Is indoor humidity really worse in summer, or does it just feel that way? It’s a little bit of both. In general, humidity is inevitably higher both outdoors and indoors during the summer because warm air retains more water vapor than cool air. The fact that humidity also makes you feel more uncomfortable in the summer is also true: Perspiration that’s supposed to keep you cool doesn’t evaporate as efficiently in high humidity, so you feel both hot and sticky.
In Eastern North Carolina, the months of highest humidity occur in summer. You can’t change natural weather patterns, but you can take steps to keep outdoor humidity out of your home and reduce indoor humidity too. Here are some suggestions:
- Seal cracks and gaps. Openings in the house structure, no matter how small, allow heat and humid air to infiltrate. Check the obvious suspects first, such as worn weatherstripping around doors and windows. Also make sure that typically moist attic heat isn’t seeping into living spaces around the attic stairs or ceiling light fixtures. Exterior penetrations such as cables, wires, and pipes also let hot, humid air into the structure.
- Remove water vapor. Bathrooms and kitchens generate humidity that migrates throughout the house. Each of these rooms should include a ceiling fan that exhausts moisture through a dedicated duct to the exterior. Run the fan during cooking and bathing and for at least 20 minutes afterward.
- Schedule AC precison maintenance tune ups. The air conditioner is a major ally in controlling household humidity. A checkup by a qualified professional ensures that all AC components — including evaporator functions that extract water vapor — are operating up to manufacturer’s specs.
- Consider a whole-house dehumidifier. Installed in the attic or under the home and connected to your ductwork, a whole-house unit continuously extracts humidity from the HVAC airflow as it circulates through the house. These units are controlled by a digital humidistat that allows you to program a precise indoor humidity level.
Get more information about techniques and technology to lower indoor humidity in summer from the professionals at Jackson & Sons.