When you think of humidity, it’s likely that you think of the stuffy, sticky summer camping trips, or the dry mountain air of skiing season. To most, humidity isn’t in the conversation when it comes to home comfort. However, it’s a real concern that affects nearly every aspect of your home, from family health to wood flooring. Here are some of the reasons it’s integral to balance the humidity in your home.
Absolute Humidity vs. Relative Humidity
To understand the importance that humidity has when it comes to your home, you’ve got to understand what it is at its core. The basic reading of humidity is absolute humidity, which measures the amount of water vapour in the air. Relative humidity describes the amount of water in the air relative to the temperature. Because hot air can hold more moisture than cold air, relative humidity at a high temperature is far more noticeable than it is at lower temperatures.
When you watch the evening news or read the paper, the humidity expressed as a percentage is actually relative humidity. The aspect to remember is that absolute humidity and relative humidity are not interchangeable terms, and relative humidity has a more profound effect on indoor air quality.
Humidity and Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air quality is the number one factor when it comes to the breathability of the air in your home. If it drops below a certain level, you’re bound to suffer from respiratory problems.
Low humidity is one of the leading causes of ailments developed in the home. Dry, cracked skin, bloody noses, chapped lips, and dry sinuses are just a few of the health problems that can develop in low humidity. In addition, pre-existing conditions like asthma or bronchitis can become worsened with low humidity.
In high humidity, other risks come up. The increase in moisture allows a number of microorganisms to thrive, like dust mites, bacteria, and mold. Dust mites can amplify the effects of respiratory issues. Mold and bacteria, like the ones that cause Legionnaires’ disease, can be lethal if they multiple and enter air ducts, which eventually blows them into living areas.
Significance of Humidity on Your Home
While your family’s health is the #1 concern with indoor humidity, humidity can also have a negative effect on your home. Namely, it can wreak havoc on your home’s wood surfaces! When the humidity is too low, wood doesn’t have enough moisture to retain its form. Each grain or ring in the wood reacts differently to humidity, and when it’s not up to the right level, cracking begins to occur. Not only does this destroy hardwood flooring, furniture, and musical instruments, but it creates an expensive fix!
When your home’s humidity reaches a level that’s too saturated, it also has a detrimental effect but it’s easier to identify. If you notice excess moisture pooling on surfaces or water forming on windows and walls, the humidity is too high. Excess moisture causes wood to up or warp, destroying both engineered and natural hardwood flooring. In addition, high humidity can get into walls and underneath the flooring encouraging rot over time. When this happens, all-new flooring, drywall, or wall studs are the only solution.
How to Prevent Humidity Issues
Even with the outside weather adversely affecting your home’s humidity, it’s easier than you think to maintain the perfect indoor humidity! Depending on the outdoor levels, it’s sometimes as simple as opening your windows for a short period. However, this is often an inconsistent way of managing humidity.
To get the perfect balance of indoor humidity throughout the house, your best bet is to use a Humidew humidifier. With no installation or tricky systems, it’s the perfect way to maintain your home’s humidity levels. Click here to shop Humidew!