Humidity and Your Home
We often hear that air that is too humid can cause health issues in certain people, but did you know it can also cause problems within your home?
Humidity refers to the amount of water vapour in the air and during the summer, relative humidity rises not only outside but also within your home. Indoor air that is too humid can cause blistering paint, peeling wallpaper, wood to expand or swell causing cupping in wood flooring and trouble opening and closing doors or damage wooden furniture. Excess moisture also encourages the growth of moulds and mildews that not only produce unpleasant odours, they can cause breathing difficulties or other illnesses in the home’s occupants.
We recommend homeowners purchase a hygrometer that measures indoor humidity levels. They are relatively inexpensive and available at local hardware stores. Keep an eye on the meter as the indoor air should be between 40-50% in summer; though it may need to be lower than this in the winter to avoid condensation on windows.
At certain times of the year you can open windows to lower indoor humidity but often during the summer months the humidity outside is too high for opening windows to be helpful.
Air conditioners remove moisture and if you have a hygrometer you will know if it is removing enough on its own. If not, keeping a dehumidifier running in your basement throughout the summer will help maintain a comfortable level of humidity.
Avoid adding excess moisture to air by operating your stove’s exhaust fan when cooking and your bathroom fan for 15 minutes after showering.