Humidity Issues with Florida Homes    
Humidity Issues

Facts About Humidity and issues facing Florida homes


Besides hurricanes humidity probably causes the most damage to Florida homes. The bottom line is to keep humidity levels down to avoid mold growth and maintain a healthy enviroment inside your home.


Let's face it, Florida has a problem with humidity. With all the rain and very hot weather you have a constant battle to reduce humidity in your home. Humidity is the amount of moisture or water vapor in the air. Indoor plants produce moisture. We add water vapor to indoor air through many household activities: showering, bathing, cooking and doing laundry. We need humidity for our health and comfort. Problems often occur during the summer season when our windows are closed, and indoor air circulation and ventilation are reduced.

Relative Humidity
Humidity is normally measured as relative humidity (RH). RH is a percentage that indicates the amount of moisture in the air relative to the maximum amount the air can hold at that temperature. Set
your humidistat to 58 percent RH to maintain acceptable humidity when leaving for an extended period of time, since some humidistat sensors are inaccurate by as many as 10 percentage points.


Diagnosing the Humidity Problem
You want to be able to diagnose a humidity problem inside your home and take the nessessary steps to correct a problem. A simple way to check your humidity level is to use an instrument called a hygrometer ( relative humidity indicator). This can measure the humidity level in your home and confirm whether the house has too much or too little humidity.

Humidistats

A home should have air flow to keep moisture down. I recommend leaving ceiling fans on low to circulate the air. Leave all closet doors open and all doors under sinks open. Good air flow will reduce chances of mold and mildew.

I recommend a humidistat setting of 50% and the AC set at 78 to 80 to degrees. Humidistats are inaccurate. So, set it lower to compensate. They can be 10 percentage points off.

When your home, the humidistat should be set to the 'On' position. Most modern systems have humidity control built inside the thermostat.

How to Gauge Indoor Humidity
Frequent fogging of windows may indicate too much humidity. The appropriate relative humidity will allow only slight condensation along the lower edges or corners of windows. More condensation could be damaging.
Moisture buildup or mold on closet walls or room ceilings and walls indicates high humidity.

Steps to lower humidity in your home

Use kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans while cooking and bathing.
Cook with pans covered.
Take shorter showers with cooler water.
Reduce the number of plants in your home or water them less; they release water vapor into the environment.
Vent clothes dryer to the outside.
Turn air conditioning to a lower temperture during hot humid weather.