BY Rebecca White-Martin
Humidity is one of your skin’s best friends. By many it is considered an essential for healthy, beautiful skin. In fact, the beauty benefits of humidity could be one reason why Cleopatra spent so much time floating down the Nile. However, if you don’t live near the Nile, you can use a humidifier to add moisture or a de-humidifier to remove moisture from your home air. This equipment will help maintain the best humidity level for your skin and home.
Correct indoor humidity levels, according to the EPA and other indoor environmental experts, inside your home should fall somewhere between 30 and 50 percent depending on the temperature outside. More specifically, when the outside temperature is 20°F or above, the recommended relative humidity for inside is 35 to 40 percent.
When the outside air is very humid, such as in the summer and mostly year around in many southeastern states, humidity levels in the house can rise to high levels. This becomes a problem when you are cooling your house. In the same way a cold can of soda “sweats” (moisture condenses on the outside of the can) when you take it out of the refrigerator on a hot summer day, air conditioning can cause your house to cool down to a level where moisture condenses within the house components. In the summer the relative humidity should not exceed 55% in the living area of the house. This proper relative humidity level can usually be accomplished with proper dehumidification and air conditioning equipment. You should not operate the humidifier during the summer months. If your hardwood floors show cupping or buckling, the humidity may be too high. This might also be due to a water leak in your house. You should close windows to keep warm humid outside air from entering the house.
What method you choose to remove moisture from the air depends on the severity of the problem, the season and where the dampness is. If it’s winter and an area could benefit from heat such as a basement, heating that space could return it to a proper moisture level. However, if humidity is excessive you may need a combination of both heat and a dehumidifier to reach proper levels. A damp bathroom can benefit from an open window, or a ceiling exhaust fan to draw the moist air or shower/bath steam to the exterior of the home. In spring and summer or in the Southeastern U.S. when heating is not an option, running a dehumidifier may be the best option for removing dampness and humidity from the basement, garage or main indoor living areas of your home.
When help is needed with indoor humidity it may be best to contact a local professional.
– Most seasoned licensed HVAC (Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning) service companies have experience with humidity equipment.
– Proper window drapes and shades will help maintain the best temperature for proper indoor humidity.
– When building or purchasing a new home consult with your professional realtor or builder.
The above information is opinion based except where noted. Always contact a licensed professional for information on the above subject or BEFORE applying or practicing the above information.
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