Let me 'splain. Most people are comfy at around 25% - 40% humidity. If the humidity level is really low, you'll feel colder than if it's inside this range. If the humidity is really high, you'll feel colder. And damp. Many of us have more problems being on the high humidity end of things than those of you in the desert. Our area averages over 80% humidity outside this time of year.
So, every year, one of the questions people ask during the Freeze Yer Buns Challenge is in regards to the issue with condensation and mold and what to do about it. Well, you have a few options. You can turn the heat up, you can lower the humidity with a dehumidifier or you can just bear with it.
As for condensation, it all really comes down to relative humidity compared to the outside. The University of MN came up with some guidelines for the recommended humidity levels for houses (bear in mind these are for 70 degree indoor temps):
|Outside Temperature||Inside Humidity|
|20º to 40ºF||Not over 40%|
|10º to 20ºF||Not over 35%|
|0º to 10ºF||Not over 30%|
|-10º to 0ºF||Not over 25%|
|-20º to –10ºF||Not over 20%|
|-20ºF or below||Not over 15%|
Usually, we just deal with the condensation problem. But this year, because we've had more problems with condensation and I'm sick of fighting the mold, I invested in a dehumidifier. Not too shockingly, when I started it up in our bedroom after using the shower, the humidity was 90%. It's a neat little appliance on rollers so I've been moving it from room to room to reduce the humidity. It sucks water out of the air like there's no tomorrow. My son's room is also a haven for moisture collection and, after running it for a few hours, it collects several cups of water.
So, instead of living in a terrarium, our windows are looking a lot drier. I'm assuming that we won't have to run it as often once the general humidity is lowered overall but, with showers, cooking and just breathing, fighting the humidity is a never-ending battle around these parts.
Do you have a problem with moisture build-up and condensation in your home? How do you deal with it? Do you notice if it's worse when you keep the thermostat lower?