How to Neutralize Humidity in the Pantry
Humidity management is a critically important — though often overlooked — part of keeping a sanitary and safe home for your family. Too much indoor humidity can cause a buildup of excess moisture in your pantry or anywhere else in your home. Excessive moisture can, in turn, lead to mold growth, wood rot, human health problems and many other issues. Luckily, you can avoid these problems through controlling humidity levels in parts of your home that are more prone to moisture buildup, such as the pantry.
Open windows for ventilation to circulate air inside the pantry. This is a simple and inexpensive method for lowering the humidity inside your pantry but only effective when relative humidity outside is lower than humidity inside. If wind alone does not circulate enough air inside the pantry, use fans or the whole house fan feature of your central air conditioning system.
Look for sources of excess moisture inside the pantry. If natural ventilation alone does not lower relative humidity inside, this could be an indication that excess moisture exists inside your home. Inspect plumbing connections and appliances for any leaks, mildew or condensation. Repair any leaks you observe and measure the relative humidity inside the pantry to see if a leak was causing humidity in the pantry to spike.
Use an electric dehumidifier if the preceding steps do not successfully reduce relative humidity inside the pantry. Dehumidifiers range in size, but for a small area like the pantry, an inexpensive, small dehumidifier should suffice. Be sure to continue measuring relative humidity inside the pantry to check that the dehumidifier is working.
- The Environmental Protection Agency recommends a relative humidity level of 30 to 50 percent for all rooms in the home; maintaining relative humidity within this ideal range will ensure everyone’s comfort and prevent problems associated with high relative humidity. You can measure relative humidity with a hygrometer, also called a humidity sensor or relative humidity indicator.
Eoghan McCloskey is a technical support representative and part-time musician who holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and political science from Texas State University. While at Texas State, McCloskey worked as a writing tutor at the Texas State Writing Center, proofreading and editing everything from freshman book reports to graduate theses.