Most of us use our thermostats to make ourselves more comfortable while conserving electricity. But there’s one more thing to think about: humidity.
Like being too hot or cold, having an excessively high or low humidity level in your house might affect how you feel. Take, for example, the dry winter air. It can occasionally lead to chapped lips, staticky hair and clothing, and even nosebleeds.
Summer’s humid heat can be aggravating. In humid surroundings, mold and dust mites thrive, causing allergy and asthma sufferers issues. Furthermore, we are all aware of how inconvenient heat and humidity can be when coupled (an effect that Canadian weather reports call the humidex). In the summer, an air conditioner helps to keep humidity at bay by cooling your room. A too-big unit for the room that cools the air quicker than humidity (water vapor) can be removed might make you feel cold and clammy. If this is the case, you may require a dehumidifier or the consultation of a trained HVAC contractor to discuss other possibilities.
The humidity level in the house is a significant factor that needs to be considered. Humidity can affect the overall health of your family and their belongings, and it also impacts how comfortable you feel inside the home. The right humidity level will make it easier to keep dust mites, mold, and other allergens at bay while preventing static electricity and drying out your skin, hair, and sinuses.
What Is the Ideal Humidity?
The ideal humidity level for a home is between 30 and 50 percent; however, this number can change depending on the time of year and the home’s geographic location. For example, homes in warmer climates may want to aim for the lower end of the range to prevent mold and mildew growth, while homes in colder climates may want to aim for the higher end of the range to prevent dry skin and static electricity.
It’s essential to monitor the humidity levels in your home. Anything above 50 percent is too high and can cause problems. Anything below 30 percent is too low and can lead to issues. The best way to maintain the ideal humidity level is by using a humidifier or dehumidifier.
How to Know the Humidity of your House?
Every home is different, but a humidity level of 30 to 40% is usually excellent for keeping your home warm and comfortable in the winter while preventing condensation on the windows. That percentage can rise to between 50 and 60% in the summer.
So, how can you figure out what your levels are? That’s when humidity-measuring equipment comes in handy. You might have a humidistat, which allows you to monitor and manage the humidity level in your home. Most humidistats are connected to a humidifier attached to your furnace or installed on a wall somewhere in your home.
Humidistats resemble thermostats in appearance and function, but instead of sensing temperature and making adjustments, they measure the relative humidity in the air and turn your humidifier on or off. Most domestic furnaces lack a dehumidifier and simply add humidity as needed. Even if your home is excessively humid, you may require the use of a portable dehumidifier to alleviate the problem. Dixon warns that readings from older wall humidistats are frequently erroneous. On the plus side, the most intelligent thermostats will show you your home’s humidity level (although they cannot control it). You might also invest in a hygrometer, a low-cost gadget that measures moisture levels in your home’s air and provides you with the data you need to make any necessary adjustments.
According to Dixon, understanding your home’s humidity might help you see where you might be able to save electricity. You may take action to improve your entire home if you get the correct information.
Why Does the Humidity in your House Matter?
If Humidity is Low
Overly dry air can be harmful to your comfort, home, assets, and health as too wet air. Low relative humidity and dry indoor air can cause a slew of problems for you and your house.
Toxic to your Health
Asthma and allergy problems might worsen when indoor air is dehydrated. Cold and flu viruses may spread more quickly, and sinus infections may become more common. COVID-19 spreads more in the winter. You may experience dry skin, chapped lips, and congested airways.
Homes are Being Damaged
When the air is dry, wood and other construction materials and furniture lose moisture. Flooring, trim, and even framing around windows and doors can develop cracks and damage. You may see minor fractures in your furniture, door and window frames, etc.
If Humidity is very high: Humidity in the air can be harmful to your comfort, your home, your belongings, and your health. Your body can’t regulate its internal temperature through evaporation when there’s too much humidity. If you’re in a humid room with the same temperature as a room with less humidity, you’ll feel warmer in the humid area. Overly humid air might serve as a breeding environment for bacteria.
Mold and mildew thrive in humid environments, causing stains and damage to your house. In addition, high humidity can cause wood to deteriorate over time. Furthermore, insects are attracted to damp wood in the basement and attic.
Damage to belongings: When there is too much humidity in your home, it can cause furniture and other items, causing them to warp.
Not suitable for your health: Too much humidity can make you sick and uncomfortable. High humidity encourages the growth of fungus, mold, and dust mites, all of which can make breathing difficult for asthma and allergy sufferers. Investing in a hygrometer or indoor humidity monitor is one of the simplest ways to determine the humidity level in your home. Follow the instructions and place the little gadget in the room you want to test. The hygrometer will display the humidity level in your home as a percentage. Adding a dehumidifier or humidifier to your heating and air-conditioning system, and communicating with your thermostat to ensure appropriate humidity levels all year is a simple way to control humidity.
Ask your HVAC technician to check the humidity levels in your home when you arrange your regular preventative maintenance in the spring and winter. It can make a significant impact on your health, your family, and your home.
Tips for Keeping your Home’s Humidity Level within the Ideal Range
- Use a hygrometer to monitor the humidity level in your home.
- Invest in a humidifier or dehumidifier to help maintain the ideal humidity level.
- Check for leaks and repair them as soon as possible.
- Ventilate your home regularly to allow fresh air in and stale air out.
- Keep houseplants around the home to help increase moisture levels.
- Avoid using excessive fans or opening doors and windows too often, as this can cause the humidity level to drop too low.
- When cooking, taking showers, or running the dishwasher, use a humidifier to help add moisture to the air.
- Place bowls of water around the home to help increase the humidity level.
- Don’t hang clothes to dry inside the home, lowering the humidity level.
- Consider using a whole-house humidifier if you live in a dry climate or have a lot of houseplants.
The humidity level in your home is essential and needs to be monitored. The ideal range for a humidifier or dehumidifier should start at 30% but could vary depending on your climate. As a general rule, anything above 50% can cause issues, while anything below 30% will also lead to problems. Maintaining the proper humidity level is an efficient way of dealing with the abovementioned problems. Following these tips and having the correct equipment to monitor the humidity level in your house will help you maintain the right balance and avoid unnecessary problems.