What Should the Humidity Level Be in a House?

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An ideal level of humidity for inside a house typically falls between 30%-40% humidity. Your home should always stay under a 50% humidity level. You can achieve the ideal humidity by investing in devices, like a humidifier or dehumidifier.
Good humidity levels can promote better air quality in your home and keep you feeling comfortable year-round. But when they’re too high or too low, they can affect your health—not to mention the integrity of your home’s structure in extreme cases.
If your home’s humidity levels are out of control, there are ways to get it back on track. Here’s what you should know about humidity levels in your home, why they’re important, and how you can monitor and maintain them, courtesy of the insurance comparison and broker app Jerry.
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What’s the ideal humidity level for inside a house?

When it comes to measuring your home’s humidity level, you want to pay attention to the relative humidity, which measures the amount of water vapor in the air compared to the total amount of water vapor the air could hold. If your home’s relative humidity is 32%, the air is holding 32% of its total moisture capacity.
Generally speaking, an ideal level for humidity inside your house should fall between 30%-40%, and definitely below 50% to discourage mold growth
Going too high above or below this ideal humidity range can have undesirable consequences for both you and your house.

Too much humidity 

Too much humidity in your home can bring about a host of problems.
Too much humidity can promote mold growth or contribute to the decay of certain building materials in your home. This could potentially damage the structure over time if the chronic excess humidity goes unaddressed.
When your home is too humid, you might notice condensation forming on your windows, shower doors, mirrors, or toilet tanks.
In addition, a too-humid house can grow extremely uncomfortable. Since our bodies use the evaporation of sweat to help cool us down, high humidity in high heat gets in the way of that process. Plus, it can exacerbate breathing problems related to allergies, asthma, and COPD. 

Too little humidity 

Too little humidity can also cause unwanted problems.
The lack of humidity can dry out your skin and contribute to nosebleeds, as well as those unexpected shocks of static electricity.
Extremely low humidity levels can cause certain materials to shrink, which could result in cracks or warping of materials in your home.
Key Takeaway A humidity level between 30% and 40% is generally an ideal range for inside a home.

Why are home humidity levels important?

Humidity levels in a home have an impact on air quality. They also have an impact on your level of comfort and even the materials in your home.
Sometimes it can get more than just a little uncomfortable when your humidity level’s off, though. Dry winter air, for example, can contribute to dry skin, chapped lips, and nosebleeds. More humid summer air can make it more difficult to manage breathing issues like asthma.
Additionally, paying attention to your home’s humidity compared to outside levels can give you an idea of how well-insulated and energy-efficient your home is, and whether you may need to make any improvements.

How to achieve ideal humidity

There are a number of options you can try to monitor and control your house’s humidity level:
  • You can use a hygrometer to take a look at your home’s humidity levels. These are commonly found at hardware stores.
  • You can also monitor your home’s humidity levels with a device called a humidistat. This device is pretty similar to a thermostat: it monitors humidity levels, and when they’re low, it can turn on your home’s humidifier. (Note that older wall humidistats can often give inaccurate readings, so you may want to test yours by comparing it with a hygrometer.)
  • Whole-house humidifiers can work with your humidistat to maintain an ideal level of humidity in your home. 
  • In humid summer weather, using an air conditioner will also usually dehumidify your space as it cools the air.
  • You can also consider purchasing one or several portable humidifiers that you can use in different rooms as needed. 
  • On the flip side, if your home is too humid, you can also purchase one or several dehumidifiers that you can move from room to room to make things more comfortable.
  • In particularly humid rooms, like bathrooms, an exhaust fan of the right size can help remove excess humidity after hot baths and showers.
If your home’s humidity level is unusually difficult to maintain for your climate, you might also want to consider whether your home’s insulation needs improvements.

Finding affordable home insurance

While you get a handle on your humidity, Jerry can help you take care of the rest of your home by helping you find the right insurance policy at a great price. 
In less than a minute, you can start reviewing competitive quotes from top insurance companies, like Allstate and Progressive. You can even bundle with your car insurance for further savings.
Once you’ve found a policy that’s the right match for you, Jerry can help you make your switch and cancel your old policy. Plus, for questions that may come up along the way, Jerry’s friendly, experienced agents are happy to listen and offer advice.

FAQs

The ideal level of humidity for a house depends on the region’s climate and the time of year, but generally speaking, an ideal humidity level will fall between 30% and 40%. Humidity levels in excess of 50% can promote mold growth and contribute to the decay of important materials in your home.
The price of a whole-house humidifier can vary greatly depending on the size and quality of the unit. Some can cost between $100 to $400, while more expensive models can exceed $1,000.
You can measure your home’s humidity levels with a hygrometer, which can often be found at hardware stores. Your home may already have an in-wall humidistat to measure humidity, but keep in mind that older models can give inaccurate readings, so you may want to compare yours with a hygrometer to test its accuracy.

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