An exhaust fan is a must in a bathroom, because it whisks away the humidity that can allow mold and mildew to grow. Not only is that unsightly, but it’s a health risk as well, since mold spores can aggravate asthma and other respiratory issues. Excess humidity can also damage drywall, musical instruments, and wooden furniture.
Listen to BOB VILA ON HUMIDITY GAUGES or read the text below:
But your bathroom is not the only room in the house that may be too damp—basements are the worst culprits, but humidity may be too high in any room, especially this time of year in the New York area. The only way to tell is to check with a humidity gauge, called a hygrometer, a small sensor that can tell you the temperature and humidity level in any room. These little gauges are available at home centers, hardware stores, even many housewares departments.
The ideal humidity range for your home is between 35 and 45 percent. If your hygrometer shows a reading above 50 percent, you need to take action. You can reduce the humidity in a room by turning on an air conditioner, which takes moisture out of the air as it cools the air, or by running a dehumidifier. Be sure that any appliance that adds moisture to your home, like the stove or the clothes dryer, is vented to the outside.
Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 75 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.