Ideal Indoor Humidity Levels & How To Control Them At Home

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Gina Napsin
June 03, 2024
Heating & Cooling
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Did you realize that humidity is crucial to the health of your house as well? We all know how essential humidity can be to your skin, hair, and general health. Your furnishings and home may decay, and some microorganisms will flourish in an environment with low humidity in the house. Let's discuss the humidity levels you should maintain in your house year-round, know the effects of low humidity on the body and several methods to control it.

What Is Humidity?

The amount of water vapor in the air is measured as humidity. This indicates that the air in humid locations is generally more moist or wet than the air in low-humidity areas. Humidity values between 40% and 60% relative humidity are ideal for human comfort and health.
Around 45% humidity is considered excellent and seldom occurs naturally. Excessive moisture could be more pleasant to deal with. It is much worse when your house has higher amounts of moisture and humidity. It can frequently feel warm, slick, and downright revolting. But the risk goes beyond just making you feel awful. Higher humidity and moisture levels pose a severe risk to your property's structure, surfaces, and general condition. As a result of the summer's excessive humidity, you should purchase a dehumidifier.
The appropriate humidity levels vary from space to space and season to season. To help decrease dust mites and allergies, a bedroom has to have a relative humidity of around 50% year-round. Maintaining adequate humidity levels, which should remain at a suitable moist since it's much nicer on your mucous membranes, will help you sleep better. Furthermore, even if less than 60% humidity is desirable in the summer, it is 25% and 40% in the winter. Increased humidity during the winter months might also lead to problems.

Effects of Low Humidity and Dry Air

You may have heard concerns from folks who reside in humid climates. Typically, their worries revolve around things like their skin turning oily at the end of a hot day, having trouble styling their hair, or discovering mildew beneath their kitchen sink cabinets.
But let's pay attention to the drawbacks of dry air and low humidity. Have you ever had chapped lips, dry skin, or eyes in the morning? Do you frequently have allergic responses that cause a sore throat, coughing, or allergy and asthma attacks? Your nasal passages and respiratory system dry up as a result of the low humidity in the air, which leads to these allergies and deteriorating health.
Your hardwood flooring, drywall, furniture, and wooden instruments may eventually start to dry out and crack. Low humidity makes paper, books, and magazines brittle, which is significant for book and art collectors. You could also experience issues with the level of static electricity, which can shock you and worsen headaches, skin irritation, and other illnesses.

How To Know If The Air In Your House Is Too Dry

It might be challenging to determine whether the air inside your home is too dry without a hygrometer. This device resembles a thermometer and is used to monitor humidity levels. Our research shows that most homeowners are aware of the signs of dry air long before they realize they have a problem. Here are some of the most typical symptoms of dry indoor air to assist you in determining if your home's air may be affected:
  • Static Electricity. Ever had anything or someone zapped you when you touched it? The buildup of static electricity occurs when the air is arid. That static shock can be a warning that the air in your home is excessively dry.
  • Dry Lips and Skin. Your skin and lips feeling too dry may be another sign that there is not enough moisture in the air in your home. Water is present in your skin; thus, when the humidity in your house is low, your skin will also begin to dry up. Also, dry air can worsen pre-existing skin disorders like eczema and acne.
  • Stuffy Nose and Nosebleeds. Your body loses water when exposed to dry air. Low-humidity air makes your nasal passages dry out when you breathe it in. Your body may thus begin to produce more mucus to make up for this, which may result in a stuffy nose. Bleeding from the nose can also occur when the inside of your nose is arid. If you frequently have nosebleeds at home, the air in your house may be too dry.

Symptoms of Low Humidity in Home

Is low humidity bad for you? The skin and the respiratory system are the regions where the consequences of low humidity are most clearly visible.
  • Dry Nasal Passages. The mucus membranes may dry up before the body can restore moisture when more fluid is removed to dry air. Dry and maybe even severely cracked sinuses are one symptom of this. It may even get so bad that the broken sinuses start bleeding. This contributes to the high number of nosebleeds during the drier, colder fall and winter months.
  • Sore or Scratchy Throat. Your throat may be affected in the same way your nasal passages are when they are dried up.
  • More Illness. Your body's capacity to catch and filter out viruses and microorganisms that might cause disease declines when the nasal passages get drier due to low humidity. More microorganisms can enter as the sticky membranes lose their filtering capacity. Even worse, when the mucous membranes deteriorate and fracture, germs can enter the bloodstream quickly. This is frequently the cause of the flu's high prevalence in the fall and winter.
  • Dry Skin. The most prevalent symptom is itching, which may be particularly problematic for people with sensitive skin or eczema. Persistently dry skin can cause microscopic fissures and even bleeding and plain irritation. Like damaged sinuses allow more pathogens and diseases to enter the body, cracked skin does the same.
  • Chapped Lips: This is the least dangerous but most prevalent sign of low humidity.
Thus, how do you address this? You can do a few things while spending time outside, but the first is to dress appropriately. Your skin will lose less moisture if you dress correctly and keep it covered. Using a cold weather mask might be very helpful. Unlike most masks, some masks are purposefully made to trap heat and humidity.

How Can I Reduce My Humidity Levels at Home?

You may use various methods and products to lower the humidity in your house. You'll need to know how to reduce the humidity in your home in the winter.
  • Dehumidifiers. Most of the time, dehumidifiers are installed in basements, but you can also get big ones to cover a whole house. They function optimally when a room or area is completely closed off, including all windows and doors. To allow optimal air movement, they must avoid walls and other objects while removing moisture from the air. You should also find out how to lower humidity without a dehumidifier.
  • Proper Ventilation. You need to check that spaces with moisture, such as the kitchen, and bathrooms, are appropriately aired. When there is dampness in the room, turn on the vent fans and leave them on. If you believe that moisture is the problem, get more fans. You can break a few windows if you don't have any exhaust fans.
  • Air Conditioning Systems. Not simply the air inside a home is cooled by air conditioning machines. They help eliminate dampness and wetness. Ensure the unit you install is the right size for the property's square footage.
  • Humidity Monitors. To evaluate the moisture in your house, you may purchase humidity monitors from a nearby hardware shop or online.
  • Weatherstripping. Your home's doors and windows need weatherstripping to establish an airtight seal that keeps warm or cool air from exiting and excessive humidity from penetrating inside. They are essential in warmer areas when the outside air is humid.
  • Caulking. Similar to weatherstripping, caulking lines, surfaces, and objects that might come into touch with moisture, such as faucets, sinks, toilets, tubs, and other items. Additionally, seams and the areas surrounding windows are caulked.
  • Insulation. If you didn't know, insulation keeps heat in and prevents extra particles from entering a property. If a home's walls are well insulated and aren't already damp, they will stop cold and warm air from leaking out of or entering via wall gaps.
  • Interior Adjustments. Installing ceiling fans, maintaining your AC ducts and filters, and other interior improvements are just a few options.
  • Lifestyle Changes. If you discover that your AC or HVAC unit is turning on and off for brief periods, set the fan to "auto" rather than "on." It would be best if you also tried to run the AC less often. Additionally, utilize the bathroom exhaust fan when taking a shower and leave the door open if possible.
Now that you've read the entire article, you know everything there is to know about excessive humidity levels. Even though you are not yet an expert or a professional, you have the knowledge to safeguard your house and your family. How can I manage moisture in my home? It is a question you already know the answer to.
Remember that excessive humidity can harm your house, health, and comfort. Though the optimal levels will change according to the season, it's always better to maintain them moderately. Regardless of the weather, you know you can get better indoor air quality after reading this blog. Got other things to take care of your home this holiday season? Check our plumbing checklist to prepare for the holiday season.

Do you live in Los Angeles and still need HVAC help?

Contact Home Alliance immediately if your home's humidity level may be too high for your taste or health. We can examine your house and recommend the finest options. We'll ensure your home is comfortable, has the right amount of humidity, and hasn't been any structural or non-structural damage. For the best HVAC system repair, air duct cleaning, and plumbing services, you can count on our technicians to help you. Book a service today!