How To Combat Indoor Humidity In Florida
Any coastal region will have consistently higher humidity levels than inner areas of the country. West Palm Beach, Florida has a subtropical climate with an average annual relative humidity percentage of 83 in the morning and 63 in the afternoon. Compare that to Arizona's average figures of 53 percent in the morning and 25 in the afternoon and you'll see the difference.
All that humidity finds it's way indoors. In fact, if you left your air conditioning and heating equipment off and the windows cracked a bit during a two-week vacation, you'd probably come home to find the ceiling texture starting to peel and beads of moisture covering everything.
High levels of humidity indoors in Palm Beach County will cause problems for the building materials and is a prime climate for bacteria and mold growth. Even on a regular day with the A/C or heater running, there will be humidity indoors when you live in a subtropical climate.
There are ways you can decrease the humidity inside your home. Here are some suggestions from our Palm Beach County air conditioning experts at Florida Air Temp, Inc.
Install A Whole Home Humidifier Dehumidifier Combo System
This is the most obvious answer to keeping the indoor humidity level balanced. A whole-home combo humidification system will serve both to humidify and dehumidify the air inside your home automatically. It works throughout every room and is installed by an air conditioning technician directly into your HVAC system.
The reason you need a combo unit and not just a dehumidifier is that the air can get too dry when the HVAC system is operating. This system senses the moisture content in the air at all times and adjusts the function accordingly.
Dry air can cause sinus infections, dry skin, and allergy problems. It will also dry out the woodwork in your home. Humid air can cause chest infections, pneumonia, and breathing problems. Bacteria, viruses, mold, mildew, and other organisms will flourish inside your home.
Keep Several Ceiling Fans On
You probably don't need to keep every ceiling fan in the house on at all times. If you don't have a humidification system installed, either use some of the ceiling fans regularly or purchase two or three room fans. Setting them on low will work fine to dry out the humidity inside the house. Space them apart, for instance, one on either side of the house and one in the middle. Be sure they aren't pointed at the thermostat or the reading may not be accurate.
Your home should be ventilated in certain areas to ensure good air circulation. The attic will need to be properly ventilated so moisture is not trapped in the crawl space. If you have a crawl space under the house, make sure there are vents along the exterior walls to allow air to flow through.
Your home's washer and dryer should also be well ventilated. You can install an exhaust fan if the units are located inside and use it when you do laundry. Be sure that the dryer vent has no leaks and is properly fitted to the back of the dryer and wall.
Sealing, Caulking, & Weatherstripping
Drafty doors and windows will allow outside humidity to penetrate in. Make sure that the doors have good weatherstripping on them and that caulking is done along the doors, windows, and woodwork of the exterior of the house.
Check any existing caulk to see if it is still flexible and covering all the cracks. If it's old, remove it and replace it. The window panes should also be properly sealed with clear sealant or putty depending on the type. Are your windows foggy or moist inside? This is a sure sign that the sealant has failed.
Moisture Absorbers For The House
There are products available which are made to absorb moisture in small or large spaces. A large high-capacity moisture absorber can be placed in a basement, a large room, or crawlspaces. You can set a smaller container underneath the bathroom sinks, which is great because this is where a lot of moisture is created. The desiccant containers will also absorb musty odors.