Maintaining a healthy amount of humidity within your home can be a balancing act. That’s because the amount of water vapor found within your home is continuously changing. Because cold air contains less water than warmer air, the winter months are a prime time for low home humidity levels. This holds particularly true for older, less energy-efficient homes. A home with too low of humidity levels can prove problematic for a plethora of reasons. Here’s what you need to know.
How Much Humidity is Too Low:
Humidity levels below 30% can cause issues with your home and health. Unsure if your home’s humidity levels are too low? A simple test is to fill a glass of water and then drop in three ice cubes. If there’s no condensation on the exterior of the glass after three minutes, it’s a sign that your home’s humidity levels should be higher. To determine the exact levels of humidity within your home, invest in a hygrometer.
Health Issues Caused by Low Humidity Levels:
Low humidity levels can be the result of an array of health issues. Lips can become perpetually chapped. Your eyes and skin can rapidly become dry and itchy. The likelihood of catching a cold, the flu, or infection can skyrocket because of the inflammation of your mucous membrane. Recovering from these symptoms can be prolonged if the home’s humidity levels are not addressed. Occupants of low humidity homes also frequently complain of scratchy throats and frequent bloody noses.
Home Issues Caused by Low Humidity Levels:
There’s no need to “tough it out” if your home’s humidity levels are too low. That’s because several areas of your home can also be negatively impacted. Static electricity is evidence of low home humidity levels. Elevated levels of static electricity can negatively impact the internal components of electronics. Cracked wallpaper and drywall seams that have pulled apart are also telltale signs of a home with too little humidity. The same holds true for chipped paint. Photographs, books, stamps, and artwork will crumble if exposed to prolonged periods of low humidity. Wooden furniture and flooring aren’t exempt from the hazards of abysmal moisture levels, as they can crack as a result.
Tips for Increasing Your Home’s Humidity Levels:
The most straightforward way to address low humidity levels within your home is to invest in a humidifier. In some scenarios, a humidifier in a few select rooms will suffice. Other times, one that services your entire home is warranted. Setting your home’s thermostat to a lower level can also provide relief because the more artificial heat your home utilizes, the dryer it becomes. Increasing the number of plants within your home can also up your home’s humidity levels.