Everyone loves a bit of summer sun. However, when you’re living in a tropical location, it’s only a matter of time before warm weather devolves into hot sticky humidity. I know we shouldn’t really complain — especially when we can zip around sans jacket for about 90% of the year. But having dealt with humidity first hand for a number of consecutive years, I can tell you that the mold, mildew and condensation inherent in a humid environment is enough to throw even the most patient of homeowners into despair.
With this in mind, we’re turning to the experts to discover once and for all how to deal with humidity in the home. Keep reading for more.
How to Deal with Humidity at Home
Excess moisture is at the heart of all humidity-related problems. As such, the main trick to dealing with humidity lies in reducing said moisture.
Admittedly, this is much easier said than done. While it’s impossible to eliminate all moisture completely, there are ways of absorbing the humidity so that it becomes much easier to deal with.
AC and Dehumidifiers
For instance, AC and dehumidifiers can work wonders in reducing moisture with high efficiency. As designer Pablo Solomon puts it, “do not delude yourself into thinking that you can live without AC and/or dehumidifiers.” Architect Nina Edwards Anker agrees, and advises her clients to opt for a high-functioning system by the likes of Fujitsu or Mitsubishi.
“Circulation of air is key to reducing moisture,” shares interior designer Laura Mineff. As such, another must-have feature are vent fans, especially in humidity hotspots such as the kitchen or bathroom. Solomon agrees, and adds that “ceiling fans and floor fans will make the AC feel even cooler.”
“Turn on the bathroom ceiling fan every time the bathroom is used. Set the fan on a timer to be automatically turned off 15 minutes after one leaves the bathroom if a bath or shower has been taken.” – Susan Serra, Designer
Is there anything plants can’t do? Apparently not. In addition to purifying air and improving visual aesthetics, some common house plants can regulate humidity levels. Edwards Anker recommends large house plants to absorb moisture. More specifically, Palms, Peace Lilies, English Ivy and Boston Ferns are all great options.
Improve Air Flow
It’s one thing to put up with the less visually appealing aspects of humidity, but it’s important to also be aware that living in a humid environment can cause health problems. Excess moisture can really affect indoor air quality, thus compromising health. “Pollutants bind with humid air more readily than with dry air, and can cause a variety of problems including allergies,” explains Solomon.
The best way to combat this issue is to ensure your home has adequate ventilation and air flow. As above, fan ventilation is key. But also make sure there is plenty of access to windows in each room, and avoid blocking them with heavy drapes and curtains.
Fortify Structural Integrity
For those still in the process of designing their home, there are a number of features which you can build into the very fabric of the building that will better position you to deal with humidity later on.
First and foremost in this respect, our experts all recommend a hefty dose of insulation in order to prevent excess moisture from getting into the internal structure of the home. “My design tip would be to insulate walls with over 6” of closed-cell spray foam insulation in order to block humidity in a solid foam barrier,” stresses Edwards Anker.
Insulation is also helpful in reducing the likelihood of condensation, working to stop warm moisture-laden air from coming into contact with cooler indoor surfaces.
From wood flooring to wood cabinets, our experts agree that it’s best to avoid this material because of its tendency to expand and contract in humidity. Instead, opt for LVP flooring and other faux-wood substitutes, alongside cooling textures such as concrete or tile.