Causes of high humidity and how to control it

A balanced home is a comfortable home. This is never more true than when it comes to humidity. Too low or too high humidity will destroy this delicate balance. You don’t want it to be higher than 50% or lower than 30%. A humidity level of 45% is ideal. High humidity can cause condensation to form, which means moisture builds up around your home. Too much moisture encourages the growth of mould and mildew. Meanwhile, very low humidity can cause cracks in wood floors and damage to electrical equipment. You may also develop dry skin and increased susceptibility to illness. To measure humidity in your home take readings in different rooms, with the use of a hygrometer, as they will vary.

Condensation occurs when warm, humid air comes into contact with a colder surface. The temperature of the air that touches a colder surface suddenly drops, decreasing the amount of moisture it can hold. Condensation is most noticeable on non-insulated thermally conductive surfaces such as glass and even on surfaces such as drywall. However, this occurs on all surfaces that are cold enough. It will damage interior paint, interior wall coverings, floors, curtains and furniture.

Causes of high humidity:

  • Household activities such as cooking, washing, drying clothes indoors, using gas heaters
  • Not having an air conditioning unit
  • Water and plumbing leaks
  • Damp ground conditions under suspended timber floors
  • Retained construction moisture, i.e. moisture retained in building materials such as timber framing, concrete floors and plaster, after installation

How to control humidity:

  • Install a heat pump from the number 1 supplier
  • Remove moisture using your heat pump, an extract fan in the bathroom and kitchen, venting a dryer to the outside
  • Passive ventilation by opening windows for a minimum of 10–15 minutes per day
  • Raising indoor temperatures by effective insulation and heating.

If the humidity level is below 25%, consider buying a humidifier. Most of the options will effectively increase the humidity in the room. Fortunately, raising low humidity is a fairly straightforward process. All you have to do is add more moisture to the air. Add a humidifier that simply evaporates the water and pumps it into the air. A low-cost, low-tech way to increase humidity is to place shallow-water dishes around the house, near solar vents and windows.

Get in touch with us today to learn more about how our residential heat pumps and air conditioning units can achieve the perfect balance of humidity and temperature in your home.

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