Excessive humidity can create a variety of problems that can affect both the structure of any home and the health and comfort of its inhabitants. Understanding the symptoms of high humidity in a home is the first step in solving the problem.
In this blog, we will discuss the common symptoms of high indoor humidity in a home, including musty odors, visible mold, condensation on windows, peeling paint or wallpaper, warping wood, allergy symptoms, dampness, and static electricity.
We will also explore the causes of excessive indoor humidity and the various solutions available to fix it. Join us as we dive deeper into the topic and learn how to solve this common problem.
What is High Humidity and Why it’s a Problem in Homes?
High humidity signifies the amount of water vapor in the air. When the air is saturated with water vapor, it’s said to have high relative humidity. The ideal humidity levels in a home should be between 30-50%. When it exceeds this range, various issues may arise.
One of the most significant concerns that can stem from high humidity in a house is mold formation. Mold thrives in moist environments where the temperature is warm, and excessive humidity can provide the ideal conditions for it to proliferate. In addition to causing health issues, mold can also cause structural damage to your home.
High indoor humidity can also make a home feel stuffy and uncomfortable since the air will start to feel thick and heavy. This can make breathing difficult, especially if people in your home are suffering from allergies or asthma.
In addition to these issues, excess humidity can damage woodwork and furniture and promote the growth of dust mites and other allergens.
Further, excess moisture in the home causes condensation on windows, walls, and other surfaces, resulting in water damage and the growth of mold.
Symptoms of High Humidity in a Home
The following are some of the common signs of excessive indoor humidity in houses:
High humidity is often indicated by a damp, musty odor in a room or your entire house that needs to be removed. Mold, mildew, and other organisms that thrive in a damp environment can generate this smell.
Mold can form on walls, ceilings, and other surfaces due to excessive humidity. It can take the form of black, green, or white spots that are fuzzy or slimy to the touch.
Condensation on Windows
When the humidity inside your house exceeds the humidity outside, condensation forms on the inside of the windows. This is a clear sign that the humidity levels within your premises are too high.
Peeling Wallpaper or Paint
Your house paint and wallpaper can blister, peel, or become discolored when exposed to high humidity.
Excess moisture also induces warping, bending, or distortion of wood. It’s another clear indication that the humidity levels in your home are higher than what’s ideal.
High humidity in your home can worsen allergy and asthma symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, and difficulty breathing.
If the air within your home feels damp, humid, or heavy, this is another symptom of excess moisture.
Dry air doesn’t hold onto as much charge, so it’s less likely to cause static electricity. On the other hand, air that’s more humid can carry a charge longer, making it more likely for you to experience static electricity.
It’s important to note that some of these symptoms of high humidity we mentioned are also signs of other problems, such as leaks or poor insulation, so if you feel you have excessive humidity, have a professional inspect your home ASAP.
Solutions to Fix High Humidity in a Home
There are several proven solutions to fix excess humidity in your home. Some of them are as follows:
Improve ventilation: Improving ventilation can contribute to lower humidity levels in your home. You can accomplish this by opening windows, using exhaust fans, and ensuring that proper ventilation is present in rooms such as bathrooms and kitchens.
Leaks in your home can cause high humidity. See to it that they are repaired as soon as possible since they can lead to the growth of mold and other more pressing concerns.
Clean your House Regularly
Cleaning your home regularly helps reduce humidity levels by eliminating dust and other particles that are capable of trapping moisture. In particular, here are the ways regular cleaning help fix excess humidity in your home:
- Dusting – Since dust and other particles can trap moisture, dusting and cleaning surfaces regularly helps to eliminate these particles and lower humidity levels.
- Vacuuming – Vacuuming, especially carpets, and upholstery, can also aid in the removal of dust and other particles that can trap excessive moisture.
- Cleaning Bathrooms – Bathrooms are another common source of high humidity in a home. Cleaning them, particularly the shower and tub, can help reduce indoor humidity levels by removing mold and mildew.
- Cleaning Air Ducts – Cleaning air ducts help solve poor indoor air quality and reduce humidity levels inside your home. Dust and other particles accumulate in air ducts, reducing ventilation system effectiveness in trapping moisture.
- Cleaning Gutters – Cleaning gutters lower indoor humidity levels. Once they get clogged, water tends to accumulate around your home’s foundation, resulting in mold growth and excessive humidity levels.
- Laundry – Wet laundry contributes to excessive humidity levels in your house. If possible, dry your clothes outside, or use a clothes dryer with a vent that leads to the outside.
Ensure your Home is Amply Insulated
Proper insulation also aids in lowering humidity levels in your home. Insulation helps keep cold air inside during the summer and warm air inside during the winter, preventing moisture buildup.
If your home isn’t properly insulated, warm, humid air can enter the home during the summer, and cool, damp air can enter the home during the winter. This can lead to high humidity levels and can cause mold growth and other problems.
Insulation can also help to reduce drafts which can lead to condensation on windows, walls, and other surfaces. This can help to prevent mold growth and water damage.
It’s recommended to have a professional inspect your home to ensure that insulation is adequate and properly installed.
Utilize a Dehumidifier
A dehumidifier can help solve the problem of too much humidity inside your house. It functions by eliminating moisture from the air and is specifically beneficial in high-humidity areas, such as basements and bathrooms.
Dehumidifiers function by sucking in air from the room, cooling it with a refrigerant coil, and then drying it using a desiccant (drying) material. Moist air condenses and collects in a reservoir when the air passes through the desiccant. The dry air is then returned to the room at this point.
Place it in an area with the highest humidity levels in your house. I will also help if you’ll install the dehumidifier in a well-ventilated area, as it requires a constant supply of air to function efficiently.
Place Plants Inside the House
Plants serve as natural dehumidifiers by absorbing the air’s moisture through their leaves. Note that some plants are much more effective than others at absorbing moisture from the air. Plants recognized for their ability to absorb moisture include spider plants, Boston ferns, and peace lilies.
Regulate the Use of Humidity-Producing Appliances
Appliances such as laundry dryers, dishwashers, and showers can generate a substantial amount of moisture. Make sure to use them sparingly and to exhaust them outside if possible.
A few examples of appliances that can increase the humidity in your home and how to keep them in check are as follows:
- Clothes Dryer – When used, clothes dryers generate a significant amount of humidity. It’s recommended to hang your dry clothes outside if possible to keep humidity levels under control. If this is not possible, ensure that the dryer is vented to the outside of the house to reduce humidity.
- Dishwasher – Dishwashers are also a source of humidity when used. To keep humidity levels in check, open the dishwasher door after use to allow moisture to escape.
- Showers and Baths – Showering and bathing can also cause the humidity level in your house to increase. Using exhaust fans helps remove humidity from the bathroom and helps keep humidity levels under control.
- Cooking Appliances – Cooking appliances can also increase humidity in your house, producing too much moisture. Use exhaust fans to lessen humidity from the kitchen and prevent too much indoor humidity.
Have an AC System Installed
An air conditioner helps reduce humidity levels in your home by eliminating moisture from the air. As the indoor air cools, the humidity in the air decreases.
A central air conditioning system also helps to improve ventilation in a home by circulating the air and removing stale, humid air. Modern airconditioners even have built-in dehumidifiers that can remove moisture from the air as it cools.
Look for AC systems with Energy Star ratings, they are more energy efficient and will save you money in the long run.
It’s helpful to remember that the best solution to excess humidity in your home will still depend on its specific causes, so having a professional assess your property to determine the best course of action is most beneficial.
High humidity in a home can create a variety of problems that can affect both the structure of the home, as well as the health and comfort of its inhabitants. Common symptoms of high humidity include musty odors, visible mold, condensation on windows, peeling paint or wallpaper, warping wood, allergy symptoms, dampness, and static electricity.
The good news is that there are several solutions to fix high humidity in a home, such as using a dehumidifier, improving ventilation, fixing leaks, using air conditioning, ensuring the home is well insulated, keeping humidity-producing appliances in check, using plants, and regular cleaning.
It’s important to note that the best solution to too much indoor humidity will depend on the specific causes involved, so it may be helpful to have a professional inspect your home to determine the best course of action. Additionally, using a combination of solutions is often the most effective way to reduce humidity levels in a home.
By understanding the symptoms of high humidity, knowing what appliances and activities contribute to high humidity, and taking the appropriate steps to reduce humidity, you can improve the comfort, health, and well-being of your home and those who live in it.
If you feel that the humidity in your home is too high for your liking — or your health — get in touch with Go Spartan Air right away. We can assess your home and recommend the best solutions available. We will ensure that the humidity and comfort levels in your home are to your liking and that no damage has occurred to your property — structural or otherwise!
Can high indoor humidity make you sick?
High indoor humidity can cause the formation of mold and other allergens, which can cause allergies, asthma, and other respiratory illnesses. It can also turn an environment into a breeding ground for dust mites and other pests, both of which can trigger allergic reactions.
In addition, high humidity might make it difficult to keep your indoor spaces cool, potentially leading to heat-related ailments. To avoid these problems, it’s best to maintain humidity levels in your home between 30-50%.
Do air conditioners remove humidity?
It’s important to note that an air conditioner doesn’t actually create cool, dry air. It simply removes heat and humidity from the air inside your house by blowing warm indoor air over a cooled coil, which causes the moisture in the air to condense and drip into a drain. The cooled, dehumidified air is then circulated back into the room to make it feel cooler and more comfortable.
What is unhealthy indoor humidity?
Indoor humidity is considered unhealthy when it exceeds the recommended range of 30-50%. On the other hand, if indoor humidity is too low, it can lead to dry skin, and respiratory problems and can also cause damage to wooden furniture and other household items. Low humidity can also make it feel colder than it actually is, which can cause people to turn up the heat, resulting in higher energy bills.
Therefore, it is important to monitor indoor humidity levels. Use a hygrometer to measure and take action to maintain it within the recommended range to prevent these issues.