Humidity is one of those things that homeowners don’t know too much about. How much is too much? How little is too little? The truth is that a home must have about a 30% to 50% humidity level to be tenable. Anything lower and the home can be too dry, which can have negative health affects, like dry throats and bloody noses. The dryness can also start affecting the structure of your home – wood dries out, paint can crack, and furniture can start to turn pale. If you have too much humidity inside your home, you could have a mold or mildew problem. Here is how to check the humidity level inside your home.
Your first step is to head to the hardware store to pick up a hydrometer. This little device is really the best tool you can use to take accurate readings of the humidity levels inside your home. There are a number of models and makes of hydrometers, so you need to pick out the one that best fits your specific needs and budget. Typically, the most affordable hydrometer will do. Another option is to pickup a humidity gauge and a thermometer, which is basically a DIY hydrometer.
Next, you need to walk through your home and take humidity readings of each room. Make sure, though, to have a pen and pad of paper on hand so you can take notes. Usually, it is best to start in the rooms where you suspect that there might be the most moisture, like bathrooms and the basement – or even the attic. Also, you want to make sure that all ceiling fans and air conditioners are off – or else you won’t get an accurate reading. In addition, you want to close all the windows and doors – any air from the outside could affect the hydrometer’s reading.
After you’ve placed the hydrometer in a room where there might be too much moisture, you want to wait up to twenty-four hours for the most accurate reading. A hydrometer – whether it is digital or mechanical – will need some time to measure moisture in the air. Sometimes the moisture in the air moves, so the hydrometer wants to take into account every cubic inch of humidity. Having an accurate reading is important because you want to be able to have an effective solution if the humidity levels or too low or too high.
Lastly, when it comes to solutions, there are a few – luckily. First of all, if the humidity levels are too low and are causing more and more occurrences of electric shock and dry, itchy throats, it is wise to install a humidifier, which will increase the levels of humidity in the air. If you have a smaller home, a floor humidifier will do the trick, but if you need more coverage, it might be wise to install a whole-home humidifier. Yet, if the humidity levels are too high inside your home and you fear that you might have mold or mildew, you might need to install a dehumidifier, which will lower the moisture levels in the air. Either way, the goal is to breathe easier and to be more comfortable inside your home – when the humidity levels are just right, you will.