Why Does Home Humidity Matter?

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Have you ever woken up in the middle of a balmy summer night drenched in sweat even though the temperatures aren’t that high? What’s making you this uncomfortable if it isn’t the heat?

Naturally, everyone thinks of the temperature when thinking of comfort at home. However, home humidity plays just as crucial a role in keeping the climate in your home suitable. Maintaining the ideal indoor humidity can be the difference between whether you’ll be waking up well-rested or grumpy in the morning.

That brings us to the most obvious question here; what is the ideal home humidity level?

 

Ideal Humidity Levels for Indoors

Ideal home humidity levels will vary with seasonal and climate changes. In addition, the place where you live and your personal preferences will also influence this choice.

In general, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends that you should maintain these humidity levels between 30% to 50%.

But what if the general home humidity levels are above or below these recommended levels? Let’s look into how high, and low humidity impact your home and health.

Problems Caused by High Humidity

If your home humidity levels are constantly soaring above the 50% mark, you can suffer from some serious issues. These problems can include:

 

  • General Discomfort

High home humidity can result in a general feeling of mugginess throughout your home. This can then cause trouble sleeping or cause a general sense of discomfort with the home climate.

  • Dust Mites

High humidity levels allow and encourage dust mites to grow. These can, consequently, draw spiders and other insects to your home.

  • Increased Energy Bills

If your HVAC system does not deal with excess humidity, the climate inside your home will never be as per your requirements. To make up for the feeling of being too hot, you’ll want to crank up the cooling, and this can result in higher energy bills.

  • Mold and Mildew Growth

It’s no secret that high home humidity is the primary culprit behind mold and mildew growth in homes. Mold and mildew growth can cause damage to the drywall, flooring, or subflooring of your house. It can also result in health issues.

  • Allergies and Health Complications

Mold spores in the air can lead to allergies and other health complications, including difficulty breathing. So high humidity can be detrimental to your family’s well-being. Warmer and more humid air can generally be harder to breathe and may aggravate this condition in people who already suffer.

  • Hot Upper Floors

Humid air will rise air since it is less dense than dry air. As this humid air goes to the upper floors of your home, it will increase the temperature there and make these upper floors warm and uncomfortable.

 

Problems Caused by Low Humidity

 

Why Does Home Humidity Matter?

 

High home humidity is not ideal, but having drastically low humidity levels at home also brings complications.

  • Damaged Wooden Infrastructure

Wood and other building materials contain a certain moisture level, and it’s important to maintain this level to extend their longevity. Low humidity levels can cause wood to dry out, resulting in floorboards and other wooden infrastructure cracking around your home. Furniture can also bear damage as a consequence of this.

  • Health Concerns

Certain viruses and bacteria thrive in drier climates. Low home humidity can facilitate the growth of these viruses, which can make you or your family sick in particularly dry climate spells.

  • Dry Skin and Throat

Dry and itchy skin is a hallmark of cold weather. This is because low humidity levels don’t have enough moisture to keep your skin hydrated. Likewise, sore throats are also common in drier weather.

  • Cold Spots Around Your Home

Many different issues can cause cold spots in your home, and low humidity is one of these many possible culprits. Without adequate moisture, the air in certain parts of your house will always feel colder and need extra heating to stay cozy.

  • Aggravated Allergies and Asthma

Cold and flu viruses spread more in colder and drier climates, making you prone to sinus infections. Consequently, you might also suffer worse allergies in low humidity.

  • Higher Energy Bills

Drier air is harder to warm, and with low home humidity, you will inadvertently be turning the heat up to stay cozy. The dry air pulling moisture from your skin can also make you feel colder than normal.

 

How to Tell if Your Home Has Poor Indoor Humidity

 

Why Does Home Humidity Matter?

 

Home humidity that is too high or too low is both harmful situations to have. But how can you determine if your home humidity levels are ideal or not?

The most straightforward way is, of course, to use a hygrometer. This thermometer-like device measures the amount of moisture in the air in your house. These devices can be purchased at any hardware or department store. In addition, many humidifiers come with built-in hygrometers that can help them maintain home humidity at healthy levels.

However, if you don’t have a hygrometer at hand and don’t want to buy one, you can look for signs indicating that home humidity levels aren’t right.

  • You aren’t sleeping right. High humidity can keep you up all night as your body struggles to cool itself. Too much moisture in the air will keep sweat from evaporating from your body easily, and your body won’t cool down as normal. The result is you tossing and turning all night.
  • You get fits of cough when sleeping. Breathing in air that is too dry will irritate your throat and have you coughing all night. While different things can irritate your throat, low home humidity levels are also a culprit.
  • You’re too sweaty and sticky. If adjusting the temperature on your HVAC doesn’t keep you cool, you could be having issues with home humidity.
  • You have a hard time breathing. High home humidity can lead to an aggravation of asthma symptoms. If you’re experiencing issues like wheezing or tightness in the chest, your home air might be too humid. Low humidity levels can also cause respiratory problems such as bronchitis or nose bleeds.

 

Should You Be Concerned About Home Humidity?

Home humidity levels can make or break your home’s comfort. Humidity levels that are too high can cause issues like mold growth, dust mite infestation, and a general feeling of mugginess in your home. On the other hand, low humidity levels can lead to wooden infrastructure and furniture cracking due to dryness, along with causing you a myriad of health concerns. Maintaining your home humidity levels between 30% to 50% can sort out all these issues.

 

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