Five Reasons to Avoid Excess Humidity in the Home
- Humidity is uncomfortable. No one likes to step out of a shower only to feel sticky again a few minutes later. Humidity not only makes you feel icky, but it also actually makes you feel warmer. Because of the amount of moisture in the air, a humid environment slows evaporation of sweat, reducing your body's natural way to cool itself. This is why a dry 90 degrees feels so much more tolerable than the same temperature in more humid conditions.
- Humidity creates mold. When moisture levels are above optimum levels, mold and mildew grow and propagate. Mold is notoriously difficult to remove once it begins to spread, especially in porous materials like cinder blocks or wood in basements. Mold spores are potent allergy triggers, and can also cause various other health issues, even in non-allergy sufferers. When humidity levels drop and forced air heating creates a particularly dry environment, mold spores dry out and become light and airborne - making them an allergy hazard all year long. Hence, prevention of mold formation is ideal and paramount. Using a dehumidifier, especially in mold and mildew hot spots of the home, is the perfect way to combat the excess humidity that leads to mold.
- Dust mites love humidity. Dust mites don't drink water; they absorb the moisture they need through their body from the environment around them. When humidity levels are above 50 percent, dust mite populations skyrocket. They thrive and multiply which means much more dust mite allergen exposure for you. Keep dust mite populations in check during humid summer months by using dehumidifiers. And also make sure to use allergy relief bedding.
- Humidity costs you money. As stated in our first point above, humidity makes you feel hotter than you would if humidity were lower. In an attempt to feel more comfortable, you may lower the thermostat. Supplementing air conditioning with a dehumidifier will actually allow you to save on cooling costs, by letting you keep that thermostat a few degrees higher without sacrificing on comfort.
- Humidity ruins wood. It may take a year or two to notice a difference, but fluctuations in humidity levels can damage the wood in your home, including wood furniture and flooring. Humidity causes expansion in the wood which contracts again when humidity levels drop (especially if the home environment gets overly dry). Expanding and contracting is stressful for the wood, which may warp or crack. Dehumidification when humidity is too high, as well as proper humidification when humidity is too low help, extend the life of the wood in your home.