There’s an old saying in the Midwest: It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity. Humidity can determine how comfortable your house is. It can also cause problems for you and your home if it’s too high or too low. Today, we’ll show you the ideal indoor humidity, how you can get closer to an ideal indoor humidity level in your home, and some signs of when your home’s humidity isn’t ideal.
What Is the Ideal Indoor Humidity?
According to Mayo Clinic, the ideal indoor humidity is between 30% and 50% for optimum comfort.
Measuring your home’s humidity isn’t challenging. All you need to do is purchase a hygrometer. Hygrometers aren’t expensive—you can find them online or at your local hardware store for under $20. It will help you determine how close or far you are from obtaining the ideal indoor humidity.
Why Does Indoor Humidity Matter?
Indoor humidity affects how you feel. Too much, and you’ll likely feel sticky and sweltering. Too little, and you’ll notice your skin drying out and that you feel chilly even with the heat on.
The big player in how humidity makes your surroundings feel is relative humidity. Knowing how to measure and control the relative humidity in your home is especially important for optimizing your heating and cooling systems.
In addition to how relative humidity makes you feel in your home, it can also affect your home itself. Let’s look at some signs that you aren’t at an ideal indoor humidity level. Then, we’ll show you how to solve them.
Signs of High Humidity Levels
- Moist air: The most obvious sign of high humidity is that the air will feel moist and clammy.
- Foggy windows: If you notice fog inside your windows for no good reason, it’s likely that your indoor humidity is too high.
- Foul smells: High humidity creates an ideal environment for mold and mildew. If your house smells musty, the humidity is probably too high.
- Signs of mold: Excessive humidity can cause mold to grow all around your home. Look for dark discoloration on your ceilings and drywall, along with crust on carpeting. If you notice any signs of mold, take immediate action! Mold can cause throat irritation, nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, coughing, wheezing, and other serious problems.
- Intense allergies: If your allergies seem to get worse when you’re inside your home, it could be due to poor air quality related to excessive humidity.
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How to Solve High Humidity Levels
Here are a few easy ways to lower the humidity in your home.
- Use your air conditioner and change the filters regularly
- Use bathroom and kitchen vent fans when showering or cooking
- Keep your gutters clear to keep excess moisture out
- Purchase a dehumidifier (either standalone or for your air conditioner system)
- If you have lots of houseplants in one spot, consider spreading them out
Signs of Low Humidity Levels
- Lots of static electricity
- Dry, chapped skin
- Dry nose and throat
- Feeling cold, even after turning up the heat
- Hardwood floor separation
- Wood shrinkage
How to Solve Low Humidity Levels
Here are a few easy ways to raise the humidity in your home.
- Get some easy-care houseplants
- Purchase a humidifier (either standalone or for your HVAC system)
- Keep your bathroom door open when you take a hot shower
- When cooking, boil without a lid, if possible
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