How to Tame High Humidity in your Florida Home
If you live in Florida, you have undoubtedly experienced the high humidity of its tropical climate. Even indoors, you may not be able to escape it. It’s uncomfortable, messy and it can cause a whole host of problems inside a home.
A homeowner might notice changes like: soft spots in the drywall or plaster, mold on the walls, ceiling and around vents; a musty odor coming from the vents or wall cavities or fogged up windows. The HVAC system in this home may be working less efficiently than it used to, which causes energy costs to rise.
In addition to the physical changes of the home, the homeowner may notice health changes too:
Illness and Allergy episodes may have increased
Asthma sufferers may suffer more frequent attacks
Sleep may be disrupted by snoring, congestion and overall discomfort
Most people find that moderate humidity (40-60%) is the most comfortable. A dry environment decreases microbial growth and property degradation. It’s important to tackle humidity issues to prevent illness and destruction to your home.
Four reasons the humidity is high in your home:
Moisture is present in the indoor environment and can’t escape-
Poorly ventilated spaces are ideal for mold and bacterial growth. A great example would be the bathroom after a shower. If the exhaust fan isn’t running during the shower, moisture lingers in the bathroom longer and microbial growth can begin.
Improperly sized HVAC System
Contrary to popular belief that bigger is better, your HVAC system needs to be properly sized. An over-sized AC may allow your unit to operate in shorter cycles. Too short of a cycle and not enough of the humidity is removed from your house. A professional heat load calculation is necessary to determine the size HVAC unit and ductwork needed to properly heat, cool and remove humidity.
There are leaks in the home and/or HVAC Duct System
When’s the last time you checked out your attic? Heat rises and stagnates in the attic before it is removed through attic ventilation. If there are leaks in the ductwork- hot, contaminated air from the attic can be pulled into the ductwork and circulated through your home. The cold air passing through your ductwork from the AC unit mixes with the hot air from the attic and condensation occurs. In addition to duct leakage, water leaks from other sources can cause your home to feel moist and uncomfortable.
Your AC unit isn’t working properly
HVAC systems need maintenance and regular cleaning. The coils in the air handler can get corroded with mold, dust, dirt and debris. This limits the amount of air that’s able to pass through the coils. If the air can’t pass through, the home can’t be properly conditioned, and humidity rises.
How to tame the humidity:
Ventilate your space
Turn on the exhaust fans when cooking or showering. Crack a window to let moisture escape. If your attic is humid, check to make sure all attic fans are clear and properly working.
Use your Air Conditioner
Your AC unit cycle should be long enough that humidity is removed from the indoor environment. If your AC is running in short cycles, you may want to have it checked for proper sizing and operation.
Use cooler water during showers
Hot water is going to condense when you use the shower. Cooling down the water is not only better for your skin, hair and overall health- it lowers the amount of humidity in the bathroom created by the shower.
Clean your Dryer Vent
If your clothes aren’t getting dry without extending the cycle, your dryer vent could be clogged. The wet clothes in a heated dryer create an immense amount of humidity. If the humidity isn’t exhausted out of the dryer vent, it can exhaust through leaks in the dryer and into your home.
**quick tip** Tampa Air Systems offers expert dryer vent cleaning- call 813-644-9261 to schedule service.
Use a WHOLE HOME Dehumidifier
A dehumidifier removes humidity from the air. Smaller dehumidifiers can remove humidity from small spaces but require draining- often in a bucket or reservoir. The drain and reservoir must be monitored and emptied regularly. A Whole Home Dehumidifier works on larger spaces and the drain can be permanently fixed.
**quick tip** Tampa Air Systems offers whole home dehumidifier installation for most types of homes, call 813-644-9261 to schedule an assessment
The best way to tame the humidity in your Florida home is to start by scheduling a Tampa Air Systems $89 HVAC Duct Inspection (800-980-4527). Our team of NADCA certified pro’s will inspect the HVAC Duct system and air handler, diagnose any issues with the current system and make recommendations that will help eliminate humidity from your indoor environment.