Humidity: The Highs and Lows
One of the biggest components of poor indoor air quality is elevated humidity within our buildings.
The humidity level indoors should stay between 40-60% RH (relative humidity). When the humidity rises above or drops below this range, we start to notice issues within the building environment.
Too low of humidity (< 40%) has an adverse effect on the building, and its occupants causing:
Shrinkage of building materials, resulting in cracking
Feeling colder in the building
Drier skin and sinus issues
Increased risk of illness
Too high of humidity (> 60%) can have even worse effects. Warm moist air is the perfect breeding ground for mold and bacteria. It could cause building and finish materials to prematurely deteriorate and condensation to form at higher temperatures.
Signs of high humidity indoors include:
Muggy indoor air
Foggy windows or increased condensation
High humidity could be a result of several different things from a poorly functioning HVAC system to improper or insufficient ventilation, poorly sealed windows and doors or areas of moisture intrusion.
It is important to monitor your HVAC systems and ensure that your home is properly ventilated and conditioned.
Some additional tips and tricks to decrease humidity:
Use a range fan when cooking
Ventilate the bathroom after showering or bathing
Install weather stripping to doors and windows to ensure proper seal
Consider waterproofing crawl spaces and unfinished basements
Reduce the amount of houseplants
Fix leaks as soon as they occur
Mold can begin to grow in as little as 24 hours after humidity spikes. For that reason, it is imperative to identify and correct the moisture issue as soon as possible.
If you feel like your home is experiencing higher humidity levels, reach out and we can help investigate.