Why You Need To Keep Down Humidity In Your Home
In this blog we are taking a look at why you need to keep humidity down in your home. Humidity isn’t fun in winter. Dank dampness seems to be everywhere, even on warmer days, and inside your house where the air temperature is hotter than outside water condenses on windows. If unchecked, this free water can drip and drop all over your stuff, and soften or even rot the wood in window frames. Not great.
Another problem with humidity is that it leads to the kind of conditions mould can grow in – if even a small part of your plasterboard wall is damp and your indoor humidity is higher than normal it can lead to an outbreak of mould. Not only does the fungal intruder look nasty, but there are several theories going around that it damages your health. Unpleasant to say the least.
On the plus side, low humidity air is easier to heat up, so getting rid of it should make heating cost that extra bit lower. You can even turn down your thermostat by at least a degree on dry days. So, what are a few preventative steps you can take before you give up and purchase a dehumidifier?
Free Water Sources
Water enters the atmosphere in your home because you’ve put it there. A wet towel, pot plant or anything which is wet and steaming will release moisture into your atmosphere. That doesn’t mean you should stop showering and throw out your plants though.
The best way to control free water is to try to not leave it standing around. No full sinks, dripping taps or excessive watering of your indoor plants (plants need less water in winter anyway). If you’re going to hang out laundry to dry it would be better to let it go in the dryer on cold days as well.
In The Kitchen
When cooking anything which needs boiling, we highly suggest you cover your pan with a well-sealed lid to trap moisture and open a window, as well as try to shut off your kitchen from the rest of the house to avoid the vapour getting loose. It’s not a 100% moisture free solution but this is a game of controlling what is essentially uncontrollable – moisture reduction is key.
Additionally you could also try cooking at a lower heat in order to reduce steam, which sometimes does a bit to help, but again it won’t be much. Ventilation is also half the battle, and if you have any sort of extractor fan in your kitchen, maybe see if it can help with the humidity.
In The Bathroom
The bathroom is a tricky place, because there are guaranteed going to be sources of free water there whether you like it or not. To absolutely minimise humidity, try taking colder, shorter showers and leave your towels shut inside the bathroom with the window open when you are done.
Keep an eye on your sink as well – a dripping tap or wet sink area is a source of free water which will evaporate into the surrounding area. Make sure to drain everything properly and not leave cups of water lying around. Also, check for leaks, as a leaky sink pipe is both bad for your floors as well as humidity.
Around The House
It might seem odd, but sometimes the best thing to do is leave windows open a crack, even in winter, to let the airflow carry away some of that moisture instead of letting it condensate. Problem is this might make it a little more chilly in your house, so it’s kind of a losing battle.
When you’re out it’s fine to turn the heating off, but leaving windows open is obviously a bit of a security issue – keep them closed when your house is unattended. However letting the house cool down might give you an opportunity to fling those windows open wide when you return.
Another aspect of heat and humidity to consider is the time of day. Even in winter the air temperature peaks at noon and in the afternoon, so you have the best chance of ventilating at these times. When night time comes the temperatures plummet and your chances of condensation appearing increases.
When All’s Said And Done…
If you still have problems with moisture and condensation, there is really nothing you can do but shrug and go out and find a dehumidifier. While not necessarily costing too much in turns of price and running costs, these things will still be a bit of a dent in your budget. But it might be worth it for the sake of less damp in your home.
If and when you do get a dehumidifier, you needn’t run it daily, in fact there’s not much reason to at all. The best thing to do is to turn it on when you know moisture is present, or you are about to make more by cooking or bathing. When outside air temperature peaks it is good practice to run it in order to capture air moisture before it can condensate in the evening.
With all these tips in hand, you should have a slightly less damp home, or a home that has a dehumidifier. At any rate hopefully this will be of some use.