Heat isn’t the only thing to look out for as the weather warms. If humidity has you questioning your air quality, count on us for quick fixes and long-term results!
As Colorado temperatures rise, water evaporates, allowing moisture to circulate in the atmosphere. While this may sound good, especially after the cold season that causes cracked skin, chapped lips, and discomfort, too much humidity also comes with drawbacks. Below, Denver’s trusted AC installation specialists relay ideal humidity levels and how to manage a humid home in the summer.
Why Is Too Much Humidity Bad?
According to Consumer Reports, ideal indoor humidity levels range from 30% to 50% for optimal comfort alongside health and home safety. If it surpasses this, air moisture keeps your sweat from evaporating to cool you off, causing you to feel sticky and sluggish. If your body overheats, it also leads to more alarming issues like heat stroke, fainting, and hyperthermia, but humidity affects more than your body.
Excess moisture attacks your home’s wooden structure, floorboards, and other rustic qualities, causing the material to warp and rot. Moisture absorption creates a breeding ground for microbes that produce toxic mold and mildew that cause respiratory illnesses with prolonged exposure. Your home also deteriorates, costing thousands in repairs while lowering property value and aesthetics.
Unfortunately, humidity drops as low as 10% in the winter just as it rises above 60% in the summer. So, consider these tips for lowering high humidity to acceptable levels.
1. Refrain from Using Humidity-Causing Appliances
Since humidity occurs when you add heat and moisture to the air, refrain from using appliances like dryers that do so since they use a dry cycle to evaporate water from your clothes.
Therefore, only use your dryer when you have a full load to prevent constant cycles. Better yet, dry your clothes on an outside line for better moisture control indoors. It’ll also keep your utility bills low while you take advantage of 15 hours of direct Denver sunlight.
2. Cool Off in Your Shower
You may not want to take a hot shower in 92-degree Denver summer highs, making this next tip for relieving a humid home in the summer easier to follow.
Hot showers evaporate water more quickly. Because the water immediately steams up, more of it releases into the air instead of going down the drain, unlike during cold showers. By turning the water temperature down, less steam develops, slowing water evaporation.
You should also practice ventilating the space during showers to allow the moisture to exit the room rather than build up, which includes cracking windows and leaving the bathroom door open. Finally, take shorter showers and refrain from filling the tub for baths, both of which introduce high amounts of water to the environment.
3. Wipe Away Stagnant Water
But what happens after a shower? We all know after showering or brushing our teeth, we leave the shower, tub, and sink surfaces wet, but when we reenter the bathroom a few hours later, we find they’ve dried on their own. That’s because water left for long periods evaporates during the summer, only it evaporates slower than hot water from a steamy shower.
So, to prevent moisture from entering the air, wipe down all moist surfaces, including the following:
- Sink basin
- Shower walls
- Floors and counters in your kitchen and bathrooms
Doing so also bars stagnant water from growing fungi that jeopardize indoor air quality.
4. Adding Dehumidifiers
If you use warm or cool mist humidifiers during the winter, you understand they work by adding moisture to the dry air via water droplets. Therefore, running your humidifier during the summer is the last thing you want if you already have a humidity concern. Instead, install a dehumidifier in rooms that contribute to a humid home in the summer, like the bathroom or kitchen.
The refrigerated coils within the system work similarly to the refrigerant in air conditioners by absorbing and treating surrounding warm air. However, rather than separating cool and warm air and disposing of the latter outdoors like AC units, dehumidifiers extract moisture from the warm air and send it into the attached containers. It may take a few uses for the container to fill, but empty it regularly when it does.
You should also invest in a hygrometer that measures household humidity. That way, you’ll know when moisture levels are high, indicating you should turn on the dehumidifier.
5. Maintaining Your Air Conditioner
Another way to achieve the ideal indoor humidity level is by ensuring your current HVAC system is up to par. Since cooling units must alter air temperatures to create a comfortable, air-conditioned indoor area, evaporation and condensation occur during each cooling cycle.
For instance, as the evaporator coils absorb heat to make the air cooler, the air temperature lowers, causing the moisture in the air to liquefy. The condensed water trickles into the drain pan and flows into the drain line before the condenser unit releases it outdoors. However, if the drain line clogs with debris, the water will sit stagnant in the pan, increasing humidity.
Similarly, if the drain pan cracks, water leaks into your unit and eventually onto surrounding floors. Other HVAC problems that also contribute to a humid home in the summer include:
- Low refrigerant that causes the coils to freeze and then thaw
- Dirty filters that also cause frozen coils
- A damaged condensate pump
- A backed-up drain line that pushes water back into the indoor evaporator unit
We Do It All at All Times!
Our team has over 30 years of experience treating all heating and cooling systems alongside all air quality types for absolute comfort. We also work around the clock to provide five-star scheduled and emergency services so you never have to wonder who to call when your HVAC system acts up at 2 AM.
From AC repairs to heat pump installations and furnace maintenance, trust our #1 team in Denver, CO, by calling 720-807-8953. JC Mechanical, LLC, will explain how to relieve a humid home in the summer and more!