Two hands installing ceiling vent.

Help conquer home humidity problems with these tips

High humidity is not only uncomfortable, it can also threaten your home’s structure and surfaces.

According to ENERGY STAR®, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's voluntary program for energy efficiency, the ideal home humidity level is between 30% and 50%. Proper management of indoor home humidity levels has several positive effects. If you implement solutions to keep your home in the right range, you could:

  • Improve personal comfort.
  • Control moisture that can damage your home's wood, paint and siding.
  • Help prevent mildew growth and odors in clothing and belongings.
  • Improve indoor air quality by reducing dust mites, mold and other allergens.
  • Reduce pest infestations.
  • Improve the energy efficiency of your air conditioner.

Here are some ways to maintain that healthy range and clear the air by reducing and controlling humidity at home.

How to reduce and control humidity

Some homeowners use their air conditioners year-round to combat humidity. Here are some recommendations for more effective continuous use of your cooling system:

  • Set the fan to automatic. Keeping it in the "on" position actually re-humidifies the space by blowing air over a wet coil when the condenser cycles off.
  • Invest in a unit with a variable-speed air handler.
  • Consider installing a whole-house dehumidifier.
  • Don't automatically lower the thermostat. Turning down the thermostat to reduce humidity might be a sign of an oversized air conditioning system. Air-conditioning systems can only keep up with the moisture they're designed to remove, whether the systems condition fresh incoming air, recirculating interior air or both.
  • Consider a smart thermostat as part of your humidity strategy.
  • Replace the air filters on your air conditioning system on a regular basis so it can work more efficiently.
  • Ensure the refrigerant in your A/C is at the right level. If it is too low, your air conditioner might struggle to remove humidity or heat from the house.

More ways to cut excess humidity

Here are ways to help keep additional moisture and humidity from infiltrating the home:

  • Install vent fans in kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Run a portable dehumidifier.
  • Cover dirt floors in crawl spaces with a plastic vapor barrier.
  • Seal air and duct leaks.
  • Select houseplants that absorb moisture from the air, such as Boston ferns.
  • Keep air conditioning drip pans and drain lines clean and unobstructed.
  • Avoid activities that add moisture to the air on humid days, such as taking hot showers and boiling water on the stove.
  • Ensure you don’t have any water leaks, as those can make the air humid.
  • Check your attic and confirm it has proper ventilation.
  • Regularly clean excess moisture and water from counters, bathroom mirrors and other surfaces that may get wet.
  • Keep gutters and downspouts clean, and try extending downspouts further from the house.
  • Water plants only when needed, and slope soil away from foundations to help keep water from pooling.
  • Plant shrubs and trees around your house, as they absorb moisture from the air and can help decrease humidity levels.

Take a look at our other home prevention articles.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates). While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. State Farm is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.

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