Did you know the majority of energy used to make your home feel comfortable is spent on air conditioning and cooling? In the summertime, the first priority is heat reduction. However, in humid areas, moisture reduction is necessary to lower the indoor air temperature. If a home has too much moisture, indoor air quality can be comprised, and mold and mildew problems can develop.
The first line of energy defense is to ensure your home is properly insulated and sealed to keep the heat and humidity that surround the house from getting inside. Leaky ducts, windows and doors can cause energy loss, making the HVAC system work harder to reduce moisture out of the air and eliminate potential indoor air quality issues. Air-sealed homes are easier to keep cool and dry.
Next, make sure your HVAC system is the right size. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that most current residential systems are oversized. Units that are too large lead to less efficiency, which leads to higher energy bills and less comfort than you want or expect. It is also likely that the unit is “short cycling,” or continuously turning off and on, never achieving optimum efficiency. When the unit runs in short bursts, it will not operate long enough to eliminate all of the humidity in your home.
There are some basic steps you can take to lower the humidity in your home. Start by reducing the moisture you are already producing.
- The kitchen and bathrooms are the most significant contributors to higher humidity levels. In the bathroom, run the vent fan when bathing or showering and keep the fan on for up to 30 minutes after you have finished eliminating residual moisture in the air.
- Run the vent fan when cooking. Check to ensure that your range hood is ducted to the outside, as re-circulating range hoods are not effective in controlling moisture (or odors).
- Check gutters and downspouts for leaks or blockage. If they become clogged, some of the moisture can eventually migrate back into your house and cause significant issues.
If you would like more information about how to reduce humidity in your home, contact our energy specialists at 704-289-3145 or visit our Energy Center at union-power.com.