We’ve all heard the saying, “It’s not just the heat—it’s the humidity.” Those words could not be more true than in our home state of South Carolina. We all know that humid air is uncomfortable, creates mold and mildew problems, and makes air-drying anything basically impossible. But did you also know that humid air takes more energy and costs more money to cool?
Fortunately, there’s more than one way to decrease the humidity in your home. Check out the tips below!
1. Ventilate your bathroom when bathing or showering.
Your bathroom is particularly susceptible to mold issues because of all the moisture released into the air during showers and baths. If your bathroom doesn’t have an exhaust fan, consider installing one so that you can run it while bathing and showering and for at least half an hour afterward. It also helps to crack a window to let out excess humidity.
2. Use your kitchen’s exhaust fan while cooking.
Ever notice how hot and sweaty you can get while cooking a meal during summertime? Not only are you next to a hot stove, but the food you’re cooking lets out moisture, which makes your kitchen more humid. This is especially true when boiling water or sauteing vegetables.
Combat this issue by turning on the exhaust fan above your stove while you cook and letting it run for about 15 minutes after you're done. Not only will this help ventilate humidity outdoors, but it will also clear out trace amounts of harmful gases created by combustion appliances, like your stove.
3. Let your AC run periodically, even when you’re not at home.
Your air conditioning system extracts both heat and humidity from your home’s indoor air. The more hot and humid your indoor air is, the longer your AC needs to run to make your home comfortable. The longer your AC runs, the more energy it uses, which translates into higher cooling costs.
You might think that you’ll save the most money by turning your AC off completely while you're away from home. However, your AC will actually use less energy keeping your home at a relatively consistent temperature than it will overcoming a major rise in heat and humidity. For this reason, it’s better to turn your thermostat up a few degrees but still let your AC come on while you’re not at home.
4. Wait until the evening to run your clothes in the dryer.
Your clothes dryer can release a lot of excess humidity into your home, creating a muggy atmosphere and running up your cooling costs in the process. Rather than doing laundry during the morning or middle of the day when temperatures are rising or at their hottest, wait until evening to run your clothes through the dryer.
5. Switch to your dishwasher’s no-heat dry cycle.
Using your dishwasher on a hot summer day can make your kitchen feel like a sauna with all the heat and moisture it releases. Instead, switch over to your appliance’s “no-heat” dry cycle—yes, it actually works! You’ll still get dry dishes without the muggy air, and you’ll be using less energy to run your dishwasher.
6. Keep up with your AC’s annual tune-ups.
To effectively remove moisture from your home’s air, your air conditioner needs to have a clean evaporator coil. The evaporator coil is inside your AC’s indoor unit (typically located in the attic or a utility closet).
Even though they’re tucked away, evaporator coils can easily become caked in dust and grime that inhibits their ability to cool and dehumidify your indoor air. During preventative maintenance, an HVAC technician will pay special attention to this coil, making sure it gets cleaned up so that it can perform as efficiently as possible.
7. Equip your home with a dehumidifier.
According to the EPA, a home’s indoor relative humidity should be kept below 60 percent, and the ideal range is between 30 and 50 percent. Lower humidity levels discourage mold growth, help prevent pest infestations, and can provide relief for those with severe allergies.
If your home has excessively high humidity that is hard to control, consider consulting an indoor air quality expert about installing a dehumidifier. These devices help extract moisture from your home’s air by collecting it in a reservoir and allowing it to drain outdoors.
At Comfort Experts Heating & Cooling, our HVAC experts are dedicated to helping you solve the heating, cooling, and indoor air quality issues in your Lexington home. Give us a call at (803) 525-0074 or contact us online today!