Humidity is nothing new to us here in the South. But did you know that humidity directly influences air quality in and around your home? Humidity levels that are too high or too low influence many different areas of your home. So, what happens when humidity levels fluctuate?
When humidity levels are above normal, it invites allergens, dust mites, mold, and mildew issues. The moisture in the air creates the perfect environment for these nuisances to thrive. If you are experiencing increased allergies, it could be an effect of humidity levels. Wood rot is another common situation. When windows fog up and condensation begins to drip down onto your windowsills, it can cause the wood around your window to rot. If you are a fan of wallpaper, humidity is your number one enemy. High humidity causes wallpaper to peel and fall away and no one likes to rehang wallpaper. Many people think that turning on the AC or a fan will help decrease humidity levels, but that is a common misconception. Making sure your insulation is intact and that there is proper ventilation is the best way to avoid that sweltering humidity.
Humidity keeps you on your toes because levels that are too low are also an issue. Low humidity levels can cause problems in your home and with your health. In your home, you may notice wood floors and furniture that begin to crack and splinter. Wood requires a level of moisture to keep it in tip top shape. Caulking in your windows or bathroom may begin to dry out as well, calling for a complete redo. Your health can suffer due to low humidity too. You will be more prone to dry skin, sore throat, and may be at an increased risk of catching a cold or the flu.
So how do we know that humidity is at an ideal level? Your ideal humidity level is between 30-50% but 45% is the best. The best tool to use to check this level is called a hygrometer. This device tests the levels of humidity so you can react accordingly. They are also inexpensive at around $10-30 depending on where you purchase them. Humidity levels can affect more than just your home and are something to pay attention to throughout the summer months, especially here in the South.