Anyone who lives in or around metro New Orleans is familiar with the concept of humidity as that seems like all the weather people talk about during the summer.
Despite how famous our local humidity is in the summer, many people underestimate its impact when it gets cold. That’s why during the winter months, so many people complain about being cold in their homes ever though they are heated.
If you’re one of the many homeowners who would like the warmth without the humidity we have to deal with here in southern Louisiana, continue reading for some potential solutions to this persistent problem.
Symptoms of a Humid Home
While many of us in metro New Orleans have come to accept high humidity as a way of life, the fact is that within your home, humidity isn’t harmless.
High humidity means the presence of a large amount of water vapor in your home. Oftentimes, one of the products is frost or water vapor forming in your home, especially around the windows.
However, this water vapor is just as capable of getting into your walls or large cavities in your home, such as those located in your attic. After enough seasons of this happening, your home’s structure can start to suffer.
Your home isn’t the only one to suffer, though. High humidity can have negative effects on its occupants, as well. It makes for perfect living conditions for organisms like dust mites and fungus. Neither is good for one’s health and can cause long-term problems for your home, as well.
Using a Dehumidifier
One of the most common ways of fighting humidity in your home, regardless of the weather outside, is with a dehumidifier.
Aptly named, a dehumidifier works to remove the water vapor from the air in your home, decreasing its overall humidity.
Here’s how they work: A fan collects air from the surrounding area and pulls it into the dehumidifier. As the air passes through, it comes into contact with the dehumidifier’s cooled coils. These coils use condensation to pull moisture from the air. The collected moisture remains on the coils and drips into the dehumidifier’s reservoir. The dehumidifier reheats the air and exhausts it back into the room.
If you want to find out more about how they work, read this great article on HowStuffWorks.com.
More good news is that if you buy one to fight humidity in the winter, you can definitely use it in the summer as well, especially here in metro New Orleans.
Maintaining Proper Ventilation
Certain tasks you do on a regular basis will raise the humidity in your home. For many of these, ventilation is the answer. Taking a shower, for example, releases more water vapor into your home, easily making for a more humid environment. The easiest way to combat this is with a built-in vent fan that will pull the humid air away and release it outside your home.
If you don’t have a vent fan, a window in the bathroom can work, as well. Open it as soon as you comfortably can, or keep a crack it open while you shower, so the steam escapes quickly.
Your dishwasher and clothes dryer will also have similar effects. Vent fans work best to counteract the issue. Most units these days have them built in, so the moist air is released outdoors.
Run Your Air Conditioning
While it might be the furthest thing from your mind in the cold winter months, air conditioning can help to fight high humidity in your home. One of the ways air conditioners work is by pulling moisture out of the air, which is exactly what you want when humidity becomes a problem.
Keep an Eye on Your Humidity Levels
Keep in mind that there can be just as many issues with low humidity, too. When the air becomes too dry, most people experience it through dry eyes, irritated skin, and static. The EPA recommends keeping the relative humidity level in your home to between 30 and 50 percent, though it may involve a process of finding what’s right for you and your family. Source: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/insidestory.html
Winter makes living comfortably hard enough without the humidity in your home becoming a problem. If you begin experiencing some of the aforementioned symptoms of high humidity, contact Berner AC & Heat today to schedule a maintenance call on your a/c and heating unit to help eliminate this problem.