Maintaining the humidity level in your home can be tedious with the changing seasons. The weather fluctuations also affect the humidity levels, which, in turn, can affect your overall health. If you feel a little sick lately, you might want to check your home’s humidity level.
Apartment Therapy said that even your whole house and furniture could deteriorate if the humidity levels dip too low. The article further discussed that the ideal indoor humidity levels should be around 45 percent. If it goes below 30 percent, it is way too dry. If the humidity level is 50 percent, then it is way too high. Being on the extreme sides could have adverse side effects.
How to know the indoor humidity levels
While you can buy a device called a hygrometer to read your home’s humidity levels, you can also turn on your inner detective and check your house for signs. For example, foggy windows and accumulating condensation are indications of too much humidity. When you see moisture and mold on the walls and ceiling, that is another sign that there’s too much humidity in your home.
Meanwhile, Apartment Therapy also said that if you notice instances of static electricity, dried and cracking millwork and paint, you probably have low humidity levels.
What is the downside of decreased humidity levels at home?
There are various reasons why you should regularly check your home’s humidity levels. As such, it can have a significant impact on your family’s health. Low humidity also does the following things to your home:
- You will spend more on heating -- Without the right level of moisture, air cannot retain heat well. This is why the air in your home feels a little bit too cold when the heater is turned off. To balance the temperature, you will turn to your furnace -- which can dry out the air in your home. It can be a never-ending cycle, and there is a big chance that you end up paying more for heating your home.
- It will affect your health -- Being exposed to decreased humidity can trigger severe respiratory problems. Likewise, when the moisture in the air is not enough, the sinuses might not be able to breathe and filter allergens. Also, you might experience itchy eyes and sore throat.
- It can increase the risk of flu -- When the relative humidity is just 23 percent, there is a bigger chance that flu virus particles could cause an infection. That data came from research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC recommended maintaining an indoor relative humidity at 40 percent as that will significantly reduce the aerosol transmission of influenza.
- It can damage wood furniture -- As a rule of thumb, anything that is wood needs moisture to keep its integrity. When you have dry air in your home, it tends to suck all the moisture it can find, including those from your wood floor or furniture. This is the reason why the wood in your home cracks, splinters, or shrinks. If you do not act fast enough, the damage can be irreversible.
- It can affect your walls -- Low humidity can also affect your walls! Even the paint and wallpaper can dry out and lead to unsightly chips and peels. Protect your wall design by keeping the right humidity levels in your home.
How to increase humidity in your home
There are simple ways to jack up the humidity levels in your home. The hacks can be as easy as:
- Leaving the door open when you shower -- A steamy shower can amp up the humidity levels in your home. If you have a hot bath, you can let the waters steam to bring back the moisture in your home’s air. But then again, if you have pets or small children, you might have to be extra careful in doing this trick.
- Using water everywhere -- No, it does not mean splashing water everywhere and creating a mess. You can, however, boil water on the stove, leave bowls of water around your house, or gently boil water in your slow cooker to produce steam. If you do choose the second option, you have to be mindful to replace the standing water to prevent dengue mosquitoes from thriving there.
- Let rags or clothes air-dry -- Instead of popping your clothes or rags in your dryer after washing them, hang them and let them air dry. Doing this is beneficial: It will help to save a little money on the electricity bill, and it will also help fight low humidity in your home.
- Cooking on your stove-top -- Prepare home-cooked meals instead of using your oven. The steams and vapors from your dinner will add moisture to the air.
- Adding houseplants -- If you worry that you have a brown thumb, you can look for houseplants that are relatively easy to grow and hard to kill like a sansevieria bacularis or snake plants. To add, these plants also grow in indirect sunlight.
- Using a humidifier -- You can also invest in a humidifier. Choose a humidifier that has different mist levels, has a long life, and can double as a device for aromatherapy.
How humid is your home right now?
Increasing the humidity levels in your home is necessary to preserve your home and health. You can make adjustments easily so you can have a healthier indoor environment.