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How do you keep humidity down?


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My number 1 allergy is mold. And I live in the deep south. We have purchased dehumidifiers and run them in bathrooms and areas that are prone to higher humidity. In the summer we run the AC (mainly because it feels like 200 degrees, but the dehumidifying part helps too).

 

Now, in the last week of Feb, it is 80 degrees and very humid. The house is not really hot enough for AC because our night time temps are still cool enough that the house is not holding heat too much (yet). Budget wise, I hate to run the unit with the temp set on 70. The dehumidifiers smell very musty and unpleasant when they turn on, despite regular maintenance. So we are no longer using them for fear they are becoming mold reservoirs.

 

So, how do I keep mold from growing? I run ceiling fans throughout the house and tower fans in bathrooms and such. I run the AC periodically throughout the day to lower the humidity. Any more ideas that are less costly??

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I would recommend running the AC even though it's cool enough at night. Run it during the day - it can be on low fan, and just cool enough so it turns on at least intermittently during the day. In the south, cooler temps don't mean dry air. :tongue_smilie: If you don't already have one, get a hydrometer so you know what your actual percent of humidity is, and then run the ac accordingly.

 

For things that don't cost money, figure out if there are ways to reduce the amount of moisture in the air that you create. In other words, how much cooking involves boiling without a lid on the pot? Is there adequate venting in the bathroom for venting during and after a shower? Is your dryer well vented? Do you hang dry clothes outside instead of inside? If you have pool towels, do you dry them outside instead of inside? All these things will make a difference.

 

We battle the humidity too. :)

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Many Southern homes are built on a slab or have a crawl space. Ours is the latter. We had a humidity issue until we realized that we did not have a vapor barrier in the crawl. That with open vents in the crawl space for much of the year has reduced the overall humidity in the house.

 

Do you have windows or proper ventilation in your bathrooms? I'm wondering if you need to upgrade exhaust fans there. Just running a tower fan in the bathroom may direct moisture back into the house as opposed to removing it.

 

Ugh..good luck!

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Thanks ladies!!! I've put DampRid in all the rooms. Not my first choice, but figured it couldn't hurt. Dh completely took the dehumidifier apart and cleaned it top to bottom. I'm no longer leaving damp towels to dry, I'm either washing and drying them directly, or hanging them out to dry. Same with clothes. If they can't go in the dryer, they go outside.

 

I had not considered my cooking style. I will pay more attention to that. I could use the gas grill for boiling things.

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Some ways to cut down on the steam from boiling:

 

Use your grill or an electric burner outside

Cover the pot

Run the vent when cooking (make sure it's vented outside and not into the attic)

Boil twice as much as you need for one meal, so you'll just need to reheat for the next time

 

An easy way to reduce the humidity in closets and other small spaces is to keep a bulb on - 40 or 60 watts may be enough.

Edited by Teachin'Mine
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We're in AL and I keep DampRid in the bathrooms and closets. I am also running the AC right now. I refuse to set it below 72, but it has still been running during the day at 76. Yes, it has been warm lately. We have terrible mold allergies here. I clean the showers weekly and try to make sure that the shower curtain is not bunched up after each kid showers. That way it dries and doesn't develop mold. I wash the curtain and platic liner regularly. I also make sure that I leave the door to my washer open slightly after each load so that it has a chance to dry out between loads.

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