Tag Archives: indoor humidity

How to Naturally Reduce Humidity in Your Home

How to Naturally Reduce Humidity in Your HomeIn our region, high humidity in the home can be a problem. In summer when the air is warm, it will hold more moisture and make us feel warmer than we need to. That means turning the air conditioner down just to feel comfortable. Any time of the year, high humidity can encourage the growth of mold, mildew and fungus, which can destroy paper, drywall, paint and other materials — plus, it’s unhealthful to breathe these pollutants.

The best way to control humidity is to install a whole-house dehumidifier. Under most circumstances, your A/C performs that function adequately, but if you have an excessively moist home, it can be overwhelmed.

Learn how to reduce humid conditions with the following tips and maybe you’ll see results that will help you until you can plan for a dehumidifier.

Tips for Reducing Too-Humid Conditions

  1. Sequester plants. Having lots of plants in the home is a lovely way to decorate and to improve air quality, but plants also raise moisture levels. Round them up and move them to one room.
  2. Keep your air filter clean. A dirty air filter won’t do as good a job allowing proper air flow into your HVAC system. Slower air flow can mean the system won’t dehumidify the air as effectively. Change the air filter frequently.
  3. Take shorter showers. If you live with several people, long and frequent showering can up moisture in the air significantly. Ask people to take shorter showers. Crack the window and run a fan so the humidity can escape.
  4. Install kitchen or bathroom ventilation. Ventilation exhaust fans are not expensive to purchase or install, and they do a a great job of removing moisture from bathrooms and around the kitchen range.
  5. Fix leaks asap. As soon as you realize a faucet, a pipe, the attic or ceiling is leaking water, fix the leak so you prevent flooding and lower moisture levels. Also be vigilant about the HVAC’s condensate drain; a plugged drain can also boost air moisture.

To learn more about lowering humidity, contact Roth Heating and Cooling of Portland.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland, Oregon area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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HRV and ERV Troubleshooting Tips that Keep Your Ventilation Working

HRV and ERV Troubleshooting Tips that Keep Your Ventilation WorkingA few heat recovery ventilation (HRV) and energy recovery ventilation (ERV) troubleshooting tips can keep fresh air moving in and stale, stagnant air moving out of your home. The goal of HRV and ERV is to intake and exhaust air in balanced amounts, without compromising heating and cooling. Heat energy is transferred from the warmer air stream to the cooler air stream. In summer, that means heat in the incoming fresh air is moved to the outgoing air stream to prevent burdening your A/C. During winter, the opposite occurs. Up to 85 percent of heat is recovered from an HRV system. ERV units also transfer humidity in addition to heat, reducing the accumulation of indoor humidity in summer and preventing excessively dry air conditions in winter.

Both ventilation systems consist of small-diameter, dedicated intake and exhaust ducts routed through a central controller that incorporates twin blower fans, filter media and the heat/humidity exchange core. HRVs and ERVs impose minimal maintenance requirements and only a few HRV and ERV troubleshooting tips are generally necessary for proper operation. The following are a few common problems and how to troubleshoot them:

  • No Power: Is a circuit breaker tripped? Reset any tripped breakers and try again. If the tripped breaker recurs, contact your qualified HVAC service provider.
  • Low Air Flow: Reusable filters should be removed and cleaned at regular intervals per manufacturer’s instructions, generally every other month. If air flow is not improved, contact a professional.
  • HRV Leaking Condensate: This is usually a drain issue. Is the condensate drain line kinked or obstructed? Make sure the drain line is routed on a slope to allow gravity flow of water.
  • ERV Unresponsive: If outdoor temperatures fall below 23 degrees, an automatic defrost cycle activates to prevent a frozen central core. While the defrost cycle is active—up to 20 minutes—operation is interrupted. After defrost is completed, normal function should return. If not, call a qualified service technician.

For more HRV and ERV troubleshooting tips and professional service to remedy the trouble, in Portland contact Roth Heating & Cooling.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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Too Humid in Your Home? Here’s How to Reduce It

Too Humid in Your Home? Here's How to Reduce ItPortland summers mean higher outdoor humidity levels, and that means that conditions inside your home can be affected too. Not only is a humid house extremely uncomfortable, but it can also cause serious damage to your property, compromise your health and cost you more in cooling expenses. Fortunately, managing this issue is easier than you might think. By learning how to detect and reduce indoor humidity, you can save yourself a lot of grief and cash this season.

Signs You Need to Reduce Indoor Humidity

In some cases, excessive indoor humidity levels may be obvious. If you ever feel like you’re living inside of a sauna, you probably already know that you have a problem. Sometimes, though, the issue is less apparent. Be on the look out for:

  • Wood damage
  • Water stains on walls and ceilings
  • Mold and mildew
  • Condensation on windows
  • Allergy problems

How to Reduce Indoor Humidity

There are a number of ways to affordably lower humidity levels within your home. Following are a few suggestions:

  • Assess ventilation – Clothes dryers, kitchen hoods, and bathroom fans should be vented outside.
  • Adjust fan settings – Don’t leave your fan in the “on” position. By setting it to automatic, you’ll prevent re-humidifying your house as a result of air being blown over a wet coil when the condenser cycles off.
  • Seal leaks – Air and duct leaks are a major contributing factor to excess humidity within the home. Take the time to find and seal off these leaks.
  • Use vapor barriers – If the basement or other areas of your home have dirt floors, it’s a good idea to cover the earth with a plastic vapor barrier.
  • Use a dehumidifierDehumidifiers are a great way to reduce moisture levels in specific areas of the house.
  • Cook smarter – On humid days, it’s a good idea to avoid boiling water on your stove. Preparing meals with a slow cooker will result in much less evaporation and humidity.

For more useful tips on how to reduce indoor humidity, get in touch with the experts at Roth Heating & Cooling. We’re proud to serve the greater Portland area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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Why Indoor Air Pollution Is a Worthy Concern for the Average Homeowner

Why Indoor Air Pollution Is a Worthy Concern for the Average HomeownerOutdoors, you have to deal with car exhaust, pollen and dust, but inside your home is a haven, right? The truth is that many Americans assume their indoor air is cleaner than it is. In reality, indoor air is as polluted as outdoor air because it has none of the natural ventilation of breezes or cleaning from rain. And when Americans spend most of their time indoors, indoor air pollution can have a big effect on health.

What Contributes to Poor Indoor Air?

Many things impact your indoor air quality. A few common causes of indoor pollution include:

  • Chemical and aerosol cleaners, such as bleach and furniture polish respectively
  • Natural household dust and pet dander
  • Dirt and pollen tracked in from the outdoors
  • Cooking odors and combustion residue from candles and malfunctioning appliances, such as gas furnaces or stoves
  • Carbon monoxide and other harmful chemicals from combustion appliances without proper ventilation
  • Mold, mildew and bacteria from poor humidity management

What Can You Do to Manage Indoor Air Pollution?

There are many ways to manage air pollution in your Portland home. Following are strategies you can employ:

  • Speak with your local HVAC professional about ventilation options for your home. Getting rid of the old air in your home and bringing in fresh air can do a lot to raise your air quality.
  • Change the air filter once a month. A clogged filter lowers circulation through your home. A clean air filter, however, catches and removes particulate pollution from your home.
  • Install an air cleaner. A consultation with a licensed contractor can help you decide what kind of air cleaner is best for your home. A UV light can sterilize your air, killing off mold and mildew spores. A HEPA filter can clean your home’s air, catching particles as small as viruses.
  • Manage indoor humidity. High humidity contributes to mold, mildew, fungus and bacteria, while low humidity raises dust levels.

To learn more about handling indoor air pollution in your Portland home, contact the home comfort pros at Roth Heating & Cooling!

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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