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  4. Moisture and Mold: How to Reduce Humidity in House
  • Home Moisture Matters: Problems & Prevention

    Prevent mold growth and other unhealthy problems with these tips.

    • Dry air is no fun, but neither is household mold growth and all the other unwelcome byproducts of a too-humid house. Read on to learn why it’s important to strike that just-right moisture balance—and how you can achieve it.

      How to Spot Signs of Too Much Moisture

      Suspect that your home’s too humid? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends watching out for these red flags*:

      • Condensation on interior windows, walls or pipes
      • Visible mold growth or wetness on ceiling or walls
      • A musty smell
      • A hygrometer, aka humidity meter, reading of 60 percent or higher. Yes, you should own one. An inexpensive version should run you under $50 at your local hardware or home store. You’ll want to keep it in the 30 to 50 percent range, ideally.

      Moisture Problems

      Too much moisture can trigger a host of problems for your home and the people who live in it.

      According to the American Lung Association, dampness and the mold associated with it can trigger persistent health issues including coughing, wheezing, nasal congestion, sore throat and sneezing, as well as worsening asthma and rhinitis.

      It’s important to note that even without mold, you may experience health problems since bacteria, viruses, dust mites and cockroaches also thrive in humid conditions**.

      Your air isn’t the only thing affected by humidity. Ongoing dampness can cause lots of issues in your home, including (but unfortunately not limited to) warped or rotted walls and floorboards, termite and other pest infestations and peeling paint and varnish*.

      Moisture Prevention

      Tips to keep your home’s humidity level in that desirable 30 to 50 percent range***:

      Air condition and de-humidify. Use both proactively, as needed. Take extra care to maintain your home’s air quality by changing your HVAC air filter at least every three months.

      Vent appropriately. Clothes dryers, range hoods, attics and crawlspaces, especially.

      Let air flow. Open windows and use fans, taking extra care in the kitchen and bathroom. Run exhaust fans while showering, cooking and dishwashing by hand or machine.

      Practice preventative landscaping. Ensure the ground slopes away from your foundation. Clean and repair roof gutters, too, ensuring they deliver water away from your home’s foundation.

      Insulate pipes. It’ll help curb condensation accumulation.


      * Environmental Protection Agency (PDF, 17.4 MB)

      ** American Lung Association

      *** Environmental Protection Agency