Controlling Humidity - Protect Your Home and Health
Most of us don't hesitate to take control of our indoor environments when it comes to temperature. When it's too cold, we turn up the heater. When it's too hot, we flip on the AC. There's nothing wrong with being comfortable, right?
But when it comes to the humidity levels inside our homes, far too often we just accept what nature has to offer. We see the discomforts of too-dry or too-humid air as something we just have to endure, instead of as a problem we can solve.
Ignoring the consequences of too-low or too-high humidity can be dangerous for you and your family, though. Health problems can result from too-little or too-much humidity, not to mention potential damage to your home.
The Risks of High Humidity
- Allergic reactions
- Musty odors
- Mold growth
- Moisture stains on ceilings and walls
- Condensation on windows and mirrors
- Damage to home and furnishings
The Risks of Low Humidity
- Chapped lips and skin
- Dry skin and hair
- Respiratory problems
- Static and Sparks
- Scratchy noise and throat
- Damage to electronic equipment through static build-up
- Damage to home furnishings
Fortunately, home humidifiers and dehumidifiers make it easy to correct humidity problems in your home.
How to Determine Your Indoor Humidity Levels
Experts at the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) agree that the ideal levels for indoor humidity are between 30% and 50% in the summer, and 30% and 40% in the winter.
But you don't have to guess at humidity levels in your home based on your comfort level. It's easy to find out exactly what your humidity levels are if you have a humidistat. These handy gadgets easily monitor indoor humidity levels so you can decide what level of protection you need to start protecting your home.
This chart gives an idea of how the relative humidity level inside your home relates to your personal comfortable level.
|Relative Humidity at 90° F |
|May Feel Dry ||30% |
|Very Comfortable ||31 - 37% |
|Comfortable ||31 - 41% |
|Acceptable for Most ||37 - 46% |
|Somewhat Uncomfortable ||44 - 52% |
|Very Humid and Uncomfortable ||52 - 60% |
|Extremely Uncomfortable ||52 - 60% |
When to Choose a Dehumidifier
Usually, high humidity levels cause the most damage to your health. When the air indoors is too humid, it is the perfect environment for mold and mildew growth. Mold in the home can lead to long-term health complications like allergies, asthma and other serious conditions. Excessive humidity also encourages the growth of dust mites, another contributor to household allergies.
In extremely humid conditions, electronic equipment can quickly rust and degrade, and cause computers to short-circuit. Fine furniture will absorb moisture from the air, causing the wood to swell and warp out of shape. And moisture seepage from the walls and ceilings can leave permanent stains on your walls or ceilings - not only unsightly, but these indicate potential problems with the very structure of your home.
Finally, reducing the humidity in your home can also make it cooler and more comfortable in hot weather. When it's hot, our bodies sweat to keep us cool, but high humidity keeps that sweat from evaporating from our skin and cooling us down. When you reduce the humidity in the indoor air, you'll start to feel cooler even without turning on the air conditioner.
To learn more about the types of dehumidifiers available, click here.
When to Choose a Humidifier
Low humidity levels also cause quite a few problems, as the "thirsty" air will absorb moisture from people and objects. When the humidity levels are too low, you may experience dry skin and lips, scratchy throat and nose, or other more serious respiratory problems.
Insufficient moisture in the home can cause static electricity in carpet and clothing, and even affect electronic equipment. Additionally, furniture and paint may start peeling around the house. Wood that is kept in an environment with too-little moisture becomes brittle and starts to crack.
Humidifiers can also make you feel warmer without turning up the heat. The moisture in the air acts as a kind of insulation that keeps your body from radiating too much heat.
To learn more about the types of humidifiers available, click here.
Whether your home has too much humidity or not enough, it's easy to control your indoor environment for comfort, health, and safety. Visit our selection of available humidistats, humidifiers and dehumidifiers - we have hundreds of in-stock items available with free shipping.
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