How to Lower Humidity During Summer Months

Southern Idaho as a whole doesn’t see a lot of humidity year-round compared to other states.

This is due to our geographic location, however certain pockets of Idaho and certain homes will deal with humidity issues depending on multiple factors. Summer is traditionally the season where people will experience the most humidity. High humidity can not only affects comfort, but it can also lead to health issues and damage to your home if you let it go for too long.

Here are several effective strategies to lower humidity and maintain a comfortable indoor environment during the summer months.

1. Use a Dehumidifier

A dehumidifier is one of the most direct methods to reduce indoor humidity. These devices work by pulling moisture from the air, collecting it in a reservoir that you can empty as needed. For larger spaces, a whole-house dehumidifier can be installed as part of your HVAC system. If your home has a crawl space and you deal with humidity issues due to your crawl space not draining properly, you can also use a dehumidifier below your home to prevent wood rod, mold and of course the air quality issues that seem to follow.

A few quick tips for using a dehumidifier effectively:

  • Place it in the most humid areas of your home, such as the basement or bathrooms.
  • Regularly empty the water reservoir to ensure continuous operation.
  • Clean the filter and coils periodically to maintain efficiency.

2. Improve Ventilation

Proper ventilation in your home helps reduce humidity by increasing air circulation and expelling moist air. Here are some ways to improve ventilation in your home:

  • Use exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom to remove steam from cooking and showers.
  • Open windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate, particularly during the cooler parts of the day.
  • Install attic vents and fans to prevent heat and moisture buildup.

3. Use Air Conditioning

Air conditioners naturally dehumidify the air as they cool it. Ensure your air conditioning system is functioning efficiently:

  • Set the thermostat to maintain a comfortable temperature without overcooling.
  • Clean or replace air filters regularly to ensure proper airflow.
  • Consider using a programmable thermostat to optimize cooling and dehumidification during peak hours.

4. Seal Leaks and Insulate

Moisture can enter your home through leaks and poorly insulated areas. By sealing and insulating, you can prevent excess humidity:

  • Inspect and seal windows, doors, and any cracks in the walls or foundation.
  • Use weather stripping around doors and windows to keep humid air out.
  • Insulate pipes, especially in basements and crawl spaces, to prevent condensation.

5. Limit Indoor Moisture Sources

Daily activities can contribute significantly to indoor humidity. Reducing these sources can help maintain lower humidity levels:

  • Cover pots when cooking to reduce steam.
  • Take shorter, cooler showers and use the bathroom exhaust fan.
  • Avoid drying clothes indoors; use a dryer that vents outside or dry clothes outdoors.

6. Use Moisture-Absorbing Materials

Certain materials and products can help absorb excess moisture from the air:

  • Place desiccant packs, such as silica gel or activated charcoal, in closets and small spaces.
  • Use moisture-absorbing houseplants like peace lilies and Boston ferns, which can help reduce humidity naturally.

7. Maintain Your HVAC System

Regular maintenance of your HVAC system ensures it operates efficiently and effectively in controlling humidity:

  • Schedule annual professional inspections and maintenance.
  • Clean ducts and vents to ensure proper airflow.
  • Check for any leaks in the ductwork that could allow moist air to enter.

Higher humidity levels during the summer months can be a nuisance, but with these strategies, you can effectively lower the humidity in your home and create a more comfortable living environment. By using a combination of dehumidifiers, proper ventilation, air conditioning, and moisture control techniques, you can enjoy a cooler, drier summer indoors. Regular maintenance and attention to your home’s infrastructure will help you stay ahead of humidity issues, ensuring a healthier and more pleasant home environment.

Do you have questions on whole-house dehumidifiers? Our team at Gem Heating & Air Conditioning are proud to offer dehumidifier and humidifiers for your HVAC system, depending on what side of the humidity spectrum you fall on.

Contact us today for more information!