If your home is extremely humid, then you probably see water condensing on your windows and forming on your cold drinks. You likely notice that your skin feels clammy and sweaty and wood floors appear more bowed than usual. The formation of mold and mildew and an increase in insect activity may tip you off that there is simply too much moisture in the air too. If you live in a humid area of the country like New Orleans, Jacksonville, Houston, Orlando, or Rochester, then you may need to invest in a whole house dehumidifier to take care of the moisture. However, if the moisture seems like a new thing, then you may want to investigate your home to find a potential cause first. Keep reading to learn about a few things you should look for.
Moisture From the AC System
If you use a central air conditioner during the summer months, then the AC may be adding moisture to your home. If the thermostat is turned down low, then there may be a small amount of ice forming on the cooling coils, and the ice might be adding moisture to the air. Typically, moisture is pulled out of the air in the form of condensation. This happens as the air turns from warm to cold. As the cold air is moved through the vents, the condensation is left behind on the cooling coils. As the condensation builds, it drips down into a pan, and a drain forces the water away from the air conditioner.
But if your AC system is constantly running, then the condensation on the cooling coils may begin to freeze. Cold coolant lines as well as the cool air moving through the vents can cause the freezing issue.
To see if there is a central air conditioning issue, turn off the system. Remove the metal cover from the system that sits in your basement. Visually inspect the cooling coils for ice, and look to see if the drain pan is full. If you see these things, then keep the system off for several hours or until the ice melts. Allow the water to drain fully and turn up the thermostat. This will allow moisture to leave the system and also keep the AC from overworking and creating more ice and moisture that can enter the home.
Investigate all the basement, bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room plumbing to look for sweaty pipes. Sweaty pipes are pipes that are covered with a layer of condensation. While pipes do not sweat or simply build with water through small holes or openings, the condensation may be a sign of a plumbing leak. A plumbing leak is likely to increase the humidity in your home.
Pipes build with condensation as cold water runs through them. This water is colder than the ambient air in your basement, kitchen, or bathroom. This cools the air that comes into contact with the pipes, and the cooled air leaves behind moisture. This moisture is often called pipe sweat. Water that remains still in your pipes will become room temperature. This means that the pipe sweat is only going to be seen when cold water is running through a pipe.
If you see pipe sweat on pipes that have not been used within the last hour or so, then you know that water is running through the pipes and a leak is possible. Try not to use water for several hours and then look at all the exposed pipes in your home. Also, look at the toilet tank. If you see sweat, then contact a plumbing professional to investigate the leak issue. A fix may reduce humidity in your house significantly.
For more information and options, talk with dehumidification experts in your area.