High humidity signals in your home:
Windows in home have vapor, water drops, or ice forming on interior glass, typically seen on the lower 1”-3” of the glass and often tapering up the sides. Water should be kept off wood windows and doors to prevent finish and eventually wood damage. When window coverings are closed condition may cover entire window surface. Condition is more common in homes built under later building codes due to tighter vapor barrier construction.
Musty smell, mold growth in areas of little air flow: showers, storage areas, basements, closets, etc. sticky feeling when touching wood work or other smooth surfaces, tight fitting doors and windows, cabinet drawers that stick or bind.
Suggested steps to remedy condition:
Reduce sources of humidity and/or vent to exterior (see sources listed below). Use air conditioner in summer months. Use bathroom vent fans and kitchen fans to vent steam to exterior. Leave shades open or slightly open will allow cold air to escape window area reducing condensation/ice buildup and allow for evaporation. Clean windows will be less likely to have moisture buildup.
Dehumidify air in house:
i.e.: room dehumidifiers work well and will work year-round to condense and remove moisture from air, I recommend use of one in any basement in addition to use of air conditioning in summer months. Air to air exchangers are often used in the very latest building code application. After much research I have found that air exchangers do not technically mechanically dehumidify air. They in fact exchange indoor air for outside air (which in colder months tends to be dryer. In warmer months they actually increase humidity within the home. ) while exchanging some percent of the air temperature. It is also very important to maintain the fresh air intake hood to prevent blockage, clean filter and air exchanger periodically for optimal performance. Air exchangers have an added benefit of providing fresh air and removing built up contaminates from within the home.
Typical sources of humidity:
Bath and shower steam, cooking, dishwashers vented to home interior, line drying clothes indoors, improperly vented: clothes dryer, water heater, furnace. Carpet cleaning, any standing water: aquariums, potpourri steamers. Room humidifier, furnace humidifier not used properly, ground water seepage, humidity build up in drywall, woodwork, and other building materials in humid summer months. Roof/exterior water leaks, plumbing leaks, etc.