That leaky toilet you forgot to repair in the summer might be the reason your heat pump isn't performing well once the weather gets cold in the winter. A leaky toilet can create a lot of moisture or humidity in the air, especially when it leaks around the tank. If your heat pump needs to work overtime to remove excessive humidity in your bathroom, you may face higher utility bills in the upcoming months. Don't let your leaky toilet flush your heat pump's performance down the drain.

How Can Your Bathroom Become Humid When It's Cold Outside?

A leaky tank can create more problems than you expect. Because your toilet's tank holds gallons of water, any water leaking from the tank can greatly increase the bathroom's humidity levels – even in the winter.

When the air around water becomes hot enough, the water evaporates and turns into a gas. This is called humidity. You can't see humidity until it becomes condensation or liquid on the walls, mirrors or wall tile of your bathroom. The water leaking from your toilet's tank can eventually create bathroom humidity if the room gets hot enough. And that usually happens when you take hot showers.

Once you take a hot shower, the heat produced by the water mixes with the humid air until it forms steam. Steam is a gas that turns into condensation once it comes into contact with hard surfaces, such as your bathroom's mirrors. You might even notice that the mirrors take longer to clear up after your showers. That's because your heat pump is working harder than usual to remove the excessive moisture from the bathroom.

Why Can't Your Heat Pump Remove the Humidity Like It's Designed to Do?

You might think that your heat pump is the reason for the bathroom's high humidity because it isn't working right, but that's probably not the case. Your heat pump is designed to exchange cold air and moisture when it sends hot air into the room. However, it uses a different method of heating your home than a traditional furnace or central heating and air conditioner does.

A heat pump literally pulls hot air from the cold air on the outside of the home and transfers or "pumps" it to the inside of the home. If the weather is freezing outdoors, the heat pump will have to work harder at finding and obtaining hot air from it. Although it may take longer to do this, the heat pump will eventually warm up your home.

In addition, the heat pump must contend with the excessive humidity that's already inside your bathroom. Instead of pulling all of the humidity from the room, the heat pump only removes some of it. The heat pump may also stay on longer to do this, which increases the energy usage in your home.

But you can do something to help your heat pump fight the excessive bathroom humidity. You can repair the leaky toilet by contacting a professional plumber, using a site like Until the plumber arrives, you need to reduce or get rid of some the bathroom's humidity.

How Can You Reduce Your Bathroom's Humidity?

There are a few things you can do to cut down on your bathroom's humidity and improve your heat pump's performance. The main problem is that leak around your toilet's tank. Until the plumber fixes it, you can take steps to soak up the water before it even hits the floor.

Here's what you can do:

  • You can place a large, cotton bath towel around the leaky tank to soak up the water. You need to remove and replace the towel every day to keep it from becoming too soaked.
  • You can place old blankets and rags around the base of the toilet to catch the water.
  • You can place a dehumidifier in the bathroom to reduce the condensation when you shower, as well as the humidity in the room.

After a day or so, your heat pump may come on and turn off like it normally should. The less humidity it has to remove, the better it performs.

These simply tips can help remedy the problem temporarily. For the best results, you should schedule your plumbing appointment as soon as you can.