It's that time of year - you start seeing the condensation build-up on windows. This is usually caused by a couple of things: the humidity levels in your home aren't balanced, and science! When warm air in your homes meets the cold window, condensation will form. We talked about this last year in more detail (get a refresher here) but today we want to talk to you about the humidity in your home.
It's not something most people think about. But if you have a lot of hardwood or laminate flooring, you want your home's humidity at a level of 30 - 40%. Otherwise, there can be damage to all of the gorgeous wood that you spent so much time picking out!
A new home is built pretty air-tight. While this is great for energy efficiency, it can also make it hard to transfer moisture in and out of your home, so a humidifier is an important appliance to have. Take a look at the humidifier in your home; it should tell you what setting to put it at so it corresponds to the outside temperature.
Checking your humidifier should be a part of your monthly home maintenance check, just like your furnace filter. Now, there are wall-mounted humidistats that may have humidity settings, but they are not always accurate. The numbers on these units are set points, and the actual humidity in your home may be way off. We would recommend you purchase a hygrometer. You can find these at most hardware stores like Home Depot, and other stores such as Walmart or Costco.
There are tons of tips to keep moisture down in your home, and in the winter that's what you want. Less moisture means less humidity. Try raising your blinds or opening your drapes during the day, and make sure to always run the fan in the bathroom while bathing. It's actually recommended you let the fan run for at least 15 minutes after you get out of the shower too. Don't forget about the garage, especially if it is attached. Open the door when you're warming up the car in the morning!
A new home tends to expel a lot more water in the first 1-2 years, simply because of the wood drying and the concrete curing. This will put your humidity levels off balance, so you'll need to be aware of that when setting your humidifier. And in the winter, you can turn your humidifier to a much lower setting before one of those really cold snaps. We don't recommend you turn it off.
Controlling the humidity levels in your home isn't a typical home maintenance task, but it really should be. The last thing you want is issues in your beautiful new home, when it all could have been prevented with some simple adjustments. By taking these steps now, you can save yourself a lot of time and possible expense in the future.
Are you working on humidity control in your home? What tips do you have to share? Let us know in the comments!