Too Much Humidity

  • Your skin often feels clammy, sweaty or sticky.
  • Musty-smelling odors are invading your living space.
  • Wood floors, trim or wood furniture is warping or rotting, paint is peeling.
  • Condensation, frost or ice have formed on the inside surface of your windows. Water pipes are "sweating".
  • Damp spots, or worse, mold and mildew, have formed on ceilings or walls.
  • Your allergies or asthma have gotten worse due to the growth of mold, mildew and dust mites.
  • Your house is a breeding ground for termites, cockroaches and other pests.

What You Can Do to Treat the Symptoms

  • Use ventilation fans in kitchens and bathrooms when in use. Ensure that your fans are venting directly outside.
  • Cover dirt floor crawlspaces under your house with plastic to act as a vapor barrier.
  • Check to make sure your dryer is vented to the outside. Don't dry wet clothes on drying racks in the house. Air-dry them outdoors if possible.
  • Ensure air conditioning drip pans are clean and drain lines unobstructed.
  • Fix any water leaks in pipes, toilets, showers, etc.
  • Install a dehumidistat on your central air, or run a dehumidifier on the first floor.

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Comment by Ryan Schuchler on July 10, 2012 at 9:00am

Tom, thanks for the interesting and useful blog post. I think that a lot of people are under the impression that these humidity-related problems are an unavoidable part of the summer. Your suggestions to treat these symptoms all make sense and seem like they can be very helpful remedies. I just wanted to add one point regarding the condensation that can form on the inside of windows. This can be a humidity-related issue in some situations, but in most cases, it has more to do with air escaping and entering through the microscopic spaces in between the window frame and the point of installation. This can often be prevented by targeting a replacement window company that offers custom made windows, as opposed to just providing a few common sizes that are then custom-fitted to match up with a particular opening. The problem with these custom-fits is they are always very close, but rarely end up being exact. If the size of your windows doesn't match up exactly with the installation space, it could cause condensation to accumulate, as well as allowing cool air to escape and warm air to enter in the summer (and vice versa in the winter). Sometimes, adding additional caulking around the perimeter of the window frame can serve as a short term fix, but precise sizing and proper installation are the only true solutions. Thanks again for this informative article!

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