The summer heat brings humidity--water vapor in the air. When the air is warmer, it retains more moisture. The peak of the summertime, especially here in Sherwood, Arkansas and many other places in the South, can get uncomfortably muggy.
While you may not be able to control the ambient humidity during the summer, you can take smart steps to reduce the humidity level in your home and increase your comfort.
The goal is to get rid of moisture and prevent sources of humidity buildup and to allow air flow when needed.
Opening a window is often a quick way to get some air flow and reduce humidity, but it’s important to make sure your windows and their frames are well sealed when you need them closed. Some window frames may need re-caulking to ensure there are no leaks.
Having good “weather stripping” below and around your doors helps prevent the heavy, hot air seeping in when the door is closed. Find ways to reduce the amount of time your doors stay open to keep your cooler, dryer environment inside.
Of course, your doors and windows don’t have to be sealed all the time. Timing can be very important in controlling the humidity level in your home. In many areas, opening a window to a cool night breeze is a great opportunity to let humidity out of the house. Shading windows that receive direct sunlight during the day and opening windows during cooler nights can help reduce the amount of water vapor that remains in your house to be heated by the sunlight.
Cooking and showering can also contribute to humidity in the home. Hot water vapor can collect condense on surfaces in areas that are not adequately ventilated. Using the vent in your bathroom while showering or bathing will help expel some of the vapor. If you don’t have a built-in vent, consider opening a window and/or using a small fan to disperse the vapor. Ventilation is also important when cooking and boiling water--a hot oven can make a stuffy kitchen much worse in the summer. Open the kitchen window if you have it, run the stove vent, and use fans to cool your kitchen and keep water vapor from settling.
Many people also benefit from the use of dehumidifiers in their homes. Whether small and portable or large and stationary, dehumidifiers work by drawing in the humid ambient air, trapping the moisture, and passing the dehumidified air back into the room. The water is collected in a receptacle which must be emptied periodically.
The level of humidity in your home depends on where you live, the time of year, how your house was constructed, how well your house is sealed, etc. In some regions, an inexpensive portable or room humidifier suffices to alleviate in-home humidity. If you struggle with constant humidity in your area, it may be practical to consider a whole house dehumidifier. A whole house dehumidifier attaches to your air duct and collects the water vapor as the air passes through the system. Contact a Kennedy AC professional at 501-834-2665 to explore some ways you can keep your home less hot and humid in the summer.