Our stretch of wet weather may have the inside of your home just as humid as outside.
Your air conditioning system is designed to control the temperature and to a certain extent, the humidity.
Sometimes the amount of moisture in the home is just too high to control with the AC unit. It might be time for you to purchase a dehumidifier.
Ideally, the relative humidity in your home should be between 40% and 60% during the summer months.
There are some obvious signs your home is just too humid.
- Musty odors inside your home
- Floors or other surfaces ever feel sticky or "sweaty"
- Increased condensation on your plumbing
- Allergy problems increase during wet weather
Too much moisture inside your home can also encourage the growth of three commonly known household allergens: mold, bacteria, and dust mites.
Your home doesn't have to have a basement to put a dehumidifier to good use. Even those homes with a slab, or split foyer homes could benefit.
Some humidifiers can collect more than a gallon of water in 24 hours, depending on the amount of moisture inside your home.
Portable dehumidifiers cost between $100-$350 and ideally work for one or two rooms.
More expensive units can be fitted to work along with your home air conditioning system.
You can measure the humidity inside the home using a hygrometer. You can get them at a home improvement store for around $25.
There are two types of hygrometers: mechanical and electric; either one is just fine for household use.
You should place it in the location that you think has the highest humidity. It may take a few hours for the mechanical hygrometer to get a steady reading. The digital units take a more instant reading.
Adjusting the humidity inside your home can also help your air conditioning system work better. Since drier air cools more efficiently than moist air, it won't take as much energy to cool the inside of your home.