The Downside to Humidity at Work and Home

Humidity has its pros and cons. The air needs enough humidity to prevent dry hair, skin, and adverse respiratory conditions. However, there are health hazards from living with too much humidity, so the HVAC industry provides recommendations for mitigating relative humidity (also known as rH) levels in the home or work space. Dehumidifying a home or work space also results in a 3% energy savings for every degree the needle is moved up on the thermostat.

How to tell if a home is too humid?

If moisture exists on the windows, walls or other surfaces of the home, the humidity is too high. If closets smell moldy and are riddled in silverfish, that indicates extensive moisture. Homeowners can invest in a hygrometer to ensure home humidity levels are within a safe, comfortable range, which hovers between 40% and 60%.

What are the dangers of too much rH in the home?

Studies have shown high humidity levels affect our moods. Additionally, high humidity in the home makes the carpets and furniture a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses, mold, mildew, dust mites and other bugs. When families experience too many doctor visits for viruses, allergy and asthma attacks, it’s a good idea to check their home’s humidity levels.

High humidity is also hazardous to the wallet. Lower humidity means lower heating costs.

How to lower humidity in the home

Aside from installing and using central air conditioning, there are other measures homeowners can take to minimize humidity, which are as follows:

  • Insulating tubing for cold water pipes will decrease the sweating and moisture buildup
  • Eliminate carpeted surfaces – replace with tile or wood flooring
  • Vinyl wall covering and wallpaper can trap moisture between it and the wall, so paint is best
  • Repair wall cracks and waterproof concrete basement walls.
  • Treat the foundation with Hydroclay, which is used for waterproofing tunnels
  • Inspect the roof for leaks regularly and ensure there’s no water getting trapped in the attic insulation
  • Ventilate every room that traps moisture, including the laundry room and bathrooms

Roscoe Brown can assess the home or office environment and offer recommendations or help mitigate excess moisture. For rH mitigation solutions, please call 1-888-MY-ROSCOE.