How to Manage Indoor Humidity Levels for Optimal Comfort

by Chris Long - April 12, 2018

Dad and Mom playing with daughter in her bedroom

We all need some humidity in our homes, as anyone who has ever suffered through a particularly dry winter can tell you.

But too much humidity can be a problem. It’s uncomfortable, and it can damage your home. In this week’s blog post, we’ll look at how you can find a happy medium and manage indoor humidity levels.

Is there an ideal humidity level for my home?

According to HVAC experts and the EPA’s EnergyStar program, you should aim for an optimal humidity level of 35 to 45 percent, keeping in mind that this number can depend on your level of activity, and the weather outside:

  • If the temperature is 20 to 40 degrees, the humidity in your home should be below 40 percent.
  • On 10 to 20-degree days, aim for a humidity level below 35 percent.
  • If it’s 0 to 10 degrees outside, the humidity inside should be below 30 percent.

Why is it important to manage indoor humidity levels?

As we indicated earlier, high humidity levels can be harmful to you and your home. For example:

  • iStock-658149944_RT

    Too much moisture can damage the wood, paint and siding in your home.
  • Keeping humidity low can prevent the growth of mildew and odors.
  • Too much humidity makes the air feel muggy and uncomfortable, making it hard to sleep.
  • When there’s too much moisture in the air, you’re creating a breeding ground for pest infestations, as well as mold, dust mites and other allergens.

And when the there isn’t enough moisture in the air:

  • iStock-180709754_RTYour skin feels itchy and dry
  • You’re dealing with static electricity
  • You’re more likely to come down with a cold
  • Your wood floors, furniture, artwork and even electronics are susceptible to damage

How can I manage my indoor humidity levels?

When winter arrives, and the air dries out, you can bring your home back to your optimal humidity level by taking these steps:

  • Investing in portable room humidifiers, or a whole-house humidifier
  • Buying a few houseplants. Just add water to a plant, and it will add moisture to your air. Some good humidifying plants include spider plants, snake plants and rubber plants.
  • Place water basins near your heating system

You can also keep added humidity out of your home. Some humidity fighting methods include:

  • Peace Plant

    Making sure your clothing dryer vents to the outside and installing vent fans in your bathroom and kitchen.
  • If you have a crawl space with dirt floors, cover the floor with a plastic vapor barrier.
  • Make sure you’ve sealed air ducts against leaks.
  • Just as there are houseplants that add moisture to your home, there are also plants that can absorb humidity. Among your options are peace lilies, bay laurels, myrtle and small citrus plants.
  • Keep drip pans and drain lines in air conditioners clear.
  • On humid days, avoid doing things that add moisture to the air, such as boiling water or taking long, hot showers.
  • Make sure your air conditioning system is running efficiently.

Are you trying to manage indoor humidity levels in your home? All Seasons Comfort Control can help with that.

Whether it’s installing a new humidifier or performing maintenance to ensure your HVAC system is running efficiently, our expert technicians are ready to assist you in making your home a more comfortable place.

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