How to Manage Humidity Inside Your Home
August 15, 2014
Keep your family comfortable by avoiding extreme humidity levels inside your home.
Humidity is a double-edged sword that can cause issues when it is too high or too low. It is essential for your home to have an ideal humidity range to ensure comfort for you and your family. People, books, and electronic devices have an ideal humidity range, which overlap with each other.
The Effects of Excessive Humidity Inside Your Home
Excessive humidity will cause you to feel uncomfortable, making your skin feel damp and sticky. High humidity levels promote the development of mildew, molds, and dust mites. Molds, which develop in humid environments, can cause a number of illnesses, such as severe allergies and asthma. Humid environments normally have a relative humidity of over 60 percent. Safe humidity levels for people with asthma and other respiratory diseases should be limited to 50 percent.
High indoor humidity may ruin furniture, books, clothes, and leather items. Since books are made of wood, they can degrade over a period of time. High humidity levels can damage books due to mildew and pests. Professionals recommend a relative humidity range of 30 to 50 percent and a temperature of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Electronic devices are also susceptible to extreme humidity levels, affecting the conductivity of these devices, causing them to break down. Since electronic devices are intended to be used at a normal humidity range, relative humidity range should be set at 30 to 50 percent.
The Effects of Low Humidity Inside Your Home
On the other extreme, low humidity inside your home will cause its own problems. Skin disorders are exacerbated by low humidity, causing itchy and dry skin, and contributing to nosebleeds. Low humidity can lead to cracks in furniture and cause wood floors to shrink. Books are also affected by low humidity; over time the pages become more fragile. Static electricity may increase, resulting in damage to electronic equipment.
Managing Indoor Humidity Levels
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers recommends the best relative indoor humidity range at 30 to 60 percent. A number of methods can be used for managing indoor humidity levels. Humidifiers are used to increase humidity levels while dehumidifiers decrease humidity levels. Humidifiers are typically used during winter when air has the tendency to become dry.