Indoor humidity is one of the most neglected aspects of indoor climate control, and thus it may become a major source of discomfort! How often is it that you’ve maintained the best room temperature, but still something is just not right – it’s probably your home’s humidity level.
With winter picking up its pace, you must have taken measures to winterize your home and be ready to enjoy a cozy holiday season this year. But did you pay attention to the humidity levels that are also going to drop really low? The entire process is vice-versa during summer and still extremely important with humidity getting too high!
We’ve got you covered with everything you need to know about indoor humidity.
After reading this article, you’ll know the ideal indoor humidity levels for you, along with tips and tricks to control the moisture indoors throughout the year.
Best Indoor Humidity Level
Humidity is the measure of water vapors in the atmosphere. The amount of moist air varies as per the season, climate conditions, and the area you live in. Usually, humidity levels remain higher in the summer and lower throughout the winter.
If we speak of the optimal indoor humidity, it should be somewhere in the range of 30% and 50%. But that’s just the maximum and minimum range to keep in mind, as a general rule.
The exact answer to what your indoor humidity should be, depends on several factors. It will mostly rely upon the season, what sort of garments you’re wearing, and what level makes your family comfortable as per their individual needs.
We want to clarify here that both humidity levels that are too low or too high can be a source of severe problems, and therefore, you need to maintain a balanced indoor humidity level.
Ideal Indoor Humidity in Winter
We can’t give you one number, since it relies on the temperature, both inside and outside your home. A range of 30-40% humidity is optimal for the cold weather.
Ideal Indoor Humidity in Summer
The ideal indoor humidity level should be around 40-50% in the summer, depending on the outside temperature. In every scenario, it is advisable to keep the indoor humidity below 50% to avoid mold and bacteria growth in your home.
Ideal Indoor Humidity Chart
When you have perfectly balanced indoor humidity levels, it automatically affects the temperature of your surroundings. Lowering the humidity can make your room cooler in summer, while increasing it can cause warmth during the colder seasons. This greatly aids your HVAC systems to maintain the temperature inside your home and thus helps save electric costs.
To make the process of maintaining the optimal indoor humidity more manageable, we have an ideal indoor humidity chart that you can follow as a rule. This way, you’ll know exactly which indoor humidity setting you need to maintain depending on the outside temperature.
Disadvantages of Poor Humidity Levels
Anything beyond a specific limit can be harmful. Therefore, extreme high and low humidity levels have their own set of disadvantages that you should be aware of.
|Disadvantages of high humidity levels||Disadvantages of low humidity levels|
|Stuffy air typically presents in high humid rooms that are closed off and lacking ventilation can be a significant source of discomfort.||Excessive low humidity levels over an extended period of time cause dry, scaly, and irritated skin.|
|It can often lead to condensation on walls, furniture, and windows.||Low humidity levels result in dry air, which irritates nasal passage and throat, causing inflammation.|
|Mold, dust mites, and fungus grow rapidly in high humid environments. High humidity is hazardous as these creatures can develop on your household items, permanently damaging them.||Our eyes tend to be drier and can get easily irritated in low humidity atmospheres because the evaporation of tears from our eye tissue surfaces increases.|
|A high amount of water vapor in the air can also cause respiratory problems and trigger allergies.||Low humidity causes water molecules to get easily polarized, consequentially increasing static electricity buildup incidence.|
|Carpets and clothing absorb water vapors from the surroundings and become breeding grounds for harmful organisms that negatively affect your health.||Generally, wooden furniture and flooring contain some fluids in their composition. When they are placed in low humidity surroundings for a long time, they end up losing their water content over time, causing them to crack.|
How to Check Indoor Humidity?
The easiest way to measure indoor humidity is by purchasing a hygrometer or an indoor humidity monitor. All you’ve to do is just place the small device in the area you want to test and follow the guidelines. The hygrometer will show your home’s humidity level in a percentage.
If you have no special equipment, you can easily conduct a DIY test to measure indoor humidity! You can know if your home has high or low levels of moist air with an ice cube test. You have to place two to three ice cubes into a glass of water and stir them. After three to four minutes, if moisture is not formed outside the glass, it means the air is too dry. If the moisture appears on the outside of the glass, it means the air is too moist.
With technological innovation, there are several other smart devices with inbuilt humidity sensors. With these, you can check, monitor, and control your humidity levels on the go using your phone. Using smart AC controllers such as Cielo Breez or smart thermostats, you can schedule your HVAC systems to achieve your ideal indoor humidity level!
How to Lower Indoor Humidity?
As mentioned above, high humidity levels pose severe problems and need to be tackled to enjoy a comfortable atmosphere. Here are seven effective methods that you can use to lower humidity indoors.
1. Use a Dehumidifier
A dehumidifier is most effective at higher humidity levels and best for regions where the temperature is warmer. It works to pull moisture from your surroundings and collects the water in a removable tank. Hence it won’t be wrong to say that a dehumidifier works more like an air conditioning unit. Both the devices operate on a similar principle and absorb moisture from the air and cool it down. The only difference is that an AC can also introduce cold air into your room. Please read our article to know more about the two and decide which one is better for you.
You can also opt for a smart home dehumidifier that can be conveniently controlled through Wi-Fi. You’ll be able to set mode, speed, and humidity levels with just a few taps on your phone.
2. Take Cold Showers
Who doesn’t love taking long hot showers? Hence it is no surprise to know that they are already a part of your routine that you’re not ready to give up!
Unfortunately, you may not have noticed, but hot showers leave your home exposed to moisture and are the enemy of home comfort in the scenario where humidity is already very high.
Now we don’t mean you should switch to ice-cold baths, but lowering your showers’ temperature just a few degrees won’t add as much steam to the air. Because cold showers produce less moisture than hot showers, your bathrooms won’t be as prone to mold growth.
3. Grow Plants That Absorb Humidity
Utilizing houseplants can be truly helpful in a number of ways. Most of them act as dehumidifiers by naturally absorbing water from air through their leaves, allowing you to benefit from them to lower humidity. In addition to that, they are aesthetically pleasing to the interior of your home.
Remember that not all plants are suitable to lower humidity levels, so you’ve to be careful while making your choice. Some of the plants that you can have indoors include Boston Fern, Orchids, Cactus, English Ivy, among many others.
4. Install Exhaust Fans
In most homes, exhaust fans are already present. Bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans can be vital in keeping a low humidity level. They function to remove the excess humidity that is added to the air as a result of showering, boiling water, and other such activities. If your home doesn’t have these fans, investing in them will help maintain optimal indoor humidity.
5. Open Windows
Air circulation will do a great deal in reducing the stuffy, sticky sensation of a moist home, so you should open up windows and doors from time to time to let in the fresh air. Keeping inside doors open also helps air flow freely, creating a balance around your entire living space.
6. Dry Laundry Outdoors
With the exception of unfavorable climate conditions, there is no rhyme or reason to hang wet or damp clothes to dry inside when you’re already facing a humidity problem. The evaporating water from your clothes has no place to go except entering into the air of your home. So you should dry your laundry outside to let the unwanted moisture stay out of your accommodation!
7. Replace Your Rugs
Even though they are regularly neglected, carpets do more harm than most people realize. Apart from adding visual allure and cushioning floors, carpets also absorb and retain the air’s moisture. They might be discreetly adding to the stuffy air of your home. If you’ve tried all the other strategies for dehumidifying your home and they have not worked, you should consider replacing your rug or carpet.
How to Increase Indoor Humidity?
Low humidity levels are as much of a problem as high humidity levels. Let’s have a look at seven ways to bring the humidity levels up.
1. Use a Humidifier
Humidifier diffuses moisture to the air to avoid dryness that can irritate different parts of your body. It can be incredibly viable for treating dry skin, nose, throat, and lips, particularly in winter. It also helps ease some of the symptoms of flu or cold.
However, overusing a humidifier may also be a problem. Hence it is best to invest in a smart home humidifier that automatically controls a room’s atmosphere depending upon the schedules or preferences you set using its smart features.
Having said that, you also need to have a check on the humidifiers that you’re using. It would be best to clean them regularly, or else they can turn into the breeding ground for mold or bacteria.
2. Take Hot Showers
We know taking long showers and baths can lead to dry and patchy skin; hence we’re not recommending that. But if you act smart, you can use this steam to benefit by letting it enter your room. It’ll help you humidify the indoor air without having to be under a shower for hours by simply leaving the water in the tub and opening the bathroom door. By allowing the water to evaporate in the air, you’ll have moist air and hence a comfortable environment around your living space.
3. Dry Laundry Indoors
In case you don’t feel like investing in a humidifier, build yourself a humidifier for cheap or try alternate ways to diffuse water vapors in the air. For starters, you can start by drying your laundry indoors. This way, you’ll be able to increase the humidity level while also saving up money on drying and heating expenses.
4. Air-Dry Your Dishes
You can do something very similar to your dishes. After your final wash cycle, leave your dishwasher open and let the hot, damp air fill your home while the dishes air-dry. Adding this technique to your daily routine will save you cash and fill the air with the required amount of moisture.
5. Cook Without Lids
You can also benefit by utilizing your stovetop for cooking and boiling water. Ain’t that cool?
The steam will discharge directly into the air while you cook food or boil water. This simple trick will let you use your stove more often than depending on the microwave more frequently, improving your home’s humidity level.
6. Grow Houseplants
Plants are great, and we all know that! But are you using them to your benefit?
If no, then in addition to lightening up your space, they can improve the humidity and the air quality inside your home. Humidifying plants also have lots of medical advantages. They add moisture to the air through a cycle called evapotranspiration.
There are plenty of humidifying plants that you can choose from, including Jade Plant, Lady Palm, and Rubber Plant.
7. Add an Indoor Fountain
Any source of water that you can have inside your home will help to increase the humidity levels. Hence, installing an indoor fountain will contribute to the beauty of your home and moist the dry air.
Bonus Tip: If you have a ductless mini-split, window, or portable AC, try using a smart AC controller that’ll automatically make all humidity adjustments as you relax on your sofa after a hectic day. The Comfy Mode works like magic, allowing you to make the desired changes in a few seconds.
Yes, maintaining the ideal humidity levels inside your home is that simple. You just have to add a few tricks and make a few changes in your routine and tada!
I wanted to thank you for this very good read!! I definitely enjoyed every little bit of it. I have you book-marked to check out new stuff you post…
It’s difficult to find well-informed people on this topic, but you seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks