Most homeowners anticipate moisture problems in the summer, when high temperatures make it difficult for condensation to evaporate. But the cold winds of winter are supposed to alleviate humidity. In fact, winter weather it notorious for its drying effects (just think about how dry your skin gets during the winter months). Unfortunately, this may not be the case in your home, and there are a number of reasons why moisture can be an issue indoors when the temperature drops outside. Luckily, there are steps you can take to combat the moisture problems you’re facing. Here are a few tactics you might try to reduce moisture and protect your home and its inhabitants.
One of the simplest solutions for a home humidity problem is to install dehumidifiers. This is especially important if you have family members that suffer from asthma and allergies as moisture in the air can exacerbate such respiratory issues. It can also lead to lingering colds, coughs, and other respiratory illnesses, including pneumonia, and using dehumidifiers is a good way to start correcting the problem post haste. However, portable humidifiers that can be moved around your home aren’t likely to be a good long-term solution as their area of effect is extremely limited. Although they are an economical choice, you can also consider installing a whole-home dehumidifier that hooks up to your existing HVAC system. This will cost more, of course, but the upside is that you needn’t make unsightly hardware part of the dÃ©cor in every room like with portable products.
The only problem with this scenario is that it addresses the symptoms rather than the root of the problem. If you’re experiencing moisture problems in your home during the winter, there are probably a couple of issues at play. The first revolves around the level of insulation and relative airtightness of your home while the other centers on ventilation, and addressing them concurrently should serve to dramatically reduce moisture problems. A good place to start is by hiring a professional to conduct a home energy audit. This service will tell you where your insulation is inadequate, as well as pinpoint areas where the air you pay for is getting out and exterior air is seeping in.
But how does this lead to moisture in your home? When cold air and hot air meet, condensation can form, especially in areas of high humidity like the bathroom or kitchen, just for example. But you can put a stop to this problem by keeping the cold air outside where it belongs, leaving your interior toasty and dry. You’ll have to seal up leaks around windows, doors, vents, and so on with weather stripping, caulk, and other sealants. And you may have to address insulation issues by adding batting, fill, or spray foam or simply replacing old materials that have deteriorated, not to mention upgrading windows. But the effect will be a strong barrier against the elements.
Unfortunately, your work isn’t done. The same efforts that keep warm air in can also trap moisture in your home if you fail to compensate with adequate ventilation. And you might want to think about installing a heat recovery ventilator. This handy piece of equipment will not only vent interior air outside and bring in fresh air, but it also works to ensure that there is no temperature disruption in the process. When you understand how humidity causes problems in your home, it’s easy to find the source of the problem in order to correct it. And there are several ways to do this when winter weather is to blame for your moisture issues.