Winter generally brings very low humidity to our homes and the extreme dryness can cause health and other problems. Here we discuss some ideas on how to combat both low and high humidity in your home. We feel the most comfortable when our home's humidity level is between 35-50%. Keeping your home at the correct humidity level will also save you energy and reduce maintenance. Too little humidity and you can have chapped skin and lips, scratchy throats and noses, static and even problems with electronic equipment and damage to furniture.
When humidity is too high in your home, it can cause condensation, stains, mold, and more on windows, ceilings and walls. It can even trigger allergic reactions, contribute to ongoing allergies, and dust mite proliferation.
How do you know what your home's humidity level is? Most hardware stores have hygrometers you can purchase to measure humidity. They generally run from $10-$50. Remember, moisture is created in your home in many uncontrolled ways from showering, drying clothes, cooking, and washing dishes to perspiration and breathing. So it is important to be able to monitor and control the humidity level in your home.
To control the humidity level, you can have a whole house humidifier and/or dehumidifier installed directly to your heating and cooling system, or you can purchase individual units for rooms or areas in your home.
Don't forget these units need to be cleaned and maintained as directed. Be sure to check operational temperatures before purchasing a dehumidifier. Some are designed to operate at temperatures above 75◦ F, and some will operate at temperatures down to 45◦ F.
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