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Indoor Air Quality and Environmental Experts


The Importance Of Monitoring Your Home’s Humidity

illustration of a metal framed Hygrometer, eps 10When colder weather arrives, it’s natural for us all to turn up the heat in our homes. No matter how much you may love the wintertime, no one wants to live in a house that feels like a refrigerator. When warming the home, however, it’s important to be mindful about the level of humidity that exists within it. Believe it or not, the humidity level in your home can have a significant impact on your health.

How can humidity affect our health? Well, let’s suppose the level of humidity in the home is too high. It can lead to the presence of sickness-inducing viruses. According to CriticalCactus.com, “not only viruses but also fungi, mites, moulds, mildew and other sick makers thrive on high humidity. Mite populations, for example, flourish at 80% relative humidity but are minimized when the relative humidity is below 50%.”

All of the above mentioned ramifications of high humidity are known to trigger allergy and asthma symptoms. This winter, it will be very important to maintain safe levels of humidity in the home while keeping it heated. CriticalCactus.com writes that “ medical studies indicate that maintaining your home’s humidity between 30% and 55% restrains the survival of various viruses, including ¬influenza, polio, measles, and herpes.”

So how can we measure the humidity in our homes? The use of a hygrometer will do the trick. They can be used to monitor both outdoor and indoor humidity and they come in a number of variations. The two most popular are the analog and digital hygrometers. As Acurite.com explains, “analog hygrometers use a moisture-sensitive material that is attached to a coil spring. The spring controls a needle on an easy-to-read circular dial.”

Analog hygrometers are described as both inexpensive and easy to use. And while they are generally considered reliable, their digital counterparts are known for their sensors which monitor electric currents that are affected by moisture levels. “Digital hygrometers can keep track of high and low humidity measurements, historical data, and trends,” explains Acurite.com, “They are more precise than analog hygrometers, with a typical accuracy range of ± 5%.”

How else can we determine if there is too much humidity in the home? There are some things you can look for. Telltale signs include condensation. The presence of moisture in areas of the home where it shouldn’t be may be an indication that it is too humid inside. On SFGate.com, Laurie Reeves recommends that you should “check windows, mirrors and vertical glass surfaces for condensation. Condensation on the inside of windows or glass surfaces indicates a buildup of moisture and water vapour in your home’s air.”

She also advises that you look for wet stains on the ceilings and walls of your home. They too can indicate an increase of moisture or water vapour in the home that comes as a result of high humidity. In addition, the smell of your home can help to determine if the humidity is too high. “Check for musty or wet mildew smells in the bathroom, kitchen or laundry room,” says Reeves. And finally, be sure to note any allergic reactions your family may be experiencing when the house is closed up.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we know how important it is to maintain safe humidity levels in the home. Our Moisture Monitoring Services work to ensure that any and all moisture sources in the home are located in order to prevent negative health reactions from your family. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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