5 Ways Indoor Humidity Affects Your Health and Comfort
In a previous post we discussed the importance of maintaining an optimal indoor humidity level of 30% – 60%. In today’s post, we’ll show you five ways in which the humidity in your home can impact your comfort and overall health:
- Humidity is related to temperature and thus affects your overall comfort. For example, warmer air can hold more water vapor if the water vapor content stays the same and the temperature drops, the relative humidity increases. Conversely, if the water vapor content remains the same and the temperature rises, the relative humidity decreases. Knowing this will help you adjust and maintain your home’s humidity levels for optimal comfort.
- Improper humidity levels can negatively impact sleep quality. Dry air can increase the chance of respiratory system irritation, which may cause coughing or sneezing during sleep. On the other hand, too much humidity can increase the perceived temperature in your room because it prevents your skin from efficiently shedding excess moisture.
- Excessively dry air can promote the transmission of viruses and bacteria. For example, when someone coughs or sneezes, they emit water droplets into the air. In a dry environment, the water droplets evaporate faster, allowing viruses and bacteria to travel further. Moreover, dry air affects your immune system by drying out your nasal passages and reducing mucus which traps contaminants.
- Microorganisms such as mold, fungi, and bacteria can proliferate on indoor surfaces when humidity levels remain high over a long period. Inhaling or touching these microorganisms may cause allergic reactions for people with asthma or allergies to mold.
- Condensation can be a common issue in the home due to improper use of humidifiers and poor ventilation. Long-term condensation buildup can damage woodwork and become a breeding ground for mold and mildew.
If you are concerned about your indoor humidity, speak to an indoor air quality specialist and schedule a home evaluation.
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