Humidity is one of many modern-day problems we aren’t fully aware of existing. This phenomenon can negatively affect our life if we don’t monitor it and take care about it. Conversely, it can help us live a better life if we understand and make use of it.
But what is humidity? And why should you care? I’ve been pretty generic in the intro, so it is fair for you to wonder about these issues.
In this article, you are going to learn everything you need to know about humidity, why keep it at a specific level, and what happens when you let it run unchecked.
I am going to give you actionable advice on how to reduce mugginess levels in your house. Things you can implement today to improve your quality of life.
I will also show you what happens when your house’s humidity is too low. If you notice these issues have been popping up for you, then perhaps it’s time to consider increasing humidity.
The Effects of Low Humidity
Low humidity can cause many issues that don’t even look related to humidity at all. Here’s a comprehensive list:
- Your skin dries, and so do your hair and skin, making you uncomfortable
- The mucus in your nose dries up, making it more likely to catch respiratory diseases such as colds
- You will feel colder, even if outside temperature is high. This is especially a problem when it’s already cold outside
- Static electricity isn’t dissipated through the air. Think about when you get a painful shock, when you touch your car or other metallic object. That’s the result of static electricity charging up on your clothes.
- Dry air can even ruin your furniture if it’s made of wood. It will start bending and cracking. It is easily noticeable if you have musical instruments lying around: your guitars and pianos will go out of tune very quickly when the air is too dry
As you can see, low humidity can cause many issues, and you might not even be aware of them, since they seem unrelated to mugginess. Fear not, as I am here to help you combat this phenomenon, just keep on reading.
What Causes Low Humidity in a House?
Humidity is usually low during winter, because cold air doesn’t carry as much moisture as hot air. When cold air enters your house, it will lower the overall moisture of your house.
But weather isn’t the only thing that affects humidity in a home. You can manipulate mugginess level in your house through air conditioning, humidifiers / dehumidifiers, and even plants in your house.
There are other things that, while not directly lowering your house’s humidity, can affect mugginess levels in your house.
You’ll find these smaller tricks in the upcoming list. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to increase your house’s humidity without really changing your living habits. Bigger things like humidifiers are more extreme solutions and consider them only when everything else fails or humidity in your house is very low.
6 Ways to Increase Your Home’s Humidity
My suggestion is to start small: first implement the easier things into your daily routine, and see if they help. You might not need to go to extremes such as purchasing a humidifier to keep the air moist.
Also, before taking any of these steps, you should first measure your house’s humidity with a hygrometer and compare the results with the ideal humidity levels published by the Mayo Clinic, a leading institution in treating numerous diseases, and that studied the effects of environmental humidity on our bodies.
On a basic level, you have to do stuff that releases moisture in the air, which is usually achieved through doing stuff with water in your house. Even something as simple as cooking releases lots of moisture into the air, because of the water evaporating.
Prevention is your friend
There are many factors affecting mugginess levels in your home. Most of the times, the major factor causing low humidity in your house is turning up the heating system in your house during winter. The heating system doesn’t add to the air moisture while heating it, which drops relative humidity.
So, before doing anything else, assess if your heating system is what’s causing the low humidity. Also don’t keep windows open when it’s cold outside, as the level of moisture in the air is low in lower temperatures.
Use a humidifier
The simplest solution is to purchase a humidifier and turning it on. There are many solutions available on the market, so you need to do some research before purchasing one.
Get a humidifier that is powerful enough to keep your entire house muggy, or at the very least the rooms you spend the most time in.
While this is a straightforward way to solve the problem, it might not be the best one for you. First off, it can be expensive, since good humidifiers aren’t cheap. Second, humidifiers require maintenance, which can get annoying. Third, they are a bit of an extreme solution, as in you might not need the power of a humidifier to improve your quality of life.
Grow plants that release moisture
Depending on the species of plants, they can release or suck moisture from the air. If you have issues of low humidity in your house, perhaps you are growing the wrong plants.
Here’s a list of plants that release moisture into the air:
- Spider plant
- Jade plant
- Rubber plant
- Peace lily
- Corn plant
Add these plants to your house to enjoy greater humidity levels indoor.
Conversely, there are plants that suck moisture from the air, avoid these plants if you have low humidity issues. Here are some of these plants: orchids, tillandsias, cactuses, and ferns.
Small tricks that increase humidity
There are minor things you can start doing today that will increase indoor humidity levels. The tricks I’m about to teach you are great when your house’s humidity levels are only slightly below the recommended ones. They won’t completely change the air quality in your house, but they might be enough for you.
Even something as seemingly inconsequential as cooking without a lid releases plenty of moisture into the air. Other things you can do to increase air moisture are drying clothes inside, not draining your bath tub immediately after using it, and open the bathroom’s door after a shower. Leaving your dishwasher open is another idea.
Any daily activity that includes boiling water is a great opportunity to improve your house’s humidity levels.
Place water near heat sources
Something as simple as adding a bowl of water close to heat sources will greatly increase moisture levels, since the heat will make the water evaporate. Water vapor equals to air moisture, so you can easily enjoy higher indoor humidity levels by using this simple trick.
You need nothing fancy to implement this: just fill a bowl with water and place it in strategic places. Easy, right?
Don’t keep temperature too high
It might feel like a weird suggestion, since heat should help with moisture, right? Well, yes and no. The issue is that the heating system of a house increases the temperature without increasing humidity levels.
That’s why you need to be careful and not crank up your heating system to the max.
Be Careful With Humidity Levels
While increasing indoor humidity can be a great way to improve air quality, you shouldn’t exaggerate with it. Earlier we’ve seen that the recommended levels are between 35 and 50%, so try to keep humidity around those values to enjoy maximum air quality.
Some issues that might show your house’s humidity levels are too high include a feeling of lethargy and loss of energy.
Your house can also signal you the humidity levels are too high. High levels of humidity make mold appear around your house, and dust mites love moist environments as well.
Also Read: What Is a Comfortable Level of Humidity?
If you want to improve your life’s quality, consider looking into humidity levels in your house. Purchase a hygrometer and measure humidity levels in your house. This isn’t necessary, as I’ve shown you how to understand if humidity is too high or low.
Want to buy a hygrometer? Check out our article about the best hygrometers right now and find the one that suits your needs.