The recommended relative humidity for optimal human health and comfort stands between 30% and 50%, reports the Mayo Clinic, though in the winter this may drop to 30% to 40% (low enough for condensation not to form on your windows). The best way to discover if your humidity levels lie within this range is to use a hygrometer - an easily accessible, low-cost device that also measures your indoor temperature. If you find that you have gone over the limit but wish to fix the problem in an eco-friendly fashion, the following tips may help.
Calcium Chloride In Pet-Free Homes
A traditional, effective way to rid your home of excess humidity is to place containers with calcium chloride in key areas of your home. Calcium chloride, accessible in hardware and garden stores, is not a good option if you have pets or even little children, however, since it is toxic if ingested. If you have children or dogs, you can get around this problem by placing your pots on high shelves but it simply won’t be useful in a house with cats, who can jump and reach practically any place they desire in your home.
If your outdoor air quality is good, then regular ventilation can help rid your home of excess humidity. If you live in a high-humidity area and ventilation isn’t enough, you can think about using a supply ventilation system, which is inexpensive to install, and which comprises a fan and duct system that brings fresh air into your home and forces humid air out. Ventilation systems sometimes include adjustable window and wall vents in various rooms.
Sometimes the problem isn’t too much humidity, but rather, too little. When your indoor environment is too dry, you can have a variety of symptoms - including waking up feeling stuffy, having a dry throat and nose, and having difficulty breathing. You might also notice your hardwood flooring contracting and warping, or your paint cracking. If this is the case, then whole-house humidifiers beat portable ones in the long run, not least because they're able to treat the whole property. Like supply ventilation systems, whole-house humidifiers are relatively cheap to install. This is because they simply attach to your home’s ductwork, blowing moist air through the house to combat dryness outdoors.
Eliminating Or Reducing Sources Of Moisture
There are many individual steps you can take to reduce humidity levels within your home. These include using synthetic instead of real indoor plants, taking quicker showers (with the bathroom window open if possible), and drying your clothes outdoors instead of indoors. On humid days, you can also turn on your air conditioning unit, since it has evaporator coils that trap moisture and take it outside. You can also choose from a number of DIY options - including making your own charcoal dehumidifier or making a dehumidifier using non-toxic silica gel. These options will require maintenance and material replacement, but they can benefit your health by removing mold, bacteria, and other germs from your indoor environment.
Whether you live in a dry or humid area, measuring your indoor humidity levels is important, as doing so can indicate that you need to take steps to raise or lower these levels. If the problem is excess humidity, there are many easy, sustainable ways to reduce moisture - including building your own DIY dehumidifiers. If the problem is dryness, however, whole house humidifying systems can help ensure that all rooms have enough moisture to foster good respiratory health for all your home’s dwellers.