The level of humidity in an environment corresponds with your level of comfort. That is true whether you’re outside enjoying a nice day in Jacksonville, FL, or at home. Humidity is the level of moisture vapor found in the air. According to the Mayo Clinic, the optimum humidity level to promote good health is between 30% and 50%. Higher humidity levels often trigger feelings of lethargy and irritability. On the other hand, a humidity level that falls under 30% is equally uncomfortable, leading to dry skin, sore throats, and chapped lips. Low humidity also causes wood to warp and floors to creak. You can’t control the humidity outdoors, but there is a lot you can do to improve your home’s summer humidity levels.

Buy a Hygrometer

Before you make adjustments in your home, it will help to know what you are dealing with regarding your humidity levels. A hygrometer is the tool that measures those levels. It is easy to operate and will provide an instant snapshot of whether it is time to increase or decrease your humidity levels. Keep in mind that a change in the seasons always brings a change in the humidity levels. That is why you should monitor those levels throughout the year.

Turn on Your Exhaust Fans

When you run your bathroom shower or kitchen faucet, you add moisture to the air. If you turn on your exhaust fans while running that water, you can reduce the moisture vapor levels. Additionally, when you cook on the stove, be sure to turn on your oven’s exhaust fan to pull out the steam. Of course, if your humidity levels are low, you can boil a pot of water to release vapors.

Another good time to use your exhaust fans is when you do laundry in the washing machine. And when you open the dishwasher, you want to capture the steam with an exhaust fan. Basically, any time there is water running, those vapors add to the humidity levels in your home.

Hang Up Your Clothes to Dry

Just as your washing machine impacts your home’s humidity levels, so does your dryer. Running the dryer warms up the room. That dry air causes humidity levels to drop. If you’re not in a hurry to dry your clothes, you should consider using an old-school clothesline in the backyard. Not only will this reduce your home humidity levels, but it will also help cut your monthly utility bills. As a bonus, your clothes will smell incredibly fresh!

Additionally, be sure your dryer vents are well-maintained. A dryer vent with dust and debris can push hot air back into the home, which means higher humidity levels.

Watch Over Your Houseplants

Indoor plants are generally good for the home environment because they release moisture into the air. However, your plants must be monitored to ensure they aren’t creating too much of a damp environment. It might help to occasionally put the houseplants out on the patio or deck to restore the balance to your humidity levels. You also want to take care not to overwater your plants, as the added moisture can also impact the humidity levels. That also applies to outdoor gardens that surround your home. Any amount of standing water increases the humidity. That added water can also damage your home’s foundation.

Check Your Insulation

Your home’s insulation keeps the heat outside and cool air inside during the summer. Then, in the winter, it works in the opposite direction. Insulation also works to help control your humidity levels. Attics and basements are notorious for building up moisture. Proper insulation in those areas helps contribute to a balance in your humidity levels by blocking outside air. It’s advisable to check the seals around your door and windows to ensure they don’t let air in or out.

Keep Your Counters Dry

If left alone, water on a counter will eventually dry on its own. However, that is the exact evaporation process that adds moisture to the air. This is why you want to keep your kitchen and bathroom counters as dry as possible. It’s a good idea to wipe down your shower doors, too. That regular drying also helps reduce the risk of mold or mildew growing. On the other hand, you can run a few inches of warm water in your bathtub to add vapor when the humidity drops.

Make Use of Ventilation

Often, a quick fix to balance out your home’s humidity levels is simply opening the window. That should only happen when the temperature is cooler in the morning or evening. Just be sure you’re not running the air conditioning when you open the windows to let fresh air in.

Use Charcoal

Your charcoal briquettes aren’t just for grilling. They can also act as a simple dehumidifier. Charcoal absorbs moisture in the air, so a few briquettes in a container tucked in a corner can help with humidity levels. Just be sure to replace it every couple of months.

Consider a Dehumidifier

While all the steps mentioned above help you with the humidity levels in your home, you can supplement those efforts with an HVAC upgrade that contains humidifier and dehumidifier features. A humidifier adds moisture, while a dehumidifier extracts the moisture. If those options are a part of your HVAC system, it allows you to regulate your humidity with your thermostat as you would adjust the temperature. Also, if that system utilizes a smart thermostat, you can check the humidity levels and make adjustments, all from the convenience of a smartphone app.

If an HVAC upgrade is not feasible, you can opt for a portable humidifier or dehumidifier. Just remember that dehumidifiers extract moisture from warm air, and that moisture will collect in a tank or pan that requires periodic emptying. When you deploy those appliances, you’ll have more direct control over the humidity levels in your home.

Schedule an Air Conditioning System Tune-Up

If, after all your effort, you still have issues with your humidity levels, there might be a more significant issue with your air conditioning system. A thorough air conditioning tune-up can keep your system operating as it should. That tune-up will include cleaning drain lines and drip pans and making sure there are no duct or vent blockages that can impede the flow of air throughout the home.

An air conditioning tune-up is the perfect task to turn over to Buehler Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We have been helping homeowners with all their HVAC needs since 2010. The service provided by our dedicated teams has helped us grow our customer base to over 5,000 satisfied clients, and the number keeps going up! In addition to HVAC support, we also provides the full range of plumbing services. We handle everything from drain cleaning to shower installation. We also help with air quality and can recommend the right humidifier or dehumidifier unit for your home.

For a plumbing fix, HVAC upkeep, or air quality improvement in Jacksonville, call Buehler Air Conditioning & Plumbing today to get the job done.

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