Ever asked yourself “Why does it feel damp in here?” Just about everything produces moisture cooking, washing, bathing and exercising. Even breathing! Did you know that your family and pets bring many litres of water into your home every day! Moisture can also enter your house from the soil through the basement or crawl space.
Bacteria love moisture, and a damp house can lead to bacterial colonies growing on moist walls and floors. Dust mites also thrive in warm, humid environments. Too much moisture in your home can cause the wood in your home to swell, rot and deteriorate. High humidity can even encourage rust and oxidation.
Humidity is important for our health. A normal humidity level is needed for feeling comfortable. However, too much moisture in your home can cause big problems and even negatively affect your health. Microorganisms that thrive in humid conditions are of special concern as they can help cause allergies and asthmatic conditions.
Low humidity can make your skin can feel dry, your lips can start to chap and your eyes can start to itch. Sore eyes, difficulty breathing and painful sinuses are also common problems caused by too dry air. This is especially true in winter when the outside air tends to be very dry. Air-conditioned spaces, including airplanes and offices, are also well known ‘dry zones.’
Excess moisture can not only damage your health, however, it can also damage your possessions. Did you know that electronics are especially susceptible to damage by condensation(water that collects as droplets on a cold surface when humid air is in contact with it)? Moisture can corrode contacts inside and lower insulation resistance, which may cause short circuits. Watch for high humidity and drastic temperature changes that occur when bringing in electric appliances from your cold garage or basement. Take care to let them adjust to the climate before switching them on.
Having proper ventilation is key!
-Simply cracking a window
-Take shorter showers
-Replace air and furnace filters
These are a few quick and easy steps to reduce the humidity in your home.
Bugs thrive in humid conditions. Dust mites especially love warm temperatures (23-27 degrees Celcius / 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit) and high humidity levels of 70-80%. One study has found that mite populations stop growing and die out when relative humidity levels drop below 60%. Air conditioning has been proven to lower dust mite allergens in homes by lowering the ambient temperature and relative humidity. Mold loves humid conditions as well. When the relative humidity is higher than 80%, mold is likely to develop more than 50% of the time. Their spores are known to contribute to the development of asthma in children and cause allergies.
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