One of the keys for having a healthy and comfortable home is keeping the humidity levels inside in check. It is recommended that humidity levels in homes should be kept between 30% and 50%. We need some humidity, but too much or too little can create problems for homeowners.
Humidity is the term used to describe how much moisture or water vapor is in the air. When the humidity gets too low in your home, particularly in the colder winter months, humidity can drop as low as 10% inside your home. This takes its toll on your body and causes you to have dry skin, lips and hair, and scratchy and sore throats and noses. It also dries out the membranes in your nose and throat, making you more susceptible to colds and other illnesses.
Low humidity can also take its toll on your home. You will notice shrinkage in your woodwork and furniture, as well as hardwood floor separation and warping, peeling of your wallpaper, loosening drawers, and the emergence of molding gaps.
Having a comfortable life is about balance, of course, and too much humidity can cause discomfort and damage in your home as well. When the humidity and heat is high in a home, it disrupts the body’s ability to cool itself off, which can lead to heatstroke. People with asthma or heart conditions are particularly susceptible to health issues when humidity levels get too high.
A high level of humidity is also a cause of allergic reactions, particularly when it comes to allergens such as dust mites and mold. The moisture makes it easier for molds to reproduce, and dust mites thrive in these conditions.
Humidity’s effect on your home can be problematic too. Too much humidity can cause a build up of moisture and condensation in your home. This will cause wet stains on ceilings and walls, mold, and musty odors. Structural damage can occur too, with rot occurring from the moisture. It can also attract bugs that are looking for water.
Once you verify the problem you’ve having, whether it’s high humidity or low humidity, it is time to take action. For low humidity, you should buy a humidifier to put some moisture back in the air. Having houseplants and cooking with the lids off of pots and pans can also help. For high humidity, buy a dehumidifier, ventilate the damp areas of your home, and turn your humidifier off. These are all things that will make your home more comfortable and will benefit your health.