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Controlling Indoor Humidity Levels

Controlling the indoor humidity may be the most important thing you can do to ensure a healthy, long-lasting home. Your home is designed to allow you to control the humidity by operating ventilation systems, exhaust fans, or opening windows.

Time Needed: a few minutes 
Frequency: check everyday  
Number of steps: 4
Tools you might need: Thermo-hygrometer, knowledge of outdoor temperature
Skill level: easy
What if I don’t do this? Potentially serious moisture damage to your home, poor indoor air quality Potentially serious moisture damage to your home, poor indoor air quality 

Step 1: Plan Ahead

Make sure all windows, storm windows, and storm doors are in place and closed tightly when heating or cooling your home. Windows or storms that are improperly adjusted or slightly open can cause damaging condensation and increase your energy bills. See also: Door and Storm Door Maintenance

Step 2: Proper Operation

Always run ventilation systems and exhaust fans when cooking, bathing or showering, and doing laundry. All of these activities increase indoor humidity levels. Your home can be damaged by excessive humidity, especially in extremely cold or hot weather. Keep ventilation and exhaust equipment well maintained. See also: Ventilation Equipment MaintenanceAir Opening Maintenance

Step 3: Keeping Track Of Moisture

Use a humidifier only in extremely dry conditions, do not set the humidity level too high! Use a dehumidifier in extremely humid conditions when using your air conditioning. Purchase and use a thermo-hygrometer. This is an inexpensive device that can accurately display your current indoor temperature and humidity.  See also: Humidifier Use and MaintenanceDehumidifier Use and MaintenanceProper Use of HumidistatsAdjusting Moisture and Humidity

Step 4: Inspect For Problems

Watch for signs of excess moisture accumulation, ice, frost, or condensation around windows, doors, and walls. A small amount of condensation on windows can be normal, but water puddles on windowsills and around door thresholds, or ice buildup can be an indication of excess humidity levels in your home.

  • If a problem persists after following the steps in this section, contact your builder or heating dealer immediately

RELATED LINKS AND FILES
Controlling Indoor Humidity Checklist.pdf (Acrobat - 29K)