Is It Humid In Here To You?
During the Houston summer months, the heat outside practically gives your face a hug. Especially when the humidity level is at our usual high. Even when you try and crank up the AC in your home, you still might find yourself tossing and turning in bed at night. Or my Houston favorite, stepping out side of the house or car and having your sunglasses immediately fog over. Yay.
Well...‘It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.’ It feels hotter than it actually is when it’s humid. Instead of cooling our bodies down, the high moisture content in the air prevents us from sweating which can lead to lethargy, dehydration, and overheating.
Aside from the negative health effects, humidity can also damage your property. The moisture build up encourages growth of mold and weakens the condition and structure of your home.
You want your summer to be cool but cool is out of the question if your indoor humidity levels are high. The ideal relative indoor humidity during summer should fall between 30%-50%.
A dehumidifier is not a permanent solution to stave off humidity. To nip your problems in the bud, identify first the root causes of humidity in your house.
If your A/C is too large for your space, then it will have a problem with regulating both the temperature and humidity. The powerful compressor doesn’t remove the moisture in the air because it only works in short bursts of time. It cools your space in a matter of minutes and shuts down before it can dispel any moisture.
Under Maintained A/C
It’s either your A/C has frozen coils or dust and dirt has collected on the air filters. Your A/C must have been running for years and is probably in need of maintenance. Regularly check your A/C system to ensure it gives off cool air and beats off the humidity.
A/C with a single speed mode
If your A/C has only one mode- on and off, then it only cools to a certain temperature before it turns off again. It will only turn on again once the temperature is above the thermostat’s threshold. Like oversized air conditioners, single-speed A/Cs are not effective in dehumidifying the room.
Lack of Indoor ventilation
Without proper ventilation, humid air will just circulate inside your home. The humidity level will continue to rise until the air can no longer hold the water vapor. It then condenses into water. This is when you may notice water droplets forming on your windows.
Daily activities like cooking, taking hot showers, washing the dishes and drying clothes all add moisture to your indoor air. The water vapors from these activities add up to the humid air in your home.
Poor ventilation and high humidity levels can result in mold and mildew growth on your walls, ceiling, floors and furniture.
Let the humid air out and the fresh air in by installing exhaust fans in your bathroom and opening a window for your kitchen to improve air circulation.
Ventilation is a must in high-moisture areas.
Poor Attic Ventilation
Similar to your indoor space, your attic needs to be ventilated properly. As our wonderful humid Houston air comes into the attic from our soffits, the sun transfers heat to the roof and super heats this air. It’s like a one-two punch to the inside of our attics if they are not properly ventilated with an active system. If left unattended, your attic may become a breeding ground for mold that will weaken your attic structure.
Aside from adequate ventilation, your attic should also be sealed from your living space to prevent heat from entering or your cool A/C from escaping. It also doesn’t help if your attic’s insulation is damp. If this is the case, you need to get it reinsulated. A damp insulation isn’t as effective as it loses a portion of its R-value.
One of Koala Insulation’s services and expertises is to review your attic’s ventilation and determine if a solar ventilation fan can help your attic breathe again.
Often mistaken as condensation, rising damp affects poorly insulated crawl spaces and walls. It occurs when the moisture from the groundwater or when water in a house’s foundation is absorbed on the masonry and travels up through the walls.
The damp manifests as paint cracks, salt blooms and tide marks the walls. It can accelerate the progression of your wooden floor boards and joists decaying. Rising damp doesn’t only deteriorate your walls but it also causes mold growth and increases the humidity levels in your home.
Properly insulated crawl spaces with the required vapor barrier will help combat rising damp and reduce humidity levels in your home.
One way of preventing humidity is keeping your space dry. Are you ignoring the dripping water from your bathroom pipes or your kitchen’s faucet? No matter how small these water leaks may seem, they contribute to humidity problems. Scan your internal plumbwork for signs of cracks and replace them immediately before it damages your home.
Some leaks are hard to find if the plumbwork is not visible. You can spot leaks from discolored walls, bubbling and blistering paint and wallpapers. Watch out for wet spots forming on surfaces and take notice if you are suddenly having higher water bills.
Fix leaks as soon as possible and, to avoid condensation forming on your exposed pipes, protect them with insulation.
The cracks and holes from your windows and doorways are passages for outdoor moisture. Prevent humid air from entering your home by caulking and weatherstripping these air leaks. Another benefit of sealing air leaks is it decreases heat loss in your home, thereby saving energy. This includes in the attic space around vents and can lights. Reach out to us about air sealing and how it can help keep your cool air in and immediately help you start saving on your utility bills.
Plants are a good addition to your home but if your home already feels suffocating from humid air, you might want to transfer them to a well-ventilated area.
Through a process called evapotranspiration, plants supply moisture in the air. The water from the soil reaches the plant’s roots and goes all the way up to its stem and leaves where it evaporates into the air.
Rainwater can be stored in your gutters if there are leaves and debris blocking the gutter’s waterway. A blocked gutter keeps a perimeter of damp content around your soffits. This can increase humidity levels in your attic.
Clean your gutters regularly and direct the downspout away from your house so your foundation is always dry.
Controlling humidity boils down to this: eliminating moisture.
Proper insulation means sealing air leaks in your house which can prevent outdoor moisture from coming in, while good ventilation prevents moisture from settling in your home. Insulation, ventilation and your A/C should work together to keep your home cool and dry because if one of these three has an issue, you most likely have a problem with your indoor air.
How can Koala Insulation of Northwest Houston help? We make homes more comfortable. We can make sure you have proper insulation and ventilation. From Katy to Cypress, Fairfield, Jersey Village, and down through Spring Branch, we can help.
If you think the lack of insulation or attic ventilation causes high humidity levels in your home, Koala Insulation of Northwest Houston can help! Book your free insulation evaluation with one of our consultants today.
We Provide Insulation Services to the Following Northwest Houston Areas
Houston, Spring Branch, Jersey Village, Willow Brook, Copperfield, Cypress, Mason Park, and Cinco Ranch
Harris County, Waller County, & Fort Bend County
77040, 77041, 77080, 77043, 77055, 77070, 77069, 77066, 77065, 77449, 77450, 77433, 77429, 77095, 77084, 77064