Take Care of the Air in Your Home
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Humidity, or the moisture in the air, contributes to your indoor air quality and wellbeing more than you may consider. Essentially, obtaining the right humidity levels in your space makes a world of difference for not only your health and home but also comfort. If humidity levels dip too low, it can damage furniture, deteriorate home, and irritate your skin; If humidity levels climb too high, you may experience mold growth, wet insulation, and bodily symptoms including hyperthermia, fatigue, and muscle cramps. Having proper humidity levels can create a healthier, more comfortable lifestyle. Let’s take a further look at the symptoms of improper humidity levels.
If your home has too much moisture in the air, you may start to experience its effects—moist and clammy air, foggy windows, a mildew smell.
For your home, improper humidity can produce viruses, bacteria, mold, mildew, fungi, wet insulation, and overall diminish your indoor air quality. These results can cause your loved ones to experience hyperthermia, heatstroke, dehydration, sleep discomfort, fatigue, muscle cramps, as well as agitate asthma and allergy symptoms.
Especially for those who live in colder climates, low home humidity levels produces a certain dryness in the air. You may experience irritated skin, hair, lips, nose, throat, and flu and cold-like symptoms. Low humidity can also create static electricity. For your home, this dryness may damage furniture and floors, chip paint, and allow viruses and germs to fester.
Although this may vary on region and personal preference, maintaining the proper air humility can enhance your living condition. It can improve breathing and sleep, clear sinuses, reduce the risk of infections, soften skin, protect furniture, eliminate the potential of mold and mildew—the list goes on. So, what exactly is the right humidity level for your home?
The Proper Humidity Level for Your Home
Generally speaking, the relative humidity should be between 30 to 50%. This is the ideal level for a comfortable home and prevents bacterias and viruses from thriving. However, in winter months, these levels may need to be lower than 40% to avoid condensation on your windows.
To find the best humidity level for your home, we recommend measuring the temperature and relative humidity with a hygrometer. This can give you a more accurate insight into what your humidity level should be. Take a look at this general temperature guide below to determine the ideal indoor relative humidity level for maximum comfort.
- • If the outdoor temperature exceeds over 50˚F, indoor humidity levels shouldn’t surpass 50%
- • If the outdoor temperature exceeds 20˚F, indoor humidity levels shouldn’t surpass 40%
- • If the outdoor temperature is between 10˚F to 20˚F, indoor humidity levels shouldn’t surpass 35%
- • If the outdoor temperature between 0˚F to 10˚F, indoor humidity levels shouldn’t surpass 30%
- • If the outdoor temperature is between -10˚F to 0˚F, indoor humidity levels shouldn’t surpass 25%
- • If the outdoor temperature is between -20˚F to -10˚F, indoor humidity levels shouldn’t surpass 20%
- • If the outdoor temperature is -20˚F or lower, indoor humidity levels shouldn’t surpass 15%
Ways to Keep Proper Home Humidity Levels
The best way to maintain the proper home humidity levels for your home is to invest in year-round humidifiers and dehumidifiers: a humidifier to add moisture to the air during winter months and a dehumidifier to take away moisture during the summer months.
Humidifier: Portable vs. Whole House
A humidifier’s job is to add moisture to the air. This prevents dryness from irritating the skin and producing mold and bacteria. There are two primary humidifiers to choose from: Portable/room humidifiers and whole-house humidifiers.
A portable humidifier is an easy and efficient alternative and can be carried from room to room and placed on the floor or surface. This device uses a reservoir to hold water with the option of cool mist or warm mist to disperse into the air. Portable humidifiers come in a wide variety of styles, sizes, and prices. Compared to the whole house humidifier, portable humidifiers are more limited in control and will need to be refilled every 24 hours while using.
A whole-house humidifier is the better option for more control over your humidity system, moisture consistency, and humidification capacity. Whole-house humidifiers can be added to your furnace in order for moisture to be distributed directly into the heated air. On the other hand, this humidifier is the more expensive option and requires a cold water connection and more space for the humidifier unit.
Dehumidifier: Portable vs. Whole House
Much like humidifiers, portable dehumidifiers are generally less expensive and can be carried conveniently from room to room. They’re also easier to install and operate but are typically louder than whole-house humidifiers. Additionally, portable humidifiers acquire fewer control capabilities and have a shorter lifespan.
Depending on the home, whole-house humidifiers are the most effective way to reduce the relative humidity in the basement, crawlspace, or throughout the entire home. Although they’re more expensive, these devices will last longer. Whole house humidifiers are up to 4 times more energy-efficient, unlike room dehumidifiers, and allows you more humility control.
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