Vertex Mechanical’s HVAC, Plumbing & Electrical Blog

Humidity & Its Effects on Comfort & Health

Keeping your home’s humidity levels in check can significantly improve the healthfulness and comfort of your home. The old saying “It’s not the heat (or cold) – it’s the humidity” applies just as well to homes as it does to the great outdoors. Other than ambient temperature, nothing upsets a body’s perception of comfort more than the humidity level. And there’s a fairly narrow range between what is considered too much and too little humidity.

Industry experts state that keeping your home’s humidity between 30-60 percent can help reduce the effects of many unwanted conditions. Excess humidity or too little humidity not only leads to an unhealthy home, but can also cause permanent damage to your home’s structure and belongings. Below are some of the side effects of humidity imbalance:

Too Little Humidity

  • You may experience chronic physical symptoms such as sore throats, dry/itchy skin, nose bleeds or sinus irritation.
  • Your home’s wood floors can shrink and crack. Joints in wood furniture can become loose or fail.
  • The wallpaper may peel and paint or plaster may begin to crack.
  • Annoying and sometimes painful static shocks are common occurrences.
  • Your thermostat is cranked up along with your energy bill, but you still feel cold.
  • Your piano and other musical instruments are falling out of tune.

Too Much Humidity

  • Your skin feels clammy, sweaty or sticky.
  • Musty-smelling odors are invading your living space.
  • Wood floors, trim or wood furniture is can warp or rot and the paint may start to peel.
  • Condensation, frost or ice can form on the inside surface of your windows. Water pipes may sweat.
  • Damp spots, mold and mildew can form on ceilings or walls.
  • Allergies or asthma may worsen due to growth of mold, mildew and dust mites.
  • Your house can turn into a breeding ground for termites, cockroaches and other pests.

What You Can Do To Treat The Symptoms

  • Use ventilation fans in kitchens and bathrooms to remove excess moisture from the air. Make sure your fans are venting directly outside.
  • Cover dirt floor crawlspaces under your house with plastic to act as a vapor barrier.
  • Check to make sure your dryer is vented to the outside. Don’t dry wet clothes on drying racks in the house. Air-dry them outdoors if possible.
  • Ensure air conditioning drip pans are clean and drain lines unobstructed.
  • Fix any water leaks in pipes, toilets, showers, etc.

The best way to ensure your home is at the right humidity level is to have a trained service expert test the air quality of your home. For more contact Vertex Mechanical today at 717-335-2633.

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