What is the Ideal Indoor Humidity for My Home?

Mintaining Ideal Indoor Humidity

We all know the discomfort that comes with extreme humidity levels in the air, but what if we told you that those extremes were a hazard to your home, too? It turns out maintaining ideal indoor humidity plays a huge role in keeping your home and family healthy.

Why care about humidity?

For starters, let’s talk about your health. Even in the summer the humidity in your home can be too low. Cranking the AC or using a dehumidifier to battle the sweltering heat outside may lead to dry skin, irritated sinuses and throat, and itchy eyes. Over time, living in a home with low humidity can inflame the lining your respiratory tract, increasing your risk of colds, the flu, and other infections. High humidity is just as bad, and may be even worse, especially if it’s mixed with high temperatures. Conditions like this can lead to heat stroke, yikes!

Not only does the high humidity and high temperature combination aggravate allergies, it can also cause allergic reactions from mold. High humidity can allow mold to grow rapidly, wreaking havoc on porous surfaces in your HVAC system; wherever there’s moisture, there’s a place for mold. Keeping your humidity levels under control means mitigating and preventing any mold damage, wood rot, warped woodwork and flooring, and peeling wallpaper, to name a few. Not to mention the impact for the Oenophiles and art collectors among us. Abnormal humidity can be dangerous for wine and art collections alike!

How to maintain humidity levels

A system like WallyHome can help you keep tabs on humidity levels, and even alert you if your readings aren’t normal for any given environment in your home. For most people, 30-50% humidity will be most comfortable.

However, certain parts of the home might require a little humidity TLC. For wine cellars, humidity can play into the condition of labels and dryness of corks, which is important for preserving your wine’s flavor and quality. According to Wine Spectator, anywhere in the 50%-80% humidity range is considered safe for your bottles. Conversely, art pieces prefer a crisp 45%-55%. The Philadelphia Museum of Art tells us that humidity can cause swelling or contractions in pieces like canvases, so humidity monitoring is key.

What happens if your home slips out of the desired range? If humidity is too low, the solution can be as simple as plugging in a humidifier or even adding houseplants! If humidity is too high try a fresh air intake duct and make sure to ventilate areas when air gets moist, like over the stove or after a shower.

Do you have humidity horror stories, or have tips for monitoring your home? Share in the comments below!