Most people fail to realize that keeping an adequate amount of humidity in your home is important on several accounts. Too low or too high humidity levels are not only bad for your furniture, your wall, wallpapers, and any musical instruments you might have, but can also be hazardous to your health. That’s why maintaining proper humidity levels is crucial. The objective of this article is to show you what to do in order to strike the perfect humidity balance in your home.
Before you take any precautions, you must first measure the humidity levels in your home in order to make sure you have a problem. Humidity can vary based on season and temperature and is highly dependent on the size and design of your home, as well as your location and the presence of vapour retardants. There are disputes as to what the optimal humidity levels should be, but the general consensus is that 40-45% would be a recommended average. If the humidity in your home falls somewhere between 40 (35 according to some) and 45%, then there is nothing to worry about. You and your family should be comfortable enough; your music instruments should be safe and sound; your furniture and other belongings should be shielded from the effects of too low or too high humidity.
How can you take a measure? That’s the easy part. All you have to do is buy a simple and easy to use instrument called a hygrometer. It will measure the relative levels of humidity in the room it is located in, just like a thermometer measures the temperature. It will give you an insight into the humidity levels in your room and from there you can decide what you need to do in order to better adjust them.
If your house is small, there isn’t good ventilation or you live near a large body of water, then odds are you will have a high humidity in your home. High levels of dampness can have numerous negative effects. For one, such conditions are perfect for bacteria and all sorts of germs to flourish, elevating the risk of infectious diseases. Furthermore, high moisture levels can promote the manifestation and development of moulds and mildew. There is also a chance that the condensation will accumulate in your windows, causing the water to drip on the floor, which will cause it to rot if it’s made wood or another vulnerable material.
The easiest way to counteract high moisture levels in your room is to purchase a dehumidifier. Depending on the severity of your problem, you can buy a portable one and use it in the room you are having trouble with, or a whole-house model that works with your heating system and will have an overall effect in your house. Another way you can use during the winter months is heating up the room to prevent condensation but that’s not an option through most of the year. Dehumidifiers are your best bet if you’re having dampness problems.
Dehumidifiers in a Living Room. Image Credit: Amanda Westmont, Flickr.
Low humidity levels can be just as dangerous as the high ones. They might cause your skin to dry out too much, and even cause your furniture to crack. This is especially true during the winter when your heating system makes the air in your house too dry. When you have humidity levels that are too low for your comfort (and safety), all you have to do to counter the effects is the opposite of when you have high humidity – purchase a humidifier. Some models can be programmed to switch on when humidity is below certain percentage and switch off when it’s above the designated maximum. Make sure it can hold enough water so you don’t have to constantly refill it.
Dealing with humidity issues is really easy but it’s very beneficial so don’t underestimate the options given in the article.