Humidity in a home causes discomfort for occupants. If the levels are too high, the moisture encourages the growth of mold. Keeping humidity in the recommended 30 to 60 percent range requires a multi-step approach that includes venting, using HVAC systems and a dehumidifier.
Vent humidity at its source
Most home occupants create humidity in three areas, the bathroom, kitchen and laundry room. Install vent fans in these areas to move the moisture outside the home, reducing the load for air conditioners and dehumidifiers. Fans with humidity sensors that automatically start as needed are another valuable option.
Reduce humidity with HVAC
HVAC systems are useful for reducing humidity all year long. Operating a furnace or heat pump sometimes lowers the levels below the comfort zone, requiring intervention to increase the moisture content in the air. Air conditioning helps to lower humidity by causing moisture to condense on the cooling coils, where it drips away. When away from home, leave the air conditioner on low to ensure the humidity remains under control.
Turn on the dehumidifier
Install a dehumidifier in areas where humidity remains high, even with the HVAC system operating. If the humidity affects the entire inside of the home, a whole-house dehumidifier is an option.