Many homeowners ask this question because there has been a lot of controversy on what exactly is the ideal humidity level for a home. The recommended optimum indoor range is approximately 35% relative humidity, but some homeowners tend to work with 30% to 40%. Anything above this range results in condensation particularly on the windows thus opening the door to mold which in turn causes allergy and respiratory problems.
Dangers of Humidity Variation
Dust mites which are the principal causes of allergies thrive in the regions of 50% relative humidity. Mold on the other hand gets comfortable when the humidity levels hit 60%.
On the flipside, too little humidity can cause issues such as dry skin, dry nose and throat, and static electricity. This can ruin electronic devices such as VCRs, computers, and DVD players. Having a proper and consistent humidity level is important for your doors, floors, and other wooden structures which have a tendency to crack, shrink, and warp if not well humidified.
Keeping your home humidity level within the recommended range benefits you immensely in terms of energy savings. When the indoor air is well humidified, you tend to feel warmer and more comfortable which means you can turn your thermostat a few degrees down and still feel warm.
The humidity of your indoor air determines the much heat it can hold. When humidity is higher at a certain temperature level, air tends to hold more heat. Therefore, it is a very important factor in determining the speed with which sweat evaporate from your skin.
For comfort, the humidity in your home must be controlled together with the air temperature. If you take an example of a typical summer day where the humidity inside your home is higher, the air conditioner will need to run longer to offset both the warmth and humidity in the air. This will cost you more to run the AC.
Controlling the Humidity Level
There are several ways you can control the level of humidity in your home. Some of them include:
- Installing a modern air conditioning unit with a capacity to balance the air in your home
- Installing ventilation fans in the bath areas and in your kitchen to help eliminate damp air
- Investing in a dehumidifier
When you first start your humidifier, set your humidistat at 35%. In about two days, assess the quality of air and if it feels dry, add another 5% and wait for two more days. Do not forget to clean your humidifier and set it up properly before it starts running. Remember it is not just for you that you are concerned about the humidity level, but also your family and guests who may be coming to spend with you.