If you live in Charleston, South Carolina, you know that summers are hot and humid. Extreme temperatures and high humidity levels can make your HVAC system work overtime. A system that is working properly is able to cool your home despite the rising temperatures outside and reduce the indoor humidity to appropriate levels. So what are some signs that the system is not working to optimal levels? And what are the optimal humidity levels?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the ideal indoor humidity level is between 40% and 50%. Humidity levels that are higher than 50% not only cause the air your breathe to be uncomfortable, but it can be bad for your home and your health. Humidity levels higher than 50% can cause increased bacterial levels, dust mite infestations, as well as mold growth in many areas of your home. This can lead to serious health issues for you and your loved ones.
If you suspect you may have mold in your home, call a professional HVAC system to repair your damaged HVAC system, but don't forget to also call BioSweep Southeast to assess, treat and sanitize your entire living space. This last step is key, since fixing the HVAC system does not guarantee that the indoor mold spores and bacteria levels will be reduced if the system has not been working properly for an extended period of time. It is important to clean and sanitize your entire home and ductwork system.
With the above information in mind, here are some signs to look out for that high levels of humidity are affecting your home.
7 Signs of High Humidity in Your Home
1. Condensation around vents. If you notice condensation around the vents (as pictured above) or stains around your vents or in your ceilings, you probably have excess moisture in the air.
2. Mildew smell or clammy air. High levels of humidity can cause the air in your home to feel moist and clammy. This usually results in an unpleasant musty smell.
3. Foggy windows. Humidity is essentially vaporized water in the air, so when it is trapped in your home, it can fog the windows.
4. Visible mold. Have you spotted a mold stain in your home? Excess humidity (especially in areas of your home that are partial to moisture like the bathroom, kitchen and laundry room), can quickly become a problem. Mold spores are usually found in the ambient air, but if they find the perfect living conditions - like a warm, moist area in your home - they will grow and spread quickly.
5. Rotting wood. If you notice rotting wood around your home, it could be a sign of excess moisture. We commonly see rotting wood in crawlspaces, on window and door frames, or in the attic.
6. Buckling floors. Are the wooden floors in your home buckling? This could indicate that the wood is expanding due to the high humidity levels and this creates buckling.
7. Allergies are more intense. If you suffer from allergies that seem to worsen inside your home, it could be caused by poor indoor air quality. Excess moisture in the air can cause airborne allergens like mold spores to grow and spread, which can increase allergy signs and symptoms.
There are lots of dehumidifiers out there to help control the humidity levels in your home. Typically, however, a system that is working properly is able to control the humidity levels without the need for additional dehumidifiers.
If you suspect that high humidity levels are causing mold to grow in your home, give us a call.