If you feel as though you are entering a sauna every time you walk through the front door, your humidity level is too high. Keeping the correct humidity level in your home is important to your well-being, and while a little moisture can be beneficial, too much could be hazardous to your health.
The most immediate effect of high humidity is personal discomfort. When it’s too hot and humid, our bodies are less efficient at releasing heat which means we sweat.
However, more important than a little sweat is a humid environment breeding all sorts of microscopic organisms that can harm your health. Mildew and mold spores thrive in it, and they can be highly toxic once they get into your body. If mold is clearly visible inside your home, you have a problem that needs immediate attention. Even if there are no signs, mold and mildew can still spread throughout the vents or behind walls.
All sorts of bacteria can be found in spaces with high humidity. Dust mites love humidity, and they’re one of the biggest enemies for people who suffer from asthma and allergies. People who live in homes that are struck by mold growth and mildew get sick more often, and their overall health is a lot poorer.
Excess moisture can damage your health and also, damage your home and its contents. Electronics are especially susceptible to damage by condensation.
The hot temperatures of summer create humidity in your home; a damp basement, leaky roof, improper ventilation, daily showers, cooking and simply too many house plants can also cause an excessive amount of moisture buildup.
There are several things you can do to manage the humidity in your home.
- Improving your home’s airflow is one of the most effective ways to lower humidity.
- Opening windows for cross-ventilation will get the air moving and lower the humidity…unless it’s more humid outside than in.
- Make sure your attic is well-ventilated; It will accumulate moisture that will then find its way into your rooms.
- After taking showers or cooking, run an exhaust fan that is vented to the outside.
- Your clothes dryer should be vented outdoors, not into a crawl space, basement or in the laundry room.
- Air conditioning is another way to improve air quality, but can be pricey to install and run.
- A less expensive way to get the moisture out is to run a dehumidifier. They work on the same concept as the A/C by pulling the moisture out of the air, except they won’t cool the house.
- Hardwood or tile flooring is better for air quality, too.It’s easier to pull moisture from the air than from fibers in your carpeting.
Feeling sweaty and uncomfortable is the least of your worries when it comes to humidity. Lower humidity in your home can help keep you healthy by staving off mold, mildew, and the problems they can cause, such as allergic reactions and respiratory issues. Keeping the correct humidity level in your home is important to your well-being, and while a little moisture can be beneficial, too much could be hazardous to your health.