How sure are you that the indoor air you’re breathing is healthy? One way to guarantee this is by maintaining good relative air humidity.
Find out what the ideal indoor humidity level is through our helpful chart! Keeping the proper moisture level at home ensures that your home is livable and comfortable.
Ideal Indoor Humidity Chart
Adjusting to the ideal house humidity is one way to promote healthy air quality and control the temperature. Use this indoor humidity chart as a guideline to keep a comfortable environment.
What is the Ideal Indoor Humidity Level Overall?
Indoor humidity refers to the water vapor measurement in the atmosphere of your space. The measure differs throughout the year because the amount of moist air changes every season.
It also depends on your climate condition and location. For example, humidity levels in the summer months are higher than in winter.
Different reliable sources have varying views on the best level of humidity indoors. The ideal humidity level indoors is within the range of 30% and 50%. For HVAC, it should be a bit higher at 40% to 50%. Other sources think the ideal range is 40% to 60%.
The Perfect Level
We can assume that there’s no final agreement on the perfect moisture levels with all this information. That’s because the optimal humidity for appropriate comfort levels depends on many factors. Take your preference, season, activities, and health into account.
But it does not mean that trusted online sources are wrong. The ideal levels of humidity they provided exist in an acceptable range. For example, one sign that your room is too humid is the presence of mold. Some format above 50% humidity, while others form at 60%.
Extremely high or low humidity levels are uncomfortable and unhealthy. They can make your allergy symptoms worse or cause respiratory issues.
Why You Should Control Your Indoor Humidity
Some people overlook the importance of measuring indoor humidity. They prioritize creating the best temperature or predicting the weather. But tracking the humidity is also necessary since it affects your overall health and comfort.
A lack of humidity can result in infections, illnesses, and dry skin. It also causes damage to flooring and wooden objects. But very high humidity can also result in overheating and the growth of mold spores on furniture.
Keeping your humidity under control is not a daunting task. The first step is understanding the ideal humidity values and ensuring your home stays within that range.
Ideal Indoor Humidity in Winter
A range of 30% to 40% is the optimal humidity for the winter season and colder climates in general. If you’re wondering why our expected levels are low, it’s because cold air equates to dry air. When we experience a cooler temperature, a dry feeling always follows.
Even if you have a high relative humidity percentage, the level of moisture vapor is still low. This exact amount of vapor is called absolute humidity. It could also be because you just got off from the shower or boiled water for pasta,
During winter, keep a humidifier to control humidity levels and avoid dry skin and throat. It will allow you to feel more comfortable and moisturized.
Ideal Indoor Humidity in Summer
The ideal humidity in summer can go anywhere from 40% to 50%, depending on the outdoor temperatures. Maintain this sweet spot, so your home feels more comfortable even during hot summer days.
Hotter temperatures usually lead to higher humidity levels. Many people associate high humidity with sunny days because warm air has more capacity for moisture. Approximately 68 degrees of air temperature can carry ten times more water than 32 degrees.
This scientific fact also explains why it’s usually hot before raining. The air feels thicker and heavier, making physical activities more challenging.
Beware of excessive moisture as it can damage furniture because of harmful mold growth. It can also warp your wooden objects and make your house less attractive.
Breathing excess moisture in the summer can also make you sick. For these reasons, it’s necessary to control the humidity levels at home during summer.
Effects of High Humidity
Excessive humidity occurs when the measurement exceeds 60%. This high level is more common in hot weather and warm locations like the South. Here are some effects of a humid environment.
Excess humidity in the air can disrupt your body’s natural way to cool itself, leaving you dehydrated. A temperature of 88 degrees in the summer may seem normal. However, its equivalent humidity of 75% makes it feel like it’s 105 degrees, which causes overheating.
One of the concerns about humidity is its association with increased perspiration. High humidity means a higher temperature, which also means more sweating.
The poor air circulation also interferes with sweat evaporation. You’ll feel stickier because the moisture stays and feels hotter.
When the sweat stays longer on your skin, you become more vulnerable to allergies. You may experience dermatitis, eczema, heat rash, or asthma. The moisture clogs your sweat glands and makes your skin itchier and more swollen.
Mold and Mildew
A high humidity level produces conditions for mold growth. Your home, especially the damp parts, becomes a breeding ground for mold, which causes asthma and allergies. It can also destroy your books, soft furniture, carpets, musical instruments, and ceilings.
Humid weather also leads to mildew. Mildew is the grey or white patch you see on windowsills, shower curtains, and tiles.
Effects of Low Humidity
When the cool weather makes the humidity drop to 30% or lower, the likelihood of developing health concerns increases. Take a peek at the expected impacts of low humidity.
Dry Throat and Skin
Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night because of a scratchy, irritated throat? That’s because cold, dry air can cause an inflamed throat. The lack of humidity causes the air to obtain water vapor from your respiration and pores.
The air’s ability to suck up moisture during cold weather makes your skin, nose, and lips dry. Allergy sufferers experience worse flare-ups because of the compromised moisture barrier.
Costly Damage to Your Home
Damage to wood floors, furniture, and drywall can occur due to low humidity. Your books, artworks, and important documents may also cause extensive damage. Protect these paper materials by constantly monitoring the humidity levels at home.
Dry living space also causes respiratory infections since viruses survive longer in dry areas. Low humidity also makes infective aerosols eliminate their mass. So, when someone sneezes, the air removes the droplets while the virus floats.
Tips for Increasing Indoor Humidity
There are many methods you can try to add extra moisture to your home. Here are some effective solutions.
Get a Humidifier
Humidifiers come in many types and sizes. Just fill the device’s tank with water. Turn it on, and it will release the liquid into the air to create a mist. A humidifier is relatively affordable and easy to operate.
A cool-mist humidifier is a safe option for you. Unlike warm-mist ones, it does cause burns. Ultrasonic models also make zero noise so you can sleep better while it enhances your indoor air quality.
Make sure to get an ultrasonic, cool mist humidifier that is big enough to cover your entire living space. Otherwise, it won’t affect your relative humidity levels. You should also clean and empty the device to avoid contaminants.
Place Your Plants Indoors
Your houseplants can add humidity at home through evapotranspiration. If you water them often, the water from the soil circulates to the roots, stems, and leaves. From the leaves, the water evaporates and moistens the air.
Make the most out of your plants by making them indoor decorations. But not all plants can humidify and purify your air. Here are some species you can keep inside your home:
- Jade plant.
- Spider plant.
- English Ivy.
- Areca Palm.
- Boston Fern.
- Peace Lily.
Don’t let your plants dry up and wither from releasing too much moisture. Water them regularly!
Take a Hot Shower
Taking a hot shower and leaving the door open lets the steam escape into your whole space. Aside from increasing your indoor humidity, it also prevents too much moisture in the bathroom.
But if you don’t want to open your bathroom door, leave your bathtub full after bathing with an open door. Allow the hot water to evaporate into the air and humidify your room.
Hang Your Laundry Indoors
Ditch the dryer and let your clothes air-dry inside your home. Hang them on a drying rack for the air to evaporate and increase your humidity. It’s an affordable solution, especially if you already have a drying rack.
Tips for Lowering Indoor Humidity
Follow these tips if the high humidity levels start to smell like mildew and make your hands clammy.
Turn on Your Air Conditioner
The air conditioner instantly gets rid of humid air by making your room cooler. Frequently change the filter, so your humidity levels stay consistent. Otherwise, it will restrict airflow and keep your space warm.
Turn on all exhaust fans if you don’t want to use your air conditioner. Even if you’re not cooking or showering to eliminate humid air, keep them on.
Get a Dehumidifier
Dehumidifiers are the most effective way to reduce indoor humidity. This electrical device reduces moisture levels in the air, along with musty odor and mildew. Contrary to a humidifier, a dehumidifier sucks up excess water in the air to minimize allergy-triggering dust.
By reducing dust and mold, you also reduce the chance of sneezing, eye irritation, and wheezing. You also avoid invaders, such as cockroaches, spiders, and silverfish.
Another benefit of using one is that it reduces your energy costs. Your HVAC unit operates more efficiently since your air conditioner doesn’t have to remove much moisture, thanks to your dehumidifier.
Take Cooler Showers
Hot showers release steam into the air to make your room more humid. While a hot bath feels more relaxing, it also feels less comfortable in terms of the overall atmosphere. A lukewarm to a cold bath will help you reduce indoor humidity.
If you can’t give up hot showers, keep them shorter. The longer you shower, the more water vapor evaporates.
Fix Your Walls
Walls with holes and cracks can make your room moister because of the outdoor air. On warm days, the moisture seeps into these holes through condensation. Your wall gets even more damaged, allowing more water, mold, and mildew to enter.
Measure Indoor Humidity
An essential tip to maintaining a comfortable atmosphere is regularly monitoring the humidity with a digital hygrometer. This tool helps you measure the amount of moisture present in your house.
Place it in your living space away from your kitchen, bathroom, doors, and windows. The correct placement will make sure that the readings are accurate and reliable.
How It Works
A digital hygrometer will alert you when the humidity is too high or low. This way, you’ll be more proactive about creating a healthy living space. It should also have a comfort indicator for readability and convenience.
An analog hygrometer also works well if you don’t have a digital hygrometer. However, it won’t have trend indicators and smartphone application features.
If you don’t have any humidity sensor, perform an ice cube test to check if there is an abundance or lack of moisture in the air. Place three ice cubes in a glass full of water and mix. After a few minutes, if there is moisture outside the glass, it means the air is dry.
Whether you live in a tropical or snowy zone, ideal indoor humidity can make your home more comfortable. Not only are you less likely to get sick, but your home stays looking good as new.
If you have more questions about indoor humidity, share them in the comments below! Remember, the appropriate humidity range to maintain is between 30% and 50%.