Home Inspector Recommends Humidity Solutions for Homes Without Air Conditioning

Living in a home without air conditioning can be challenging, especially during hot and humid months. Excess humidity not only makes living conditions uncomfortable but also poses risks to your home’s structural integrity and overall health. Recognizing these challenges, home inspectors have highlighted several effective solutions to manage indoor humidity levels for homeowners lacking air conditioning.

Understanding Humidity and Its Effects

Humidity refers to the amount of moisture present in the air. High humidity levels can lead to a slew of problems, such as mold growth, wood rot, peeling paint, and damage to electronics. Moreover, it can exacerbate allergies and respiratory conditions while making it more difficult for the body to cool down naturally through perspiration.

Ventilation: The First Line of Defense

Proper ventilation is crucial in controlling humidity levels. Homes without air conditioning can benefit significantly from the following ventilation strategies:

  • Use Exhaust Fans: Install exhaust fans in high moisture areas like kitchens and bathrooms. These fans help expel humid air outdoors, reducing indoor humidity levels.
  • Open Windows and Doors: Whenever possible, open windows and doors to promote cross-ventilation. This natural airflow can help circulate and disperse humid air.
  • Ceiling and Portable Fans: Using ceiling fans and portable fans can improve airflow and help evaporate moisture from the air and skin, creating a more comfortable environment.

Dehumidifiers: Targeted Moisture Control

Dehumidifiers are an excellent investment for homes without air conditioning. They work by extracting excess moisture from the air, effectively lowering indoor humidity levels. Key points to consider when using dehumidifiers include:

  • Sizing: Choose the correct size dehumidifier based on the room’s square footage. Larger rooms may require more powerful units or multiple dehumidifiers.
  • Placement: Place dehumidifiers in the most humid rooms, such as basements, laundry rooms, or bathrooms, for optimal effectiveness.
  • Maintenance: Regularly empty the water collection container and clean the filter to ensure the dehumidifier runs efficiently.

Addressing Home Construction and Landscaping

The construction and design of your home can significantly impact humidity levels. Consider the following tips:

  • Insulation: Proper insulation helps maintain indoor temperature and humidity levels by limiting the amount of warm, humid air entering your home.
  • Seal Gaps and Cracks: Ensure that windows, doors, and other openings are properly sealed to prevent humid air from seeping into your home.
  • Landscaping: Grade the land around your home to slope away from the foundation, reducing the likelihood of water infiltration and subsequent humidity issues.

Houseplants: Natural Humidity Regulators

Certain houseplants can absorb moisture from the air, helping to naturally reduce humidity levels. Notable examples include:

  • Boston Fern: Known for its high absorption capacity, the Boston fern thrives in humid environments and can help dehumidify indoor spaces.
  • Spider Plant: Easy to care for, the spider plant is effective at absorbing excess moisture and improving air quality.
  • Peace Lily: The peace lily not only dehumidifies but also purifies the air, making it a beneficial addition to any home.

Behavioral Adjustments to Control Humidity

Making simple changes to daily habits can also help manage indoor humidity:

  • Avoid Boiling Water Unnecessarily: Boiling water adds moisture to the air, so try to minimize this activity during humid periods.
  • Hang Clothes Outdoors: Opt to dry clothes outside rather than using an indoor drying rack, which can release moisture into your home.
  • Cover Pans While Cooking: Use lids to trap steam and minimize humidity from cooking activities.


Managing indoor humidity in homes without air conditioning requires a multi-faceted approach. By understanding the principles of ventilation, using dehumidifiers, ensuring proper home construction, leveraging houseplants, and making behavioral adjustments, homeowners can create a more comfortable and healthier living environment. Taking these proactive steps can mitigate the effects of humidity, preserving your home’s integrity and enhancing overall well-being.

Spokane Home Inspector