It may not be something you usually think about, but maintaining the correct amount of humidity in your home can affect all who live there—particularly sensitive individuals who suffer from allergies and asthma.

Both too much or too little humidity can lead to unhealthy airborn particulates.

The EPA recommends keeping healthy humidity inside your home between 30% and 50%. You can easily check the levels with a digital humidity meter, or hygrometer found at any hardware or big box store.

This week’s article from Freshhome explains how too much humidity can affect your health and the condition of your home. And just as important, how to take care of the problem.

Maintaining good air quality in your home is important for the health of your entire family. Either too much or too little humidity can lead to the rise of unhealthy airborne particulates. The EPA recommends keeping relative humidity inside between 30% and 50%. You can check the levels in your home with a digital humidity meter, or hygrometer, which you can find at most hardware stores.

Use exhaust fans in the kitchen when cooking. Image: Decozilla

What happens if you have too much indoor humidity?

You can tell if your indoor air is too humid if you notice:

  • Condensation on windows
  • Water stains on your fabrics or hardwood floors
  • Stale or musty smells in the furniture or carpet
  • Mold in the bathrooms, basement or under the sink

Molds produce allergens, irritants and sometimes potentially toxic substances. Mildew and dust also thrive in humidity.

Open windows whenever you’re cooking or running the dishwasher to alleviate high levels of humidity. Exhaust fans in your kitchen or bathroom can also help. The easiest way to combat high humidity levels is to turn on your central air conditioner. If that’s still not enough, you might need to invest in a dehumidifier to dry the air.

Don’t let your laundry room house extra moisture. Image: DecorPad

Explore the types of dehumidifiers

A dehumidifier’s drying capacity is measured by how many pints of water it can remove from the air within 24 hours. You may only need a small dehumidifier to control the moisture in one room or a small apartment. These are relatively inexpensive.

Most portable, single-room dehumidifiers are self-draining and come with a drain-hose connection. You’ll need to place it in an area where the hose can empty water, such as a laundry room sink. Dehumidifiers with large tubs or drip pans can hold more and will need to be emptied less often. Some dehumidifiers use evaporation technology, so a drain hose isn’t required.

Another option is installing a whole-home dehumidifier. These connect to your existing ductwork and must be professionally installed.

Moisture from the shower can linger in your bathroom. Image: DecorPad

Design tips to reduce humidity in your home

Investing in a dehumidifier is one option, but there are also simple design tricks you can use to help reduce your home’s humidity levels. If you’re in the process of redesigning or redecorating your bathroom, consider using mildew-resistant paint and primer. Even if you only use this paint for the lower parts of the walls, it can cover old mildew stains and prevent new spots from developing. You can also swap bathroom rugs for tile floors to prevent mold and mildew from building up.

Plants help decrease the humidity in the home. Image: Rahult

Add indoor plants to decrease indoor humidity and make your home feel inviting. A peace lily can absorb humidity and toxins through its leaves. Peace lilies only need indirect sunlight to grow, making them ideal house plants. If you’re looking for a plant that can be hung, the English ivy might be the perfect fit. When they’re hung up high, they absorb the humidity rising in the air, and you don’t have to worry about knocking them over.

Keep plants out of reach so they don’t get knocked over by kids or pets. Image: StyleCurator

A few simple updates can make a big difference when it comes to the quality of your indoor air. Which tips will work best in your home?

Until next time…

Blessings from my home to yours,

Nancy
Dedicated to helping you create spaces that foster happiness and well-being


SIGN UP FOR YOUR FREE DESIGN GIFT

How to Make Your Home INSPIRE You! ~ Mindful Interiors Package

30 pages of design tips, 30 minute radio interview, and monthly Mindful Design Newsletter
Signup and receive your FREE gift:


Share and Enjoy:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Print
  • email

More About

More About

Read more about Nancy Meadows and her work as a designer...

Services

Services

Find out how Nancy can help you in solving your design dilemmas...

Contact

Contact

Begin the process of decorating your home or work space with Nancy Meadows...