The health of your entire family is largely dependent on the air quality in your home. When it comes to humidity, you need the right levels in your indoor air. Anything too much or too little may give rise to unhealthy airborne particulates.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, relative humidity should be maintained between 30 and 50%. To ensure that you are within this range, use a digital humidity meter to monitor the levels. These devices can be found in hardware stores.
Effects of Too Much Humidity
Excessive humidity levels can be manifested in condensation on windows, musty smells in furniture or carpets, water stains on fabrics, and mold in bathrooms. The mold produces irritants, allergens, and at times toxic substances. Dust and mildew thrive in humidity.
One of the best ways to help lower the levels of humidity is to open windows when cooking or using the dishwasher. If you can, try installing exhaust fans in the bathroom or kitchen. The ultimate solution in combating high humidity levels is through the use of a dehumidifier to dry air.
Different Types of Dehumidifiers
When shopping for a dehumidifier, check out its drying capacity. This is basically the number of pints of water the dehumidifier can remove from the air in a span of 24 hours. If your target is to control moisture in one room, a small dehumidifier that is relatively inexpensive can help you out.
There are portable dehumidifiers that are self-draining. These are usually connected to a drain hose for discharge. There are normally placed in an area such as a laundry room sink where the hose can empty water.
Dehumidifiers that have large drip pans or tubs can hold water for a longer period which means the need for emptying is less often. There are dehumidifiers that use evaporation technology and this means they do not need a drain hose because everything evaporates.
Home Design Tips to Limit Humidity
While investing in a dehumidifier is a recommended option, you can complement the work they do through simple design tricks in your home. For instance, if you are redecorating or redesigning your bathroom, using mildew resistant primer and paint can go a long way in limiting your indoor humidity.
The paint covers old mildew stains and also prevents the development of new spots. Try swapping bathroom rugs for tile floors to prevent the buildup of mold and mildew.
Indoor plants are not just inviting, but also help in decreasing indoor humidity. For instance, peace lily is known to absorb toxins and humidity. The English Ivy is a plant that can be hung and absorbs humidity that rises in the air.
Making a few simple updates can make a huge difference to your indoor air quality. If you are not sure on the best strategy, get in touch with your local HVAC technician.