HomeScienceWhat's the Ideal Indoor Humidity Level for Summer and Winter?

What’s the Ideal Indoor Humidity Level for Summer and Winter?

smarthome smarthome automation technology what's the ideal indoor humidity level
Gerd Altmann / Pixabay

Air quality, including humidity, is a critical factor in our lives and health. Proper indoor humidity levels help to promote good health and comfort of people, plants, and pets living in your home.

As you’re probably aware, humidity can be either too high or too low.

Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. It’s expressed as a percentage, with percentages below 50% indicating that there is less moisture in the air than at full saturation (100%). The optimal level of relative humidity for most homes is between 30% and 50%.

Indoor humidity levels are often considered a minor problem in the home, but they have a major impact. In order to reduce moisture levels in your home, you must increase its relative humidity, and in order to do that you need to understand how humidity affects your home and family members all year round.

How to Measure Indoor Humidity Levels

A hygrometer is a device that measures moisture content in the air, usually expressed as a relative humidity value. The word “hygrometer” derives from Greek ὑγρός (hygros) meaning “moist” and μέτρον (metron) meaning “measure”.

smarthome smarthome automation technology what's the ideal indoor humidity levelhygrometerwhat's a hygrometer?
Kaffeebart / Unsplash

The most common type of hygrometer is the wet-bulb thermometer. This instrument consists of a thermometer with a moistened wick, which evaporates water from the wick’s surface. The cooling effect of evaporation depends on the temperature and humidity, so by measuring the temperature and reading from the wet-bulb thermometer scale, it is possible to calculate relative humidity.

Related articles: Best Hygrometers to buy in 2023

What Are the Ideal Indoor Humidity Levels?

Summer

Ideal indoor humidity levels during summer should be between 30 and 45, according to many experts in the field.

Winter

During winter, ideal indoor humidity should be around 30 to 50 percent in order to avoid health problems and also damage to your home.

How to Decrease the Indoor Humidity?

Dehumidifier

smarthome smarthome automation technology what's the ideal indoor humidity levelHoneywell dehumidifierwhat's a dehumidifier?
Honeywell

Homes with dehumidifiers, especially during the winter months, are ideal for people who suffer from allergies, asthma, and other respiratory conditions. Humidity also plays a vital role in maintaining the structural integrity of your home. It helps prevent damage from wood rot and mold growth by preventing dry air from seeping into cracks between walls.

Related: Best dehumidifiers for 2023

Use Smart Thermostats or Smart AC Controllers

smarthome smarthome automation technology what's the ideal indoor humidity levelsmart thermostat
Honeywell

The use of smart thermostats and smart AC controllers can help to control indoor humidity. These devices are able to detect the humidity levels in a room and adjust accordingly.

These gadgets can help you save energy, increase your comfort, and reduce the risk of mold.

Related article: Best Smart Thermostats for 2023 / Best Smart AC Controllers for 2023

Cold Showers

The water from the shower will evaporate quickly when it is introduced into the air. The evaporation process is a cooling process, so the air in your house will be cooled as a result.

Avoid Boiling Water

Avoid boiling water to avoid introducing moisture into the air so that the humidity level in the air does not increase.

How to Increase the Indoor Humidity?

Dry air or too high humidity has a negative impact on people’s health, but even worse on babies. What you can do to ensure optimal humidity:

Humidifier

smarthome smarthome automation technology what's the ideal indoor humidity levelhumidifier how to buy a humidifier
Asundermeier / Pixabay

Humid air can help ease respiratory problems and allergies, while dry air can irritate your skin and make you uncomfortable.

If the air is too dry, it can cause respiratory problems such as asthma and allergies, skin rashes, and chapped lips. Too much moisture in the air can also cause mold growth, increasing your risk of getting sick.

A humidifier is a device that increases the amount of moisture in the air. The goal of using a humidifier is to prevent problems related to dry air, problems that can affect you and also your home.

Related articles: Best humidifiers for 2023

Air-Dry Clothes

Another way to increase the humidity level in your room is to air-dry washed clothes. Using a clothes drying rack instead of using the dryer, can increase the humidity level in your house.

Hot Showers

Having hot showers and leaving the bathroom door open can also increase humidity levels in the house. It is actually a good idea for a fast way to increase your indoor humidity, but it’s not for the long term. You can try other tricks or buy a humidifier instead.

Houseplants

Houseplants can have a number of benefits, including improving home air quality, reducing stress and anxiety levels, and increasing humidity.

Adding houseplants to your home is an effective way to naturally increase the humidity level in your home’s air without needing humidifiers or other technology. Plants give off moisture through transpiration, which helps keep your indoor environment moist. This can be beneficial in reducing dry skin and helpful in alleviating physical discomfort associated with low humidity – such as headaches or fatigue.

Cook More

Cooking can increase humidity levels in your home by introducing moisture into the air. When moisture is released as steam during cooking, it raises the humidity level in the room.

This can be especially true when cooking with a large amount of water, like boiling vegetables or making stews and soups. Additionally, if you are using a stovetop pressure cooker or slow cooker, the moisture from these cooking techniques releases into the air more slowly than traditional methods and can further increase the onboard humidity levels in your home.

Improve Indoor Air Quality

Air Purifier

An air purifier is a device that removes dust, pollen, smoke, and other airborne pollutants from the air. It does this by using a filter to capture particles and then releasing clean air back into the room.

smarthome smarthome automation technology what's the ideal indoor humidity level smart thermostat
Philips

The filter in an air purifier can be made of different materials. Some are made of paper or cloth while others are made of metal or plastic. The type of filter used will depend on what kind of particles need to be removed from the air.

Air purifiers don’t add moisture to the air, but humidifiers on the other hand don’t clean the air.

Related article: Best Air Purifiers for 2023

Problems Associated With Low Indoor Humidity

Low Humidity Effects on Health

You may not have realized or cared about humidity levels, but low humidity levels in your home can have the following consequences for your health: dry skin and lips, scratchy nose and throat, respiratory issues, bloody nose, and even a low body temperature.

Effects of Low Humidity on the Home

A low amount of moisture in the indoor air can have a damaging effect on your home. Wooden furniture and flooring will warp or crack, and wallpaper tends to gather mold behind it and peel or become loose.

Static electricity will increase and overall comfort will be affected.

Problems Associated With High Indoor Humidity

High Humidity Effects on Health

Too much moisture in the air is interfering with your body’s natural cooling mechanism and you will become dehydrated.

Due to the high relative humidity in the air, the air temperature will feel hotter. If your thermometer reads 30 degrees Celsius, but the relative humidity is at 75 percent, your body will perceive it to be almost 40 degrees. Your body will work harder to cool you down, which leads to dehydration.

Besides dehydration and abundant sweating, people are predisposed to overheating and even heat stroke.

Effects of High Humidity on the Home

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), if the humidity rises by about 60%, this is considered a high level, and the appearance of mold and mildew is undesirable, which in turn can attract cockroaches or dust mites.

A humidifier or dehumidifier helps maintain comfort levels in your home, office, and other buildings by either adding or removing moisture from the atmosphere.

Read more: Best Sleep Apps to Download in 2022

Best dehumidifiers for 2023

Best humidifiers for 2023

Best Air Purifiers for 2023

Best Smart Thermostats for 2023

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