New England can get a bit muggy during the warmer months making excessive humidity not just a concern for the outside, but it can also be an issue inside your home.
High humidity isn’t just uncomfortable, it can cause real issues in your home that can lead to health issues as well as energy efficiency problems that will lower your indoor comfort and increase your heating and cooling costs.
Here’s what you need to know about humidity in your home and what you can do about it:
Why Indoor Humidity is Bad:
There are two main things you need to be worried about when it comes to humidity in your home: water or moisture damage and mold growth.
Moisture, condensation, and water can stain the walls of your home and damage the building materials of your home, but they also lead to mold growth. Mold needs three things to thrive: moisture, heat, and a food source, like drywall, wood, or insulation.
Mold is gross enough on its own, but in your home, it can also lead to indoor air quality problems, health issues, and allergic reactions. It’s not uncommon for homes with humidity issues to have mold growing inside their ductwork, which then circulates throughout your home in the air you breathe, as well as mold on your insulation, which can ruin its effectiveness, making your home less comfortable and more expensive to heat and cool.
WHY IS THE INSIDE OF YOUR HOME SO HUMID AND HOW CAN YOU FIX IT?
So what’s causing your indoor humidity? It’s likely a combination of outside humid air entering your home through air leaks—small cracks and gaps in the exterior of your home—and a lack of proper ventilation that allows humidity from everyday activities like cooking and taking showers to build up in your house.
A proper HVAC system, like working exhaust fans in your bathroom and above your stove, can help remove humid air from your home, but to stop outside humidity from getting in, you’ll need to look at your insulation and air sealing.
First, you’ll want to identify any insulation that’s become dirty, wet, or moldy as a result of humidity or air leaks. That insulation should be removed, followed by air sealing and installing new insulation to reduce the amount of air movement in and out of your house. Where your home needs work is something that can be addressed through an energy audit, but the recommended solutions could include: attic insulation, sidewall insulation, crawlspace insulation, and basement insulation.