Controlling indoor humidity levels is important for health related and financial reasons. High indoor humidity levels can cause mold, mildew and fungi to grow in your house. Your house structure can be damaged from too much household humidity. This article gives 13 simple ways to have healthy and comfortable humidity humidity levels in your home..
We humans spend most of our time inside which is why indoor humidity levels can harm our health. This is especially true for children and elderly people. Keeping indoor humidity levels at the recommended levels will benefit health and avoid structural damage to your house. A comfortable humidity range is between 25% – 60% relative humidity. Relative indoor humidity levels are lower in cold weather because there is less moisture in cold air.
Low Indoor Humidity Levels
When humidity levels are too low the air holds less moisture and become dry. This dry air can cause us to experience nosebleeds, dryness in mucous membranes and skin irritation. Too Low relative humidity can cause wooden floors and furniture damage. Static electricity can develop which can interfere with the operation of computers and related products.
Keeping a comfortable humidity level during winter months can be difficult in cold climates. Using a humidifier in cold months maybe helpful if care is taken to monitor indoor humidity levels so that humidity does not rise too high. When indoor humidity levels are too high serious problems can develop.
High Indoor Humidity Levels and Health
High indoor humidity levels can exist in any climate but tend to be higher in summer months. Warm air contains more moisture which creates more humidity in the home. The negative health effects of too much indoor humidity can be serious. High indoor humidity levels can be the cause of mold in your house.
We humans experience physical discomfort when humidity levels are too high. The human body cools as perspiration on our bodies evaporates. Evaporating perspiration from skin is the main way that humans manage body temperature. The evaporation of perspiration is slower when we are in high humidity situations and we tend to experience more discomfort
It is not uncommon to have difficulty breathing in high indoor humidity levels. Ailments such as asthma can be aggravated under this circumstance.
Dehumidifiers and air conditioning is often effective in creating a comfortable humidity level in home during summer. In winter relative humidity comfort can be achieved when indoor humidity levels stay within normal indoor humidity levels. Relative humidity levels below 25% can cause nosebleeds,dry itchy skin, dry mucous membranes and other discomfort.
5 Easy Tips to Controlling High Indoor Humidity Levels:
- Avoid Condensation – Condensation occurs when indoor humidity levels are too high and outside temperatures are low. Keep an eye out for frost and moisture buildup around windows. Excessive condensation can cause damage from water running off windows and down walls or working its way inside the walls resulting in damage to building structure. The best way to control condensation is to reduce indoor humidity levels. Keeping windows tightly closed in cold weather and using a dehumidifier can be effective in controlling the overall indoor humidity levels in your home. Damage can occur when there is too much inside condensation on windows.
- Be Aware of Daily In Home Activities That Increase Humidity – Daily in house activities can add significant humidity to your home. Taking a shower, doing laundry and cooking can all increase indoor humidity levels. Keeping ventilation going and exhaust fans operating are important to keeping indoor humidity levels within the proper range.
- Running the exhaust in the bathroom after a shower and making sure laundry room functions are vented to outside helps in indoor humidity levels. Keeping bathroom door open after a shower can help dissipate humidity in the bathroom as well. Dehumidifiers are great for removing moisture from damp humid areas.
- Basement indoor Humidity Levels – Excessive humidity levels in basement can be a source of health problems and structural damage to a home and its occupants. Basements tend to be the coolest part of the house which can make the relative humidity in the basement increase during summer months. Higher relative humidity brings moisture and dampness with it. Mold and mildew growth are a common problem in basements due to leaks, flooding, and basement higher relative humidity.
- Keep basement at proper indoor Humidity levels using air conditioning and basement dehumidifiers that work to keep basement humidity in line with the recommended indoor levels. Basement humidity levels should be at 60% or less relative humidity during the summer months.
- Make sure that gutters are clear and water spouts direct water away for basement exterior walls. Placing dirt or concrete near exterior basement wall to create an incline for water to drain through gutters and downspouts away from basement can be effective.
- Crawl space and Indoor Humidity Levels – Crawl spaces can be humid and a breeding ground for mold growth and other allergens that are sucked into your home with rising air from the crawlspace. High humidity levels promote mold and fungi the grow causing home occupants to breathe in mold spores coming from the crawl space.
- Checking humidity levels in your homes crawl space is a good idea from time to time. High humidity levels in crawlspace can be a sign of problems with the plastic vapor barrier or perhaps the absence of a vapor barrier. You may want to check the vapor barrier in your crawlspace yourself or have a professional do it.
- One of the less expensive solutions to lower crawlspace humidity and stop the growth of mold is a crawlspace dehumidifier.
- If you have serious humidly problems in your home you may have to do some looking around to figure out the cause of the problem. There are several ways that moisture can get inside your home. Moisture can enter through cracks, holes, and other openings.
- Eliminating indoor humidity inside the home may require you look outside of the home for causes of water leakage or cold air entrance into the home. This could be something as simple as a plugged waterspout or something more involved.
- Excessive moisture can be produced from inside of the home by occupants and their activities and appliances
- Excess moisture builds when inside air comes into contact with cold hard surfaces such as windows. Indoor air coming into contact with cold non insulated walls. Enclosed areas close to outside walls such as closets can be places where mold and mildew grow.
There are cases when solving humidity problems may become more expensive or difficult to solve. In such cases a dehumidifier may be the less expensive or less complicated solution. Dehumidifiers can be portable or whole house dehumidifiers.
Indoor humidity levels can activate life threatening allergens and mold spores if excessive moisture levels are allowed to remain in your home. In addition to health issues costly damage to home contents and structure can result in expensive repair costs.