If you’re curious about what the optimal humidity might be in your home, you’re not alone. Humidity levels can affect the health and comfort of those living in a space, as well as the condition and longevity of various materials in a building. To help you understand more about what’s a good humidity for your home, read on for tips and information.
What is Humidity?
So, what exactly is humidity? Humidity refers to the amount of moisture present in the air. Humidity levels can vary greatly depending on factors like geographic location, climate, and time of year. Relative humidity, which is the most commonly used measure of humidity, expresses the percentage of moisture in the air compared to the maximum amount of moisture the air could hold at a given temperature.
Why is Humidity Important?
Humidity can affect everything from your health and comfort to the health and longevity of your home. Here are some ways humidity levels can impact you and your space:
- Health and Comfort: If humidity levels are too high or too low, it can impact your respiratory health, skin, and overall comfort levels. High humidity can promote mold growth and lead to respiratory issues, while low humidity can cause dry skin and respiratory irritation.
- Home Damage: If humidity levels are too high, it can cause damage to your home like warped floors and walls, peeling paint, and mold growth. If humidity levels are too low, it can dry out your home’s structure and cause materials like wood to crack.
What’s a Good Humidity Level?
While the ideal humidity for your home can vary based on factors like geographic location and personal comfort, there are some general guidelines to follow. The ideal relative humidity level for a home should be between 30-50%.
If your home’s humidity is too low, which is common during colder months, you may experience dry skin, respiratory irritation, and susceptibility to illness. Low humidity can also lead to static electricity and shrinkage of materials used in building.
The following actions can help increase humidity levels in your home:
- Using a humidifier: Adding moisture to the air in your home with a humidifier can help increase humidity levels, especially during the winter months.
- Avoiding excessive heat: If you use a space heater to warm your home, be sure to turn it down as high temperatures can cause moisture to evaporate more quickly.
- Adding indoor plants: Plants can release moisture into the air, which can help increase humidity levels.
If your home’s humidity is too high, which is common during warmer months, you may experience respiratory issues, mold growth, and damage to your home’s structure.
The following actions can help decrease humidity levels in your home:
- Using a dehumidifier: This device can help remove excess moisture from the air, making it easier to maintain an optimal humidity level in your home.
- Using exhaust fans: Proper ventilation can help reduce humidity levels, especially in areas where moisture tends to be high like the bathroom and kitchen.
- Repairing leaks: Addressing any leaks or moisture issues in your home can help decrease humidity levels and prevent further damage.
How to Measure Humidity
There are various devices that can be used to measure humidity levels in your home. These include:
- Digital Hygrometer: This device can display the current temperature and relative humidity levels in your home, making it easy to monitor and adjust as necessary. They are readily available at most hardware stores and online.
- Thermometer/hygrometer: These types of devices can measure the temperature as well as the relative humidity in your home, providing two useful measures in one device.
Maintaining an optimal humidity level in your home is important for both your personal health and the condition of your home. By following the tips outlined above, you can help ensure that your home stays within the ideal range for relative humidity.
Here are some of the most common questions related to humidity levels in your home:
- What happens if the humidity in your home is too high? High humidity levels can lead to respiratory issues, mold growth, and damage to your home’s structure. It’s important to address high humidity to prevent further damage to your home and maintain a healthy living environment.
- What happens if the humidity in your home is too low? Low humidity can cause dry skin, respiratory irritation, and susceptibility to illness. Low humidity can also lead to static electricity and shrinkage of materials used in building.
- What’s the ideal humidity level for a home? The ideal relative humidity level for a home should be between 30-50%.
- How can I measure humidity levels in my home? Digital hygrometers and thermometer/hygrometers are commonly used devices to measure humidity levels in your home.
 “Relative Humidity.: What It Is and Why It Matters” AchooAllergy.com. https://www.achooallergy.com/learning/relative-humidity-what-it-is-and-why-it-matters
 “What is Relative Humidity?” AccuWeather. https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/what-is-relative-humidity/70001561
 “Humidity and HVAC Basics for Indoor Air Quality” Energy.gov. https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/articles/humidity-and-hvac-basics-indoor-air-quality