When you cook, put a lid on pans and keep the kitchen well ventilated by installing an extractor fan or keeping the window open. Dehumidifiers remove moisture from the air into a receptacle well but they don't cool it down, so don't confuse dehumidifiers with air conditioners. Let's talk about what humidity levels you should keep in your home year round, and different techniques to do so. The increased airflow will remove moisture from the air by evaporating it with circulation. It’s also good to test each occupant in your home as the RH levels change. Over time, filters become clogged and prevent the flow of air, enabling humidity. Leaks can happen in the least obvious places inside a home. So, how do you reduce the humidity in your home during the winter? Whether picking up a good oscillating stand-up fan from Amazon or installing real ceiling fans, fans are a great way to move stale warm air around the room and push humid air out to other rooms with lower humidity. You can even do this in winter, although it may be uncomfortably cold for a little while. Is It Dangerous to Breathe In Insulation. This quiet unit from Amazon should be able to dehumidify one level of the average home. Covering pots and pans while cooking can also suppress additional moisture levels in your apartment. Use a Humidistat in Winter To improve the humidity levels in your home in the winter and improve the indoor air quality, you need a humidifier. It’s when a hot surface is suddenly cooled to the dew point that condensation occurs. Longtime apartment dwellers from D.C. to Atlanta, Miami to Houston know more about outdoor humidity than they’d care to. Your indoor humidity may change based on seasonality—it’ll likely trend more towards the upper end of the range during summer and towards the lower end of the range during winter. Warm air naturally rises to the top levels of your home, and each home is naturally designed to allow this heated air to escape through the chimneys, wall cracks and ceilings. Something as simple as taking shorter and/or colder showers can contribute to lowering the humidity in your home. He also sits on the board of a non-profit law firm that assists veterans with disabilities. Go beyond just checking the roof, check the eaves to make sure water hasn’t found its way into the attic on the sides. The fact is that dehumidifiers aren’t really intended to be used during cold winters since the coils inside them can easily freeze up. If the air inside your home is constantly at the dew point temperature, then condensation is inevitable. For most of us in the United States, the moisture contained in the air is about 3 to 15 times higher during a typical summer day than it is during a winter day. Not only that, but the humidity levels can fluctuate on a daily basis, regardless of the season. 1) Reduce moisture. Use exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom (s) to get rid of any excess moisture. The dehumidifier will need to extract the excess moisture from the walls, wood floors,  and wood furniture first before it can dehumidify the overall air in the room. The use of fans throughout the house can help keep the air flowing and reduce humidity. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. As the temperatures rise the humidity will follow. New-construction homes that are tightly sealed amd homes that are weatherized are more likely to have a condensation problem. Shorter Showers. Buy a bag of cheap, coconut shell charcoal barbecue briquettes and place a pile in a basket or a can and put it out of the way in a corner of a regularly humid room. Apply insulation to walls, attic and crawlspaces. One of the best ways to remove humidity in a room naturally is by using silica gel. For apartment dwellers who don't have control of their own thermostats, getting the indoor temperature just right in winter can be challenging. The next time the humidity in your apartment starts getting to you, use these easy tips to remedy the situation: If you want to take care of heat and humidity problems in one fell swoop, consider installing a window or wall-mounted air conditioner unit. Rugs and carpets collect moisture, especially when it's humid, creating even more humidity. If your area rugs start smelling moldy or feeling damp, get them dry cleaned. When you're cooking or boiling water, cover the pots and use your kitchen exhaust fans. Sleep with the fan on in a humid bedroom or let a fan run in the kitchen or laundry during or after cooking and cleaning. Or, simply place them in a better-ventilated room or outdoors on a patio or porch. You’ll find that your home’s RH levels tend to follow the outside temperature. Utilizing a clothesline outside on a porch, patio or backyard will help stop water from wet clothes evaporating into the air in your apartment. So consider reducing a few houseplants, and always run exhaust fans after shower and kitchen use. Damage to wood furniture and surfaces is also common below this threshold. That is if you purchase the traditional refrigerant/compressor dehumidifier. And make sure to test all exhaust fans (including those in the laundry room) to make sure they’re venting to the outside properly. If the apartment has steam or hot water radiators, you can blame the building's old-school heating system for the inconsistent—and uncontrollable—heat. Depending on how severe the humidity is, this may take from a few hours to even a few weeks. Rock salt is a hygroscopic material that absorbs water molecules and will reduce indoor humidity. Not to worry, though. We all know how important humidity can be to your skin, hair, and overall health, but did you also know that it's vital to the health of your home? Make sure the clothes dryer is vented properly. Get rid of a bunch of your plants by gifting them to friends. However, you may not know that the ideal humidity levels fluctuate from room to room and season to season. What’s less often considered, however, is your home’s ideal indoor humidity. 2 Use a bathroom fan or open windows when showering. Absolutely, and Here’s Why. The two in the bedroom get so bad that you can't even see through them. Because warm air holds moisture, your home should not be overly humid to begin with or you’ll turn it into a sauna, which will only compound the problem. The EPA also suggests utilizing an exhaust fan or opening windows when you run a dishwasher or cook. Cool Mist Humidifiers – Pros and Cons A cool mist humidifier works in 3 different ways. Condensation is caused by excess moisture in the air hitting colder surfaces, so if you want to reduce it appearing, slash moisture levels at home. Dehumidifiers fit right inside your furnace air handler, and removes moisture from the air as it passes through. Health Canada recommends keeping the humidity above 30% in winter and making sure it doesn’t exceed 55% in summer (ideally, it should be somewhere between those percent values at all times). While newer apartments may have a type of humidity-control system, there are simple steps you can take on your own to lower humidity if you don't have the luxury of central air. Alternatively, you could trade in your vapory plants for Boston ferns, which actually remove moisture from the air! High indoor humidity in your apartment — the amount of water vapor in the air — can intensify allergens, keep you from getting proper sleep, cause mold, mildew, rust and rot in building materials and just make your apartment an uncomfortable place to be. Thankfully, there are a number of alternatives to air conditioners for reducing humidity in your apartment. Wash dishes manually in the sink and turn off the water while you're not rinsing rather than running the dishwasher which creates all that steam. Michael HochmanMichael is a Philadelphia-based writer with a variety of interests, including music, TV, politics, travel, and sports (Fly Eagles Fly!). Helping You Live in a Home Without Chemicals. Turn up the heat: Heating Portland homes in the winter helps keep excess moisture at bay. Winter may be a wonderland but it also brings with it things like cold drafts and leaking, not to mention people tracking in water, salt, and sand. Download the Rent.com app for Android and iOS. Whether it's causing frizzy hair or keeping you from sleeping, excessive humidity in your apartment can be annoying, or even dangerous if it causes mold or rust. Priority Home and Design LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This article fits under the following categories: How to Host a Virtual Holiday Dinner During Coronavirus. If your landlord is willing, replacing drafty or worn out windows and doors will help eliminate cold moisture buildup that can increase humidity, as well as assist with circulation, keep hot air out and prevent your A/C from running too hard. That humidity combined with cold windows and walls is a recipe for winter moisture problems, says Ken Hellevang, an agricultural engineer with the North Dakota State University Extension Service. You can also place a bucket of rock salt (like for melting snow) in a pail or flowerpot in a corner. Not only will you reduce humidity with clean or new carpets, but you'll also reduce dust mites who love to live in damp carpets. A/C units also require maintenance to keep them running efficiently and working to reduce that humidity, so be sure to clean the vents and replace filters regularly to maintain good airflow. Why can’t my dehumidifier keep the humidity levels down? Every San Francisco local will agree with these top picks. Is the sump pump covered or open? This can cause condensation on windows, help mold thrive, and put strain on your HVAC system. Areas of your home where you use lots of water and heat like the bathroom or kitchen are prone to retaining moisture. This is a natural method of dehumidifying but is only as effective as your AC filters. If you have a window in your bathroom, open it the next time you take a shower in order to prevent the resulting humidity from becoming trapped in your apartment. If you don’t have access to (or functioning) exhaust fans, be sure to crack open a window to get rid of the stale air. But there are things you can do to reduce the humidity in your apartment. In most climates, humidity levels tend to be low during the winter. Before even considering dehumidification, always check for leaks first. Cover the exposed soil with a plastic vapor barrier. Thus, the gas water vapor condenses to liquid. Another way to regulate indoor humidity is by using a dehumidifier. This will absorb water vapor from the air for two or three months. If you have an immediate need to reduce humidity levels, remember that cooking, taking showers, and even the natural transpiration by houseplants (especially those with large, broad leaves) all produce water vapor. If you typically use a bathroom exhaust fan to wick away humidity, turn it off in winter. We’ve collected some pro tips for you to winterize your rental apartment and help you stay toasty all winter long. Compare the thermostat setting inside your home to the temperature outside. If you are seeing condensation on the windows, chances are there's also condensation on your walls, leading to the potential of mold and mildew as well as rotting of the wooden window frame. Other things that can help regulate the indoor humidity is running the bath fan when you take a shower and turn on the range hood when you’re cooking. Attic fans and vents can help keep the area dry. 1. The dew point usually is just slightly lower than the temperature, meaning that a sudden drop in temperature of only about 10 °F to 20 °F in day-to-day weather can introduce moisture into your home, even in the winter. Some homes have a problem with windows sweating on the inside during the winter, whenever the temperature drops to about 40 degrees F. Even the frames and the sills become wet. Related Post: Do Dehumidifiers Work In Cold Rooms? Similarly, ask for an audit of your pipes and have any that are old or leaky replaced as they can introduce more water into the air in your apartment. This measure of water vapor inside air is known as relative humidity (RH), and when air is at 100% RH, it’s considered to be fully saturated, or said to contain all the water that it can possibly hold given the current surrounding conditions. When that air reaches you, it’s dry and cool – just the way we like to be in the summer. And you get the added bonus of that clothesline-fresh smell in your clothes! If you can get it between 30% and 50%, even better, since some mold and bacteria still tend to thrive above the 50% mark. If your attic isn’t properly ventilated, it can become a hotbed for humidity. The more susceptible the building surfaces in a home are to the outside cold air, the more likely condensation is to occur. That's why your mirror fogs up after you take a hot shower. What is a comfortable relative humidity (RH) level to maintain in my home? By keeping the humidity level controlled, a … And so can the temperature. Just be prepared for your electric bill to go up as well. How Does High Humidity Affect Indoor Air Quality? Most people associate high humidity levels with summer, but did you know that your home can have high humidity levels in the winter as well depending on your home and climate? You want to keep the indoor relative humidity low enough to prevent visible and invisible moisture problems and high enough to prevent excess static electricity or dry skin. Sadly, the square footage recommendations for compressor dehumidifiers are marketed at 80 °F or 86 °F. All rights reserved. If you keep your themostat lower than that, chances are that it’s too small for the space. Step 4 Take baths instead of showers and run the exhaust fan to reduce steam. While they can be a little pricey — even the cheap ones cost around $200 — if you plan on living in an apartment without air conditioning for some time, it may be a good investment. Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. The droplets exit as a cool mist. If the above methods didn’t work in you, there are more ways of tackling this issue. During the winter, the cold air cannot hold as much moisture and tends to be dry. If you have a lot of plants, you're going to have a lot of moisture. This automatically pushes the indoor air outside. 30% RH is the minimum – anything below that will cause health problems like respiratory infections, dry skin, dry eyes, nosebleeds, and dehydration, for example. High humidity levels inside a home during the winter are unusual, therefore, and usually a sign of major issues like water leaks, condensation problems and poor ventilation. Humidity in the warm air of your house will condense on cold surfaces just as humid summer air condenses on the outside of the glass holding your icy beverage. Dehumidifiers are a great solution to reducing humidity and I always recommend them. A few other solutions like a whole-house ventilation system are possible, although for most homeowners, these options are either unnecessary or too expensive. Moisture trapped in your apartment will cause the air to become wetter and the humidity to rise, making it feel hot and sticky. So consider reducing a few houseplants, and always … New construction homes are now being built more air-tight than ever, so air (and the moisture inside) is now more likely to be trapped than to escape out naturally. 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