This Humidity Level Is What You Should Strive for at Home

A normal humidity level in a home depends upon a number of factors, beginning with the local climate. Outdoor humidity always exerts some effect on indoor conditions, as outdoor air inevitably infiltrates indoors. However, other, more controllable circumstances also impact indoor humidity and make maintaining a stable, normal humidity level in a home more achievable.

Who Says What’s Normal?

While the exact figure varies slightly, the general consensus from experts such as the Mayo Clinic is that the normal humidity level in a home should range between 30% and 50%.

Why Humidity Matters

If humidity is too high, the house feels muggy in summer and/or clammy cold in the winter. A house with too little humidity feels hard to heat in winter and occupants experience dry skin and coughs. In both cases, indoor temperature control is a moving target that’s hard to hit.

A healthy indoor environment also depends on a normal humidity level in a home. Excessive humidity spawns the growth of mold and mildew, as well as other bacteria. Low humidity indoors has been proven to extend the life of airborne viruses, specifically cold and flu.

Humidity impacts a physical structure too. Condensation resulting from excess water vapor is deposited on wooden structural materials and floors, accelerating rot and deterioration. Low humidity, meanwhile, peels paint and wallpaper and causes shrinkage in wooden building materials, resulting in warping or cracking.

How to Keep Humidity Normal

  • Monitor indoor humidity with inexpensive, digital humidity meters. These units typically come in multi-packs so you can position several meters in different rooms throughout the house.
  • Proper condition and operation of your HVAC system directly impacts indoor humidity. Schedule annual preventative maintenance of the furnace and the air conditioner. This ensures that the furnace and air conditioner are operating up to the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • In climates where excess humidity is chronic, consider adding a whole-house dehumidifier to automatically control humidity levels throughout all living spaces.

More information about maintaining a normal humidity level in a home is available from Paitson Bros. Since 1922, we’ve been your source for a healthy, comfortable indoor environment.

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