home, you should see a quick reduction in humidity levels. This powdered chemical can be purchased in most large hardware stores. It naturally absorbs moisture in the air and is relatively cheap.
Vent Your Home
Perhaps the simplest and cheapest way to significantly reduce humidity in your home is to improve ventilation. The easiest way to do this is to open doors and windows as regularly as possible. It might also be worth your time to place fans in problem areas to keep the air circulating. It’s also a good idea to install extraction fans in areas of the home that are particularly susceptible to high humidity levels – such as the attic, the kitchen and the bathroom.
Remove Indoor Plants
Plants emit moisture into the air, which can have a direct and significant impact on humidity levels. Move all your live potted plants outside, and replace them with synthetic alternatives indoors.
Take Shorter Showers
The single biggest source of humidity in most homes is the bathroom – in particular, showers. Always ensure you have ventilation fans running while taking showers, and leave the door and windows open for around 30 minutes afterward. By shortening the time you spend in the shower, you can significantly cut the amount of moisture you release into your home.
Whenever possible, it’s best to line-dry clothes instead of using a dryer machine. If you must use a dryer, however, make sure it is fully vented. Alternatively, invest in a condenser dryer, which traps most of the moisture in an internal reservoir.
If you suddenly notice water marks or rings on your walls, there’s a chance that you have a leaky pipe somewhere. The best thing to do in this case is to call out a plumber to investigate.
Leaks under your home may also be to blame for high humidity levels, so check under floorboards for cracked pipes or a particularly high water table.
If you have water stains on your ceilings, there’s a chance that water might be coming into your property through the roof or gutters.
Install a Solar Air Heater
Installing a solar air heater is relatively expensive, but it is perhaps the most effective way to deal with a chronic and severe humidity problem. The heater sucks fresh air in from outdoors. The air is then warmed, dried and filtered before being pumped into the home.
Switch to Dry Heat Sources
Wherever possible, use dry heat in your home. While gas central heating is an efficient way to heat a home, it can exacerbate problems if your home already suffers from high levels of humidity. Using a wood-burning stove or space heater warms and dries the air at the same time.
It’s important to remember that a little humidity in a home is desirable, so don’t take your dehumidifying measures too far. By taking the necessary steps and continually monitoring humidity levels in your property, you can create a safe and comfortable living environment.
Have you used a natural solution to curb unnecessary humidity in your home? Let us know in the comments below!
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