Hot & Sweaty? How to Reduce Indoor Humidity
It’s no secret that Tennessee summers are hot and humid. Nashville practically transforms into a rainforest by the time June hits, and that has homeowners throughout the area seeking relief next to their air conditioners.
It may be hot and humid outdoors, but that doesn’t mean your home can’t be a cool oasis indoors. As Nashville’s home comfort and indoor air quality (IAQ) experts, we’re here to help you understand how to reduce humidity inside your home in the summer.
How Humidity Affects IAQ & Home Health
Most people underestimate just how strongly humidity can affect IAQ and home health. Excess indoor moisture not only makes you feel hot and sticky but also leads to mold growth (which contaminates indoor air), buckling of hardwood floors, and rotting and decaying of other building materials. It also puts added stress on your air conditioning system, decreasing home efficiency and increasing your monthly utility bills.
If you want to protect your home against moisture damage and airborne contaminants, it’s important to take a few essential steps to dehumidify your home — namely, air seal and insulate, use your air conditioning system, ensure proper ventilation, and run a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture.
Seal Air Leaks & Insulate
Many homes in the Nashville area have leaks in the attic, crawlspace, and walls which allow humid outside air to seep in during the summer. Air sealing will eliminate air leaks, helping keep out excess moisture in the first place.
After air sealing, it’s also a good idea to upgrade your insulation for more consistent indoor temperatures and greater home efficiency. Spray foam is especially effective because it creates a vapor barrier as well as a thermal barrier.
Use Your Air Conditioning System
Your air conditioning system is your next line of defense against high indoor humidity. An AC system condenses water vapor in the air and sends it outdoors using an evaporator coil and drain lines. Make sure your air conditioner is energy efficient and properly sized for your home; otherwise, it cannot effectively cool your home and remove moisture from the air.
Make Sure Your Home Is Properly Ventilated
You cannot rely on your AC system completely to remove excess indoor moisture. It’s also important to make sure your home is properly ventilated. A whole home ventilation system such as an energy recovery ventilator (ERV) will exchange stale indoor air for fresh, filtered outdoor air, all while maintaining consistent indoor temperatures.
Remove Excess Moisture with a Dehumidifier
For a targeted solution that offers a number of bonus side benefits, consider installing a whole home dehumidifier inside your home. A dehumidifier reduces indoor humidity to safe and comfortable levels. This reduces the need to run your air conditioning system, lowering your utility bills and making your AC system last longer. Plus, you’ll see a reduced need for mold remediation and pest control.