The relative humidity level outside that is considered comfortable for many people is between 30% and 50%. The levels of humidity are variable from one place to another and from one season to another.
It is important to make sure that you’re aware of humidity levels as low or high relative humidity level may cause some negative health effects. The levels of humidity measure the water vapor in the air around you.
There are some ways on how you can measure humidity and these include relative and absolute humidity. Absolute humidity measures the water vapor level in the air while relative humidity actually measures the level of absolute humidity to high absolute humidity level for the current temperature. Warmer air can hold a lot of water vapor compared to cooler air.
As more water vapor collects in air, the level of relative humidity moves closer to 100%. If clouds form rain, it basically means that the level of humidity in the cloud has reached 100% and air should expel excess moisture in the form of rain.
100% humidity at ground level may also mean that rain is in the forecast. But, rain at ground level doesn’t mean that humidity level is at 100% in that area.
While a lot of people consider temperature as a primary factor in determining their comfort level, low or high levels of relative humidity may alter how comfortable you’re feeling.
Combined with high temperature, high levels of relative humidity may be harmful to kids and elderly as one’s body has a tough time cooling off when both humidity and temperature levels are very high.
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Humans are sweating to prevent the body from overheating in hot temperature and excess water vapor in air may prevent sweat from evaporating off of the skin, which may cause you to stay overheated.
Same to the effects of high humidity level, low levels of relative humidity will make you feel like the air is much cooler than it is.
A low level of relative humidity may be a trigger for health problems. Cold winter air might hold less water vapor compared to warmer air, which may cause air to feel dry in winters.
The combination of low relative humidity and cold air may cause some respiratory issues, itchy and dry skin, dehydration, and contracting cold and some illnesses.
Your environment is susceptible to the impacts of low and high humidity as well. During summer, if your home’s interior has a high humidity level, there’s a high chance of mold growing in your house.
If during winter months, the air in your home has a low level of relative humidity, there’s a huge chance of wood surfaces or floors warping and shrinking and fungi growing in your home’s structure.
For you to keep your environment comfortable throughout the year, you should use a humidifier if the level of humidity is low. House plants may also raise the home’s humidity level. If your home’s relative humidity level is high during summer months, you should use dehumidifiers.
What’s a Good and Comfortable Humidity Level?
Maintaining the right levels of humidity ensures that you will have a more comfortable and much healthier environment. You will sleep better, you’ll get sick less, and you’ll feel healthier. Indoor humidity levels must be kept between 30% and 50% with a sweet spot at 45%. Anything that is lower than 30% is very dry and over 50% means it’s too humid.
Having too humid air may encourage pest infections and dust mites and could make a home a breeding grounds for mildew and mold. If air is very dry, you are more susceptible to respiratory illnesses, colds, dry hair, dry skin, and cracked furniture.
Maintaining the right levels of humidity may give you lots of health benefits while making your house more comfortable and much safer for everybody in it.
What Should You Do If The Level of Humidity is Very Low?
Low levels of humidity are more common during winter months since cold air holds lesser moisture than warmer air. Dry air can cause itchy and dry skin, dry hair, flaky scalp, and chapped lips. It can also increase instances of static electricity. Wood furniture and floors can crack or split and paint would begin to chip.
Fortunately, humidifiers offer a cost-effective solution to efficiently and quickly raise levels of humidity at home. They do not use up a lot of energy and could make your home much warmer that is helpful during colder months. You will end up saving more on the electricity bills since you do not have to crank up the thermostat.
Take note that you should aim for a 30% – 50% mark and consider using your personal comfort to gauge your selected setting’s effectiveness. If you are waking up with a raspy voice, dry throat or you notice that everybody is coming down with colds than usual, it could be a great idea to ramp up humidity and determine if it helps.
What Should You Do If It is Too Humid?
People who are living in a very humid climate have several problems to face. If the levels of humidity are too high, you could notice condensation around your house, especially on windows during winter. Increased moisture in the air may also cause stained walls and ceilings and provides a breeding ground for mildew and mold. Pests including cockroaches gravitate towards humid environments.
To lower the levels of humidity, an option is to buy a dehumidifier. There are some ways on how you can lessen the humidity. These include the following:
- If you decide to get a dehumidifier, see to it that you use this only where and when it is needed like in the basements during summertime.
- Lessen the moisture level inside your house through taking various measures like taking cold and quick showers, enabling wet clothes to dry outside, reducing plants you have, and cooking with a covered pot.
- Increase ventilation through opening windows to let drier and fresher air inside.
- Have an exhaust fan installed in places where moisture might accumulate like a bathroom and kitchens.
- If you have humidifiers, try turning it off or lowering it all together.