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It’s Important to Maintain Good Humidity Levels in a Home

Posted in Air Quality, on January 18, 2017

Controlling the humidity level in a home is important, and when there’s imbalance, it can cause occupants to be uncomfortable in different ways. The truth is, home is where most people spend much of the time, so maintaining proper indoor humidity is essential to optimum comfort. While outdoor humidity is uncomfortable in its own way, excessive indoor humidity can actually cause respiratory issues and allergy triggers.

It’s just not a good recipe for health and wellbeing. For many, poor indoor air quality, including an imbalance in humidity, can aggravate breathing and congestion, and can cause other respiratory issues. The problem is that airborne moisture is at an elevated level, and air ventilation is not sufficient. Sometimes, it’s even possible to smell a damp, mildew odour in the air. And interestingly, this phenomenon is as common in a newly built home as it is in an older home. In bad situations, humidity can also cause structural damage. A home with elevated humidity will have condensation on the windows, and in some cases, on the walls. This is a sure sign that something must be done to better balance airborne moisture.

By acting early, its possible to avoid the potential for future damage. This is especially true in older homes and apartments, because of inadequate insulation and less than satisfactory ventilation. Needless to say, newer homes and apartments are better equipped to manage the humidity. Remarkably, newer buildings are often over-sealed and over-insulated, with a potential to lock in excessive moisture. This too can cause problems with air quality, particularly when ventilation is not adequate.

For those who present with respiratory problems while at home, it makes sense to have the air quality checked, including the humidity levels. It’s a good first step in getting down to the nature of a specific health issue, and may set the stage for finding the right solutions. Indoor humidity, and especially higher-than-usual levels, can be traced to a number of sources. If the basement is damp, this can actually spread humidity throughout the home. In winter, the cold outside temperature can create condensation on windows, meaning that indoor air moisture is not being properly ventilated.

Finally, when heating/cooling equipment is not well maintained it can easily cause excessive humidity and circulate that moisture throughout the home. Without getting overly technical, suffice to say that warm air can retain more water vapour than cool air. This is why indoor heated air will be more moist-laden. And when the humidity reaches a maximum, water droplets (condensation) will become obvious on windows and walls. I

deally, humidity inside the home should be between 40% and 60%. This will ensure reasonable comfort levels for the occupants, and will diminish the potential for any health issues to surface. Whatever the humidity concern, it may well be time to have the home checked professionally and to get an accurate assessment of the air quality. This will allow for problems to be identified, and for some resolutions to be offered.

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