What are the Effects of too Little or too Much Humidity?
At HVAC.com, our writers create solutions that put you in control of your HVAC system. Our product reviews and recommendations are researched and backed by real buyers and industry experts, not dictated by our partners.
Too much or too little humidity can affect your health, your home, and damage your heating and cooling system. Investing in a whole-home humidifier and dehumidifier will keep humidity levels in your home at the right level and increase your indoor air quality year-round.
Effects of Too Little Humidity
When the humidity in your home is too low, the effects can cause health issues, such as bloody noses, increased static electricity, dry skin and lips, scratchy throats and noses, lung and sinus problems, respiratory issues, and increased chance of colds. Low humidity also affects your body temperature, producing a cold feeling all over even when the thermostat is set high. Viruses and bacteria will thrive and can cause repeated health issues for you and your family.
Low humidity causes wood floors and furnishings to shrink, separate, and warp. The wallpaper on your walls may peel around the edges and loosen, and mold may grow behind it the damaged wallpaper. The environment in your home becomes compromised when your humidity levels are too low.
Effects of Too Much Humidity
Summer is the known time for increased humidity, but the truth is that too much humidity can be a problem regardless of the season. A home with high humidity levels will exhibit problems with excess condensation on windows, wet spots or stains on walls and ceilings, musty smells, and mold in bathrooms and other high-moisture areas. High humidity is the leading cause of mold and mildew growth in a home, causing health concerns such as increased asthma and allergy problems.
A home with too much humidity combined with high temperatures can lead to heat stroke, especially for those with heart problems. The structure of your home can become compromised by too much humidity. It will begin to rot, and pests will become a nuisance if you live in the South.
The Ideal Humidity Level and How to Achieve It
Typically, you should keep your humidity level inside your home between 35 and 50 percent. Maintaining relative humidity in this range keeps your home comfortable year-round and prevents the growth of microorganisms. The best way to achieve your ideal humidity level in your home is by investing in a whole-home humidifier and dehumidifier. Both products work with your current heating and cooling system to control your humidity level and produce a healthier indoor air atmosphere for you and your loved ones.