High indoor humidity caused by normal activities of everyday living such as showering, cooking, and drying clothes, can be a source of mold, mildew or musty odors. Indoor humidity levels between 30% and 50% are ideal.
Here are some tips to help keep humidity levels low in your home:
- Do you have a crawlspace under your house? A dirt floor in a crawlspace should be covered with plastic (vapor barrier) to prevent moisture from the soil increasing humidity levels in your home. If there is standing water or the soil is wet, dry it out with fans before covering the floor.
- Use ventilation fans in kitchens and baths to control moisture. Check to make sure ventilation fans are venting directly outside. In some cases the vent fan may have been installed to vent into the attic or hay have become disconnected or blocked.
- Your clothes dryer should be vented directly to the outside. Inspect the vent duct. Make sure it is attached securely to the dryer. Check that it is clear of obstructions (e.g. lint). Check for holes that leak air. If vent duct is damaged replace it with a metal duct. The vent duct should be cleaned at least once a year.
- Keep air conditioning drip pans clean and the drain lines unobstructed and flowing properly.
- Ask a heating and cooling contractor to check your heating and cooling system to make sure it is sized and operating properly to remove humidity. If your system is too big or the airflow incorrect your air conditioner will not remove humidity like it should. Also, ask the contractor to check your duct system for air leaks, and proper size and air flow to each room. Sealing air leaks and sealing duct air leaks can help to prevent high humidity levels in your home.
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