Yes, higher humidity does decrease your energy efficiency. It makes the air inside your home warmer, and your HVAC is going to have to cool it down.
Now, moisture can be very tricky. If a certain room in your home has a specific spot that’s moist, you’re probably dealing with a leak. Those are tough to find because water can hang to joists and pipes and run a long ways from the true source of the leak.
But if it’s a whole room that’s affected, or even just an entire wall, then you’re most likely looking at a humidity problem.
For leaks, you’re probably best off having a professional take care of the repair.
But you can reduce humidity on your own.
How to Combat Indoor Humidity
When moisture sneaks its way into your home, that causes a rise in humidity levels.
So, the first step is to make sure you take every measure possible to prevent moisture from entering your home.
1. Prevention Steps
If you have a crawl space with a dirt floor, cover it with a polyethylene ground cover. Make sure you have dry soil and no standing water in the area. Use fans, if you need to, to help you dry out the area.
Make sure your dryer duct vents directly outside. If it doesn’t do that, you actually have a dangerous situation that can cause a fire and also causes high humidity.
2. Run Exhaust Fans
The kitchen and bathroom fans are there for a reason – to help let out obnoxious odors and excess humidity.
Did you know if left in a room for 24-48 hours, humidity levels above 55% can cause mold and bacteria to grow? That’s just another reason to keep it in check.
Run your exhaust fans whenever you have to cook or take a shower to keep that excess moisture out.
3. Use a Dehumidifier
If your indoor humidity levels like to hover at 65% or more, then it’s time to buy a dehumidifier. A portable one will do the job, but you can buy a whole-home dehumidifier if you have the budget available.
4. Grow Plants that Absorb Air Moisture
Some plants, like Boston ferns, remove moisture from the air. Not only are you reducing your humidity levels and energy consumption, but you’re helping the environment by removing more carbon dioxide and adding more oxygen too!
5. Don’t Boil Water on Especially Humid Days
Some of that boiled water turns into steam, which then gets absorbed into the rest of your home’s air. If it’s really humid outside, some of that will get into your home no matter how hard you try. Don’t increase your humidity levels even further by boiling water!
Reducing humidity is probably one of the lesser-known energy efficiency tips. But your energy bills, and maybe your health, will thank you for it.