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Maintain Your Home's Humidity for Comfort and Health

By Paul Rothbart

It seems that whenever someone complains about the heat on a summer day, somebody else will chime in with the cliche, "It's not the heat, it's the humidity." As hackneyed as that statement is, it is 100 percent true. Excess humidity does make it feel hotter than it is. You get wet and sticky, which is not fun. Humidity can also be too low, causing things to dry out. This happens indoors as well as outside. The humidity level in your home can vary and be too high or too low, causing discomfort and health problems. Here are some facts about your home's humidity.

Humidity Too High

Humidity is a measure of the percentage of moisture in the air. The ideal humidity for indoors is between 30 and 50 percent. When the humidity rises above 50 percent, it can cause problems. The more there is in the air, the longer it takes sweat to evaporate from your body. As sweating is the way your body gets rid of excess heat, you feel hot and clammy. It's unpleasant at best and, at worst, could cause heatstroke. When humidity gets too high, it can encourage mold to grow in damp, dark spaces. Mold in your home can be dangerous, causing respiratory illness. All that moisture can condense on windows and other cool surfaces. It will start dripping down and over time, can cause water damage. 

Humidity Too Low

When the humidity drops below 30 percent, there is too little moisture in the air. This too can cause problems. Dry air can wreak havoc with sinuses. Your nasal passages tend to dry out, possibly causing nosebleeds. Low humidity can also cause dry skin. It can flake and itch. Scratching can cause bleeding. Static electricity thrives in dry air. You may find yourself getting shocked every time you touch a metallic surface. Extremely dry air, with humidity below 5 percent, can cause wood and other materials to shrink. This can cause cracking and damage to furniture and even the structure of your home. 

Maintain Humidity

Relative humidity is a weather-related phenomenon that is controlled by Mother Nature. However, there are ways to add or remove moisture from the air in your home. First, you can buy an indoor humidity gauge to get an accurate reading of the percentage. When the air is too humid, as in the summer, you can use a dehumidifier to pull moisture from the air. There are good brands that are not too expensive and are very effective at the task they are designed for. When the humidity is too low, common in winter, you can buy a humidifier to put more moisture into the air. Humidifiers are also reasonably priced. 

When the air in your home becomes too humid or not humid enough, it can cause discomfort and other problems. Using the right technology, you can keep the humidity in the comfortable range all year round.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Midland, Tex.

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