Does your home ever feel too stuffy or too dry? You could have too much or too little moisture in the air. We’ve compiled a guide on everything you should know about home humidity levels so that you can find out how to make your space more comfortable. Read on for how to measure home humidity, how to maintain it, its effects, and more.
Identifying Humidity Levels
To know where your home stands, start by obtaining a reading of your humidity levels. You can do this with a device or by observing the symptoms in your home. Of course, getting an electronical reading will give you a more accurate idea of where your home’s levels are at and how you need to adjust, but you can do the same simply by observing your home, too.
With technology, tracking the moisture levels in our homes has become much easier. You can find indoor humidity monitors at your local hardware store or even at the drugstore. These monitors are also often built into some air conditioning units, thermostats, and of course humidifiers and dehumidifiers.
Even if you have an electronic reading, you may notice high or low moisture levels by simply observing your home. Telltale signs of too much humidity in a home include moisture accumulation on windows, pipes, mirrors, and other surfaces. Dark water spots on your walls and ceilings can also be signs of high humidity levels, as can paint bubbling or peeling off various surfaces.
A low humidity level also has its own symptoms. Look out for creaking floorboards, as the lack of moisture may cause the wood to crack and expand. Increased static electricity is also a good sign of a drop in moisture in the air.
Optimal Range for Your Home
Now that you’ve measured the humidity levels in your home, the question becomes: What is the optimal range? This varies heavily depending on your climate, current weather, and personal comfort preferences. A good general starting point is to keep your home between a 30 and 50 percent humidity ratio, though this can differ in the winter months. As the temperature outside rises and drops, so should your humidity levels. For example, for an outdoor temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit or above, your humidity ratio should be no higher than 50%. Or, if the temperature outside is between 0 and 10 degrees Fahrenheit, you don’t want your monitor to read any higher than 30%.
Effects of Extreme Humidity Levels
Unfortunately, extremes on either end of the spectrum can have detrimental effects to your home and health. This makes it so important to monitor and fix your home’s moisture levels before you start experiencing these symptoms.
Effects of High Humidity
As we briefly mentioned, high humidity levels equal the presence of more moisture in the air. The condensation that occurs from this moisture can start to damage your walls, ceilings, and wood fixtures in your home if you don’t address it. This moisture will also often be the catalyst for mold growth in the home. Mold tends to grow in moist, warm areas such as bathrooms, and it can occur in other places of high humidity. Mold can get out of hand quickly, so if you discover mold in your home, call a remediation specialist as soon as possible. If you suspect you have high moisture or mold in your home, call Aloha Restoration for mold removal in Palatine and other Chicagoland cities.
Humidity can also affect your or your family members’ physical health. If you notice increased sweating, difficulty breathing or sleeping, or increased allergies (which could be attributed to mold growth), these symptoms may be due to high moisture levels.
Effects of Low Humidity
Low humidity levels can have just as many negative effects on your health and home as high levels. As we mentioned above, dry conditions can cause your wood surfaces and floors to expand and crack. Lack of moisture in the air is also detrimental to your health. Bloody noses and chapped lips are both symptoms of low humidity in the home, as is dry and itchy skin or eyes. Cold, dry air also makes illness and germs easier to spread, which can lead to an increase in cold, flu, and strep throat symptoms.
Preventing Humidity Extremes
Now that you know the dangers of the two extremes, here’s what you can do to even out those moisture levels in your home.
Solutions to High Humidity
If your home has high moisture levels, the best and most efficient way to solve air quality issues in the home is to invest in an air dehumidifier. If your home doesn’t already have one, an air conditioning unit or system is also effective at circulating air and dispersing high humidity and moisture levels. If air conditioning is out of the budget, opening windows on cool days or at night is also an effective way to circulate cool air in your home during hot, humid conditions.
Solutions to Low Humidity
As opposed to the dehumidifier, if you have low levels of humidity in your home, you’ll want to bring in a humidifier to add moisture to the air. There are also additional simple tasks you can do each day to add small levels of moisture, such as hanging clothes to dry or taking baths or showers with the door open.
Benefits of Even Levels
Monitoring the moisture conditions in your home can not only prevent mold, sickness, and damage but also simply promote the most comfortable space. We spend a lot more time at home nowadays, and maintaining an even humidity level will keep you and your family cool and comfortable.
Now that you have everything you should know about home humidity levels, you can start identifying issues and correcting the levels in your own house. You can catch issues early with the signs and symptoms above and take care of them before they cause any damage to your house or health. And if any issues do arise, turn to Aloha Restoration Co. for all your home restoration, remodeling, or cleaning needs.