A humid house is not a comfortable house. In some places around the world where humidity is constantly high, people accept it as a way of life, but in relatively dry parts of the world, people are still asking the question ‘Why is my house so humid?’
What is humidity ?
When the air becomes hot, it becomes capable of holding more moisture. When this hot moist air cools down it turns even more humid, increasing the ‘relative humidity’, which is a measurement of humidity relative to the current temperature.
So why is my house so humid ? There could be a number of reasons for this, let’s take a look at a few possible explanations…
7 possible reasons why your house is humid
Bathrooms full of condensation ?
The bathroom is of course full of water appliances – baths, sinks, showers, toilets. A hot shower will releases moisture into the air and initially takes the form of a vapour (steam). When this vapour comes into contact with a cold surface, such as a wall or a mirror, it changes into droplets, because when gases cool they turn into liquid. The droplets are often described as condensation, most often seen on the mirror after showering.
Poorly ventilated rooms
If air cannot get into or out of the room then moist air won’t be able to escape. Nor will indoor air pollutants.
Kitchens full of boiling water
Boiling water in the kitchen through kettles or in saucepans has a similar effect. The water boils and makes the air humid as it evaporates.
The Laundry Room
Fresh out of the washing machine, clothes contain a great deal of moisture. If you dry these clothes inside then all that water makes its way into the air, making the whole room extremely humid.
Burning gas is how gas heaters create their heat. When gas is burnt by a gas heater, water vapour is created, If you have a chimney then this water vapour can escape outside, but if not, well you guessed it, the water vapour makes its way into the air making the room humid.
Having too many friends
Well ok, we’re not saying ditch your friends, but if you have a lot of people in your room then all those bodies will be trying to stay cool by perspiring and that of course adds moisture into the air. The same goes for plants and pets, they all release moisture.
Oversized air conditioners
If you have an air conditioner that is really too big for your home, it’s known as an oversized air conditioner. It will cool your home down too quickly and turn off and on too many times. When this happens the air con unit doesn’t get enough time to dehumidify the room so moisture builds up in the air. You can solve this problem by installing a whole home humidifier or a two stage central AC.
Is humidity bad for the room?
Yes, too much humidity in a room can make the surfaces wet and can lead to mould. It can also encourage dust mites. Both these unsavoury things can lead to damp in the walls, asthma and other health problems. So humidity needs to be controlled.
How can I control humidity ?
The most effective way to control humidity is by installing a dehumidifying air conditioning unit which is constantly running. An air con unit that doesn’t run all the time will cool you down, but it won’t dehumidify your home as effectively.
You can also buy standalone dehumidifying systems and smaller dehumidifyers that can be drained manually.
What else can I do to keep humidity levels down ?
Apart from installing a dehumidifier there are other things you can do to keep the relative humidity down.
• Don’t over-water plants inside the house
• Hang the washing outside to dry
• Switch ventilation fans on when showing or bathing
• Repair any leaks in showers and toilets
• Make sure your gutters aren’t blocked
• Open windows when cooking or showering
• Increase the indoor temperature – warm air can hold more moisture, decreasing the relative humidity
• Don’t store freshly cut firewood inside as this releases water vapour
• Think about whether you need carpets – carpets can retain moisture (and dust mites love them)
• Concrete walls can get humid, make sure you waterproof them with products such as Drylok