February 25, 2019

Tackling Winter Humidity

While summertime is the season most often associated with humidity, wet winters like this one can bring their own difficulties. At this time of year, we frequently see trouble with indoor humidity levels in homes. If you’ve ever noticed foggy windows in your home during the winter months, you’ve probably dealt with high winter humidity levels. Since high humidity can be uncomfortable and potentially damaging, it’s important to make sure your home’s stays balanced.

Humidity During Winter

First, measure your home’s relative humidity level. This is the percentage of water vapor that your home’s air holds. You can do this by purchasing a tool called a hygrometer, but some smart thermostats, like Nest, do this automatically. Cold air holds less water than warm air. That means that if your home produces too much moisture, the warm air from constantly running your heater will hold onto the moisture and create too much humidity in your space. The effects of having overly high humidity in your home range from simply feeling uncomfortable and stuffy to mold and bacteria growth.

The Ideal Humidity Level

Aim to keep your home at a humidity level between 30 and 50 percent. Since we live in a mostly moderate climate here in North Georgia, aiming for around 40% is ideal. By maintaining your relative humidity level in the desired range, you can actually save on your energy bill. If your humidity level is normal, you will naturally feel warmer since the air is not taking moisture and warmth from your body (causing dry skin). If you’re unsure about your home’s humidity levels, our techs can measure it for you.  

Mitigate the Moisture

There are a few ways to help If you find that your home’s air is holding too much moisture.

  • Always make use of your exhaust fans. Run the fans in the bathroom while showering and leave them on for at least 15 minutes after to pull excess moisture from the air.
  • Along the same lines, run your exhaust fan over your stove during and for a few minutes after cooking. 
  • Check your doors’ weather stripping. Though you can lose humidity if it’s cracked, blocking these drafts will also ensure that your heater won’t have to work overtime.
  • Check your window seals. Broken window seals allow cold and warm air to meet, causing condensation and trapping moisture.
  • If these tricks don’t help, consider a dehumidifier. Our techs are happy to evaluate your relative humidity level and advise you about whether a dehumidifier would help your home.

By working to control the moisture in your space, you and your family will be more comfortable, the structure of your home will be better off, and your wallet will thank you.  

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