Practical steps you can take to control indoor humidity

A common problem for homeowners during summer months is humidity. High indoor humidity not only makes you feel uncomfortable – it can also have negative effects on your health and your home.

Ideal indoor humidity levels are generally considered to be between 30 and 45 per cent. This can be a challenge to achieve during summer months, as warmer air retains more moisture.

The good news is that you can manage humidity levels effectively in a variety of ways. Homeowner maintenance is the key. There’s an extra level of importance if you own a newly built home, as your warranty will not cover moisture-related issues, like damage to hardwood floors or mould, that result from improper maintenance.

Here are some things you can try to tackle excessive humidity in your home:

  • Invest in a hygrometer, which will allow you to monitor humidity levels inside your home. Hygrometers are inexpensive and can be found at most hardware stores.
  • Be mindful of the number or type of plants in your home as they can mean higher humidity levels inside.
  • Use your home’s ventilation system. Turn on exhaust fans when cooking, showering or doing laundry. It’s also a good idea to leave them running for a short time after you’re done to ensure enough moisture is removed from the air.
  • Keep areas throughout your home as tidy as possible. Storage spaces and general clutter can interfere with air circulation, trap humidity and lead to mould growth.
  • Use a dehumidifier. They are available as standalone units or can be integrated into your home’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. A dehumidifier will help to remove excess moisture from the air.
  • Plan your landscaping in a way that does not alter the grading around your foundation. Flowerbeds close to your foundation can cause rainwater to pool close to the structure instead of being diverted away from it.

Find more helpful home maintenance tips at tarion.com

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