It's a new year, and most of us are excited to make fresh starts. With the holidays in the rear view mirror, it’s time to clean up and store the decor. Because we spent the majority of 2020 at home, we need to change how we take care of our homes.
The indoor air quality (IAQ) in your home is more important than ever, and air filters help improve your IAQ. However, if you've noticed any static electricity or experienced dry/itchy skin or scalp, the humidity in your home could be too low for comfort.
Ideally, during the winter months, the humidity level in your home should range from 30-40%, while 30-45% is good in the summer. The correct humidity levels in your home will make your cool air in the summer cold, and the heat in your home warm rather than dry. However, depending on your comfort level and personal preferences, you may want higher or lower humidity.
Low Humidity Issues:
- Dry & itchy skin
- Reduced ability to fight off colds or infections
- Damage to wood furniture and floors
- Cracked drywall
- Interior paint chipping
- Static electricity
High Humidity Issues:
- Muggy air
- Condensation on windows
- Mold growth
- Sleep discomfort
- Difficulty drying after bathing
How do I achieve a healthy humidity?
In the winter:
- Purchase a couple of live houseplants.
- Add water basins next to or near your heating system.
- Add a whole-house humidifier (long-term solution) or purchase a couple of portable humidifiers.
In the summer:
- Be sure to use exhaust fans when cooking inside.
- Use air conditioning to remove moisture indoors.
- Make sure to store/put away portable humidifiers.
- Reduced risk of infections
- Softer, moist skin
- Relief from snoring
- Less likely to develop sore throat
- Fewer static electricity shocks near electronics or rugs/carpeting
- Protection of artwork, such as photos and paintings
- Prevention of cracks in walls and paint
Maintaining comfortable humidity levels in your home can take considerable effort. However, once you figure out what your needs are and manage those needs with a routine, you will have much more success maintaining comfortable humidity levels, improving IAQ in your home.
Some older homes have basements that can hold a lot of moisture. In those cases, you will need a dehumidifier. Older homes also tend to have older bathrooms that lack adequate ventilation. If this is a problem for you, you can install exhaust fans to remove excessive moisture from the air.
However, your humidity needs could be completely different based on your living space. If you experience extremes in humidity levels in your home, you should consult professionals for overwhelming dryness or moisture.