- 1 Signs Your Home Has Low Humidity
- 2 Signs Your Home Has High Humidity
- 3 How To Measure Humidity In The Home
- 4 Where To Place A Hygrometer
- 5 What Is A Safe Relative Humidity Level?
- 6 How To Adjust Humidity In Your Home
- 7 In Conclusion
Household humidity can have an impact on the comfort of your home. Too much, or too little is what you are trying to avoid. In this article, we will review the signs to watch for that may tip you off to harmful humidity levels, discuss how to take an indoor humidity measurement and where to place a hygrometer to ensure that you get a valid measurement, and ways to control the household humidity level.
Signs Your Home Has Low Humidity
Low humidity can be identified in several ways. If you experience dry skin or chapped lips, clothing that has static cling or you get a spark that zaps you when you touch metal, or you have nose or throat irritations, your home has low humidity. Around the home, you may find a build-up of dust, furniture joints that are dried out and loose, moldings that have separated at joints, and floors and stairs that squeak. All of these are signs of a low household humidity level.
Signs Your Home Has High Humidity
High humidity can also be identified in many ways. If you detect musty smells, have allergic reactions such as sneezing, chronic coughing, or itchy eyes, or you have a clammy feeling when wearing synthetic clothing, your home has high humidity. Around the house, if you see mold forming on walls and ceilings, condensation on the inside of windows, or insect infestations, the household humidity is likely to be too high.
How To Measure Humidity In The Home
A hygrometer is an instrument that measures the amount of moisture (water) in the air and displays the percentage as relative humidity (RH).
Hygrometers come in various sizes and types. There are analog hygrometers as well as digital hygrometers that are available on the market. Both are reliable and relatively cheap meaning that you can easily buy one or a few for different locations around your home. They come in a range of functions from the most basic that just displays the amount of humidity in the air, to others that have extra functionality such as thermometers, wind gauges, as well as multiple remote units that you distribute at key locations around your property.
An indoor humidity measurement tool such as a hygrometer is an inexpensive option that can save you great expenses in the long run. The key to capturing an accurate reading is the hygrometer location.
Where To Place A Hygrometer
Hygrometer placement is critical and having the best hygrometer on the market is not of much use if it is placed in the wrong location. Since hygrometers are very sensitive instruments and are affected by fluctuations in the local household humidity level, there are certain locations where you should not place a hygrometer.
Even though hygrometer location is so important, it is still fairly simple. The layout of your home will assist with hygrometer location. For best results, place the instrument in a living area but not near the bathroom or kitchen. The reason for this is that both of those locations produce their own moisture that will impact the relative humidity reading recorded by the hygrometer. Steam from cooking or showers can seriously affect the readings that you will get from your hygrometer, so ensure that where you place your hygrometer is not close to excess moisture hotspots such as these.
What Is A Safe Relative Humidity Level?
Indoor humidity levels should fall somewhere between 30% and 50%. During the summer months, relative humidity of 55% is still considered safe and comfortable. Levels below 30% and over 60% are to be avoided.
How To Adjust Humidity In Your Home
How To Increase Humidity When It Is Too Low
There are several ways you can increase the humidity in your home to a safe level. You can purchase a portable humidifier, add a whole-house humidifier to your furnace or heating system, or eliminate potential air leaks by weatherproofing windows and doors. Other ways to increase humidity include boiling water when cooking on the stovetop, hanging your laundry out to dry inside, or keeping the bathroom door open and not using the fan when showering… however these methods may not be as reliable and could cause condensation or other moisture-related issues.
How To Decrease Humidity When It Is Too High
There are also ways to lower the humidity in your home. You can purchase a portable dehumidifier, add an extractor fan vented to the outside to your bathroom and kitchen to remove moisture from these areas, or install a whole home dehumidifier to your HVAC system. You can even use certain plants in your home to absorb moisture and reduce humidity.
More You Can Do To Protect Your Household Humidity Levels
If high humidity is the problem, there are some things you can do to the exterior of your home to keep the moisture content inside your home at a safe and comfortable level.
Flashing around windows and doors should be checked and repaired/replaced where needed. Leaky gutters and downspouts should be repaired or replaced. Add a downspout extender to force water to drain away from your home. Cover window wells to prevent them from collecting rainwater.
Home maintenance is important when it comes to maintaining normal humidity levels inside a house, so ensure you keep your home well maintained on the outside for optimal household humidity levels on the inside.
The humidity inside your home can have a huge impact on the health of you and your family. It can also have an impact on the condition of your home. By maintaining correct humidity levels between 30% and 60% RH, your home will be comfortable and safe.
A hygrometer is essential in assisting with measuring the moisture content in the air within your home. If that level is too high or too low, there are ways to remedy the situation. By keeping your household humidity level within the range mentioned above, you and your family will enjoy being indoors as much as being outdoors and you reduce the potential damage to your home from too much or too little humidity.
However, as mentioned above, it is important to know where to place a hygrometer in your home. Otherwise, measurements can be easily affected by day-to-day activities such as moisture from stoves tops and showers. So always ensure that care is taken with your hygrometer location so that you get accurate readings.