Here in Gainesville, we have plenty of humidity to go around, and that’s not always something we love. Aside from feeling muggy and uncomfortable, too much humidity in your home can increase your energy bills and promote mold growth. The key to reducing all that excess moisture in your indoor air is to find out what’s allowing it to accumulate.
Below are the most common sources of excess humidity in homes and some suggestions for solving each problem.
1. Air Leaks
If your home is missing features like sealed ductwork and weatherstripping, moisture could be getting inside from the great outdoors. Air ducts are usually located in unconditioned areas, like attics or crawl spaces, so if there are leaks in the ductwork, humid air can “sneak in” through tears and gaps and make your home muggier.
Not sure where the problem lies? If you have high energy bills, excess humidity, or drafty areas in your home, an energy audit can help determine precisely where air leaks are happening.
2. Neglected Exhaust Fans
One of the simplest ways you can reduce humidity in your home is by:
Using your bathroom fan (or getting one installed). Unless you like cold baths and showers, you’re going to wash with warm water, and that warm water is going to create muggier air quickly. Run your bathroom fan while bathing and for another 30 minutes afterward.
Using your kitchen exhaust fan. Cooking on the stove (especially boiling and sauteeing) releases a lot of moisture. Use your kitchen exhaust fan while cooking on the stove and for another 15 minutes afterward.
3. An Aging AC System
Your air conditioner does two beneficial things. Not only does it remove heat from your indoor air, but it also takes away moisture. This makes your indoor environment less humid. However, if your air conditioner is upwards of 15 or 20 years old, it’s probably struggling to condition and dehumidify your air the way it used to. If your AC costs you a fortune in repairs or energy bills, it’s probably wiser to invest that money in a new, more efficient replacement.
4. A Dirty Evaporator Coil
Even if your AC is somewhat new, it might be struggling to remove heat and humidity from your home’s air. Why? Nearly 100% of the time, it’s because the equipment is overdue for preventative maintenance. When your AC’s evaporator coil (in the indoor unit) gets dirty and grimy, it will have a harder and harder time performing. This can lead to high cooling costs and a system failure.