How Low Humidity Affects Your House
The humidity levels in your house can make the room more temperate and affect indoor comfort. Both high and low humidity in the house will have negative impacts. 100% humidity means the house has too much water vapour, leading to problems like rust and rot. Humidity levels below 30% indicate the air is too dry. You will spend a lot more in heating the rooms, and you will develop low humidity symptoms such as dry coughs. With that in mind, the key is to strike the perfect balance.
What should humidity be in the house? Most professionals recommend a humidity level of 30 to 33 percent. This is not an easy level to achieve when considering throughout the year the outdoor humidity in Scarborough and the GTA is about 81% in the morning and 61% in the afternoon. However, not easy doesn’t mean impossible, especially with central air humidifiers and other convenient ways.
Impacts of Low Humidity
If you have been on an airplane, you may have noticed that the cabin tends to be very dry. That is because an airplane cabin has an average of 20% humidity due to the compression and the heating process. Airplanes cannot afford to carry water for humidifier use. In winter, heating air and sending it through the house’s ventilation has the same drying effect as that in an airplane cabin. It leads to low humidity. Low humidity in a house has many effects.
- Dry air feels cold. A lot more will be spent on heating
Air that has low humidity retains heat poorly. That is why the air in a house with low humidity feels a lot colder when the heat is turned off. To compensate for this, the heat has to be cranked up. You also have to keep the furnace running much longer.As might be expected, you will end up spending more to heat your home because the air in your home doesn’t retain most of the heat you supply.
- You feel like you have a cold most of the time
Low humidity level in house Canada is one of the reasons for the perma-cold feeling. Dry air will cause your eyes to itch, your throat will feel scratchy, and your mucus membranes will feel dried out. When the mucus membranes dry out, your body will not be able to protect itself from a real cold, flu and other viruses. Researchers have even found that some flu viruses survive longer and spread easily when the air has low humidity. This can be the main reason why you get sick at least once during winter.
- Dry air damages wood
Wood needs moisture to maintain its integrity. This means if you don’t have an ideal humidity in the house, everything made of wood, including the floors and furniture, will be prone to damage. It happens because dry aid sucks up moisture from anything, including wood. Once all the moisture has been sucked up, wood will start to splinter, crack and shrink. These kinds of damages are irreversible.
- Causes dry, itchy skin
During winter, you may notice a high uptake in body lotion. This is because of the dry winter air as well as the low humidity in the house, which leads to itchy skin. While moisturizers and shampoos can offer temporary relief, you will spend more of these products in winter if you don’t have ideal humidity at home.
- Peel paint
Did you know that low humidity can actually cause the paint in your home to peel? When the air is too dry, it mostly likely will suck up moisture from your wallpapers and paint. When they dry out, they will start to peel or chip.
- Static electricity will be an issue
Dry air creates the ideal atmosphere for static electricity. This means everything you end up touching, such as the doorknob and fabric, will be charged with static electricity. You will start dealing with little jolts now and then.
Impacts of High Humidity
While low humidity has negative effects, high humidity also comes with drawbacks. Most homeowners are tempted to open the window to get relief from dry air. The issue is the air outside has high humidity. The interior of your house will start absorbing the water vapour, and within no time, you will be dealing with myriad water damages.
High humidity puts both your health and your home at risk. Given time, high humidity will cause the following issues:
- Growth of toxic mould
- Difficulty breathing
- Asthma attacks
- Allergic reactions
- Respiratory infections
Most high humidity problems can be avoided by keeping the humidity levels below 50%. While more than 40% may be a good humidity level for the house, such high humidity levels come with problems.
How to Increase Humidity Levels in Your Home
Leave the door open when showering
If you have kids, this will not be possible. However, if you can leave the door open, a steamy shower will introduce moisture back into the air. If you have a hot bath, allow the water to stand for a couple of minutes after getting out. This is not, however, recommended if you have kids and pets running around.
- Use water everywhere
There are several methods you can possibly use to introduce water into the air manually. They include boiling water on a stove, leaving a bowl of water around the house, and boiling water gently on a slow cooker to produce steam over a long time. These are all great short-term fixes. They should, however, not be used as permanent solutions.
- Have a cup of tea
Instead of coffee, why not prepare a pot of tea on a stove. The extra steam will add moisture into the air. The steam will also benefit your skin.
- Allow clothes to air-dry
Instead of using the dryer, you can let your clothes air dry after washing them. Doing so will not only save you on electricity bills but also boost home humidity levels.
Other great solutions you can use include:
- Investing in a couple of houseplants
- Cooking on the stovetop
- Turning down the heat
Get a Whole-Home Humidifier
All the recommended methods are, at best, temporary fixes. If you need a more reliable solution, you should consider getting a whole-home humidifier. A whole-home humidifier works with the furnace to change the humidity levels of your home. They offer the most consistent air quality and comfort and allow the furnace to work more efficiently. A whole-home humidifier is more effective than a single-room humidifier. It is also convenient.
If you are in the market for a permanent solution for managing humidity in-home, Air Makers are not only capable of air conditioner repair, but also have a variety of humidifier models for you to pick from. Our team is always happy to offer the assistance you need. Call us today to find out more.