High humidity is caused by water vapor saturating the air. It is particularly dense in this Topsail beach weather where the summers are hot and the nearby ocean breeze constantly circulates moisture into the air. Humidity is not just an outdoor issue, though. Inside a home, humidity can create a slew of problems.
Humidity can be especially problematic for people with respiratory issues. Humidity promotes an ideal environment for mildew, mites, and mold to gather. It is suggested that people with respiratory problems stay in the air-conditioned indoors during the hottest and most humid days. However, many homes are also subject to humidity and poor air quality. In this article, we suggest different ways to combat indoor humidity and poor air quality.
Firstly, home maintenance is crucial when trying to control the humidity in the home. Leaks of all sizes need to be addressed as soon as possible. Gutters, too, should be routinely cleaned to prevent clogs that could send water where it is not supposed to go. Cracks and leaks in the foundation should be patched to keep water out. These measures, along with proper ventilation, will typically prevent humidity from morphing into a bigger problem.
Dehumidifiers also offer relief for a humid home. These units can help take care of mold, dust mites, prevent rust, and relieve the stuffy feeling many people experience from humid environments. Dehumidifiers work by pulling in warm, wet air into and introducing it to a cold coil chilled by some refrigerant. These coils remove the moisture from the air, similar to how condensation occurs on the outside of a cold glass. The moisture is then collected in a tray that needs to be periodically emptied.
Without as much moisture in the air the home environment will generally be more comfortable. Many people report using the air conditioner as frequently, thereby saving money. There are different sized dehumidifiers and they vary in energy efficiency, so it is important to research products before making a purchase.
The trouble with dehumidifiers is that they can be loud and do require maintenance. As much as they save on air conditioning, many units generate heat of their own while the fan is running. Thankfully, there are also indoor plants that can tackle humidity and poor air quality. Cacti and succulents (xerophytes) are native to deserts and adapted to pull moisture from the air. Mosses and orchids and other “air plants”, epiphytes, don’t have deep growing roots. They also pull moisture from the air in order to keep hydrated. Peace lilies, Boston ferns, spider plants, and English ivy are just a few other plants that will improve air quality. They range in how much attention they need but, in general, do not demand much upkeep.
These plants dehumidify air but also absorb chemicals that might be present. Although they do require some attention, anyone with a cactus will tell you how low maintenance a plant can be. And if you have to be inside, you might as well bring some of the outside with you.
Dehumidifying the home is not only a priority for those with breathing issues. Good air quality can contribute to better overall health and minimize chances of developing respiratory problems later in life. Thankfully, there are many options out there to keep a home’s air quality healthy.