Tips for reducing indoor humidity levels

If summer heat is really hitting a nerve, follow these tips for keeping humidity out of your home.

Tips for reducing indoor humidity levels

1. Keeping your air conditioner in check

  • Don't run the air conditioning if it's cool outside. You risk damaging the compressor if you operate the system when the outside temperature is below 15°C (60°F).
  • To keep your indoor air from feeling too sticky, reduce your air conditioner's blower speed. Air moving in slower motion over the evaporator coil removes more moisture from living areas.
  • Be sure to consult with the unit's manufacturer before taking this step, and avoid dropping the speed too drastically, which can result in the coils icing up.

2. Block heat out

  • Windows can let in about 25 percent of summer heat. Block the heat with shades or blinds during the sunniest daylight hours.
  • The attic and exterior walls of your home will keep out the heat with proper insulation. Most kinds of insulation are inexpensive, though you may want to hire someone to install it.

3. Strip in the cool

  • Weather stripping can keep cool air from escaping through doors and windows. It's very inexpensive; you can strip the area around a door in less than half an hour.

4. Spin some coolness

  • Ceiling fans and stand-alone units can augment the output of a central air conditioner.
  • A whole-house fan draws cool outside air indoors through slightly opened windows around the house, and pushes warm air up and out through the attic for a fast, efficient change in temperature. You'll save money by decreasing the time you need to run your A/C.

5. Do your baking and washing at night

  • Large appliances give off significant heat. Save the operation of ovens, ranges, dishwashers and clothes washers and dryers for evening hours when cooler temperatures will offset their output.
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