In the summer months, many homeowners in the Bowie, MD area experience excessive indoor humidity. This is more than just an annoyance; it can affect your furniture, your allergies, and your comfort. High levels of humidity can also lead to mold growth, cause your air conditioner to use more energy, and more. Grove Heating & Cooling explains why humidity is higher this time of year and how to decrease humidity for better comfort this season.
Why Do Homes Get Humid in the Summer?
Unfortunately, increased humidity is just a natural consequence of warmer temperatures over the summer months. When air is warm, it is able to hold more moisture particles than it can when it is cold, causing higher humidity levels this time of year.
When the air is humid outside, you also feel it inside. Air leaks throughout the home, open windows and doors, and other factors cause humid outdoor air to make its way inside. As humid outdoor air mixes with indoor air, the indoor relative humidity level will also rise and your living areas will feel muggier. Excess moisture buildup can also lead to mold growth which can damage your home and cause health issues.
Air conditioners help some with decreasing indoor humidity levels during the summer, as the cooling process naturally causes some moisture to condense and leave the circulating air supply. If your home’s air conditioner is too large for the area, you may notice that your living areas feel even more humid than they should this time of year. When air conditioners are too big, they start up and shut down again quickly, running a shortened cooling cycle – this is an issue known as short cycling. Because the air conditioner doesn’t run for the proper length of time, you don’t receive the dehumidification benefits you would normally receive from air conditioner use.
Tips to Decrease Excess Humidity in Your Home
If you’re struggling with high indoor humidity this summer, you don’t have to put up with the discomfort all season long. Read our tips below so you can keep relative humidity levels balanced and make your living areas more comfortable.
1. Practice Proper Ventilation
Take advantage of your home’s ventilation equipment to expel stale, humid air from your living areas this summer. If you have a whole home ventilation system, use it to bring in fresh air, which lowers humidity by also pushing out highly humid air from inside the home. Run exhaust fans when showering or washing clothes in hot water, and use the kitchen range hood when cooking on the stovetop to expel hot, humid air.
2. Improve Insulation
You can add more insulation to decrease the amount of outdoor air that infiltrates your home. Add insulation in areas of the home such as attics and wall gaps to keep in cool air and block out hot, humid outside air. Add weatherstripping around windows and doors to seal up gaps, and use caulk to close cracks and other air leaks throughout the home.
3. Install a Whole Home Dehumidifier
While air conditioning units do provide some level of dehumidification in the summer, it often isn’t enough to keep households comfortable in spite of naturally high humidity levels. Installing a whole house dehumidifier gives your cooling system the power to extract more moisture and keep humidity levels properly balanced indoors. An HVAC professional can help you lower indoor humidity levels by installing a whole house dehumidifier and showing you how to operate your new equipment properly.
Conquer Indoor Humidity This Summer
Grove Heating & Cooling can help homeowners in Bowie, MD reduce humidity levels by using whole home dehumidifiers. Contact us today to request an estimate for whole house dehumidifier installation or to learn about our other indoor air quality services.