Summer weather is here—and so are heat and high humidity. Not only does high humidity make hot temperatures feel even hotter and cause minor annoyances like frizzy hair, but it can also lead to respiratory problems or contribute to heat-related illnesses.
Humidity can also cause problems in homes, from personal discomfort and sleep disruption to mold growth, damp insulation, and other moisture-related building conditions. The recommended humidity range in homes is 45%–55%, but 30%–60% is considered comfortable.
While you can’t control humidity outside, you can take measures to manage it in your home.
Be sure attic vents are kept free of debris or obstructions.
Turn off any humidifiers. (Check your furnace for the presence of whole-house units.)
Be sure clothes dryers are vented outside and vents are kept clean. Better yet, use an outdoor clothesline.
Turn on vent fans in kitchens and bathrooms while the rooms are in use.
Cover pots and pans being used on the stove.
Take shorter showers.
Air conditioning is another effective way to remove humidity. Some whole-house units also provide a dehumidification option, or you may consider installing a separate whole-house dehumidifier. Keep windows closed and whole-house fans on to best control humidity and improve air quality.
Low humidity in winter causes problems as well, but that’s a topic for a later blog!