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Why Too Much or Too Little Humidity is Bad for Your Home

January 9th, 2020 by cverdone


Humidity is an important factor to good indoor air quality, but striking the perfect balance isn’t always easy. Knowing how to spot the difference between too much and too little humidity can help you create a more comfortable home environment.

The effects of too much or too little humidity can range from health issues to HVAC system damage, and balancing your home’s humidity level will ensure that you enjoy clean, safe air all year.

How Humid Should It Be in My House?

The ideal indoor humidity level varies depending on the time of year. As the temperature outside rises or decreases, the relative humidity level in your home also changes. Relative humidity refers to the right level of water vapor in the air.

The optimal relative humidity level in a house is 45 percent, which you can check by using a device called a hygrometer. Similar to a thermostat, hygrometers can be used throughout the year to gauge the humidity levels in your home and make any necessary adjustments.

An HVAC professional can also come over and measure your home’s relative humidity level if you suspect it’s off-balance.

Signs of Low Humidity

Too much moisture in the air can lead to mold growth, bacteria and airborne illnesses. If your house’s humidity levels are too high, the family could begin to experience health symptoms like dry eyes and skin, a runny nose, more colds and viral infections and lung and sinus irritation.

Wood floors and furniture may begin to warp, and wallpaper or paint may start to peel or flake off the walls. With too little humidity, your internal body temperature drops, which can cause you to feel cold even when the heat is on high.

Signs of High Humidity

A house that is too humid will have air that produces that unmistakable wet and sticky feeling associated with summer. Unlike “dry” heat, humidity combined with a high temperature creates an uncomfortable, damp environment that can lead to musty smells, condensation and water pooling near windows.

Beware: Houses with high humidity levels are the ideal breeding ground for mold and mildew. Even worse, these fungi can start to grow in HVAC ducts, and their microscopic spores are pushed into the home’s vents every time you run your heating or air conditioning.

Improve Your Indoor Air Quality With the Right Maintenance

Contact Thornton Heating and Cooling today to schedule an appointment with a licensed HVAC professional. We can help you pinpoint causes of poor air quality in your home, including too high or too low humidity, and come up with fast and effective solutions.