Most of us are familiar with the term humidity, but we often don't think about it much beyond whether or not our hair will frizz that day. However, the humidity level in your home can greatly impact your health, comfort, and even your appliances. Here's what you need to know about keeping your home at the ideal humidity level.
What Is Humidity?
Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. Water vapor is invisible, but it's present in every breath we take and contributes to things like fog and dew. Relative humidity measures how much water vapor is in the air compared to how much water vapor the air can hold at that temperature.
The Best Humidity Levels for Your Home
The ideal humidity level in a home varies from room to room. For example, the ideal level for a living room is 30-50%, while a bathroom is best around 40-60%. Here are some general guidelines for different rooms in your house:
- Living Room: 30-50%
- Bedroom: 30-50%
- Bathroom: 40-60%
- Kitchen: 40-60%
- Basement: 50-60%
Of course, these are just general guidelines. The specific ideal humidity level for your home will depend on factors like the climate you live in and whether you have any allergies or health conditions that require a higher or lower humidity level.
The Dangers of High Humidity Levels in a Home
The air quality inside your home is an important health factor. If the humidity level is too high, it can create an environment where mold and mildew can thrive and make it harder to breathe. In extreme cases, high humidity levels can lead to health problems like heat stroke.
The Dangers of Low Humidity Levels in a Home
The human body is mostly water, so it's no surprise that we are affected by the humidity level around us. When the humidity level is too low, it can cause problems like static electricity, dry skin, and an increased risk of respiratory infections.
How Can I Control the Humidity in My Home?
The first step is to invest in a hygrometer to monitor your home's humidity levels. Aim for relative humidity between 30-50%.
If your levels are too high, you can use a dehumidifier to remove some of the water vapor from the air. If your levels are too low, try using a humidifier to add moisture back into the air. Be sure to empty and clean your humidifier regularly to prevent bacteria buildup.