Year-round, the average relative humidity in New Jersey ranges from 76% to 87%. It’s a damp place to live. This climate benefits our gardens and our days at the beach, but it doesn’t benefit our homes and interior temperature regulation.

However, when a home’s relative humidity is above 50%, the increased condensation causes mold to spread, paint to peel, wood to decay, and carpet to heave. Damage aside, humidity and heat together make for an uncomfortable living space. Nobody wants to sit in a hot and steamy house or to sleep in damp sheets.

To protect your home from the effects of moisture and make yourself more comfortable this summer, you have to reduce humidity in your house. Below, we’ll discuss how you can recognize signs of excessive humidity in your home and what you can do to lower it.

Recognize Signs of Humidity

The biggest indicator of humidity in your home is condensation. You’ll see moisture beads on the wall or droplets hanging from the bottom of pipes.

There are some more subtle indicators that can be easy to overlook. Carefully inspect your ceiling and walls for dark spots, as these patches are early indicators of mold. Look closely at your wood furniture (such as tables, chairs, doors, and sofa legs) for swelling decay. Watch for peeling paint and wallpaper. Go into your basement, laundry room, and bathrooms and check for a musty smell.

If any of these indicators are present, you likely have excessive moisture in your home.

Decrease Humidity Inside Your House

When you recognize some or all of these signs, you want to address the moisture problem as best as you can. Here are some steps we recommend.

Run Your Air Conditioner

Unlike dry climates, New Jersey isn’t a place where you can stay cool without air conditioning. The open windows and running fans will increase the airflow in your home, but won’t necessarily make the interior temperature cool enough for you to feel comfortable.

Set your air conditioning unit to dry mode and run it while you are home. This setting should simultaneously reduce the temperature and the humidity, making you comfortable and protecting your home from excessive moisture and water-related damage.

Increase Airflow With Exhaust Fans

More airflow means less condensation buildup throughout your house. Open windows and doors across from one another and create cross-ventilation. If the temperature is too high as you cross-ventilate your house, use standing fans to increase airflow and cool down your home.

The most effective way to increase airflow is to install exhaust fans. They maximize air circulation and remove moisture from your home’s interior. Install them in the most moisture-prone areas of your house, like the bathroom, laundry room, basement, and kitchen.

Wash and Dry a Full Loads

Dishwashers, washing machines, and dryers produce a ton of moisture in your home. To decrease the humidity they create, only run them when you have a full load of dirty dishes or soiled clothes. Try to run them simultaneously if your water heater can accommodate it, and leave your windows and doors open as you do.

We also recommend taking shorter showers. Remember to leave your bathroom fan on and crack your bathroom door. This tip reduce the overall moisture in your home and lowers reduces your energy and water use-and your utility bills as well.

Get Your HVAC System Inspected

As we approach warmer temperatures, get your heating, ventilation, and air conditioner inspected-and, if necessary, fixed. You may need to replace your filters and clean your vents so your system can run efficiently throughout the season.

A New Jersey-based plumbing, heating, and air conditioning repair service can access your A/C unit and central air system and provide any necessary repairs it might require.