As a resident of a normally humid area, you may be surprised to discover that low levels of indoor humidity can be a problem. The ideal relative humidity, or RH, in your home is between 30 and 50 percent, and moving outside of that range can lead to problems at different times of the year. You may be more familiar with the problems related to elevated moisture levels in your home, but you might want to check your winter levels, as well. Low humidity can be improved through the use of a humidifier.
What Is My Relative Humidity?
Your relative humidity is a measure of the amount of moisture the air actually contains compared to the amount of moisture that could be contained. Cold air is only capable of holding half as much moisture as warm air can hold. This means that the amount of moisture in the environment decreases during the winter months. Unfortunately, lower humidity levels can make you feel colder. Just as moisture makes you feel hotter during summer high temperatures, it can help you to feel warmer during the winter. Low humidity in your house means that your heater has to work harder to keep conditions comfortable.
Measuring Your Indoor Humidity
If you have a hygrometer, you can check for an exact RH in your home. While there are many affordable options on the market, you can also test the environment in your residence by using a few ice cubes and a glass of water. Take the following steps:
- Place three cubes of ice into an empty drinking glass.
- Add water to the glass, placing it on a counter in a room that isn’t exposed to extra moisture. The kitchen and bathroom are not ideal for this test.
- Wait for a few minutes, watching for moisture to develop on the exterior of the glass.
If water condenses on the outside of the glass, then your RH is probably sufficient. However, a lack of condensate liquid indicates that your indoor moisture levels are probably too low.
Problems Associated with Low Winter Moisture Levels
In addition to extra work for your heater, low humidity in your home during the winter can cause serious discomfort, even posing some health risks. Heating your home can lead to more pronounced dryness, and this can irritate your skin. Chapped lips are more common during winter months. Cracked skin is another painful issue. Dry mucous membranes are even more serious because of their role in helping you to resist illnesses. As they dry, your defenses against bacteria and viruses can increase your susceptibility to colds and other winter diseases.
The experts at Accurate Comfort Services are available to provide recommendations for humidification equipment in your Marco Island, Naples or Bonita Springs, residence.