What should the Humidity in my House Be?
The humidity in your house should be less than 50% relative humidity, but probably above 30%. Many of us don't have a hygrometer, or gauge for the humidity, in our home, so here's a quick tip to help keep you house at the right humidity. Check for condensation on your windows! Condensation indicates that moisture may be above ideal levels in your home.
Where does the moisture in my house come from?
Moisture can come from many places,
but proper humidity levels keep your
home a healthy place.
In the summer, moisture is most likely to come from the outside, which is very high in humidity, at least here in New England. But throughout the year, extra humidity can come from several different sources, including showers, cooking, and of course, humidifiers. In times past, the dry air of the winter often seeped into the cracks and gaps of older homes and dried them out, sometimes uncomfortably. But today, most homes have vapor barriers, tighter fitting windows, and overall have much less airflow between the inside and the outside. This can create conditions where humidity can build up.
Why do I want to Control the Humidity in my House?
High levels of humidity create better environments for mold to grow. Mold, of course, is not something we want to be helping find a foothold in our home. Insects too will seek out moist environments. So it makes sense to keep your home at the right levels, to offer both health and home protection. You don't have to go overboard, it's a good thing to do, but I'm not advocating checking your humidity levels everyday!
How do I control the Humidity in My House?
Humidifiers, often used by parents to help sick children sleep, put moisture into the air and raise humidity levels. De-humidifiers do the reverse, they take moisture out of the air. Air conditioning also takes moisture out of the air as part of the
process of cooling the air. Part of the comfort of A/C in the summer isn't just the cooler temperatures, the drier air allows us to feel cooler as well. Many forced-air heat systems have humidifiers built in as well, and often have a humidistat that allows you to control the humidity in the house. If your home is too dry, adjust the humidistat or run a humidifier in your home. If your home is too damp, run a dehumidifier.
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About Matt Heisler
Matt Heisler is a real-estate professional and owner of this website. He has been selling homes in MA for buyers and sellers for over 20 years. He is an expert in foreclosure purchases, short-sale purchases, short-sale sales, buy and hold investing, fix and flip investing, and of course traditional residential home sales. He is happy to take questions as they pertain to real estate on Title V, Radon, Termites, Sump Pumps, Roofs, Foundations, Wells, Septic Systems, Cash-Flow, Staging, and a host of other housing issues. As a Vanderbilt University alumnus, he is proud to serve his local community.
*All information is posted in good faith and is assumed to be reliable, but may rely on third party information sources.