How Indoor Humidity Levels Impact Our Health

How Indoor Humidity Levels Impact Our Health
By AcuRite Team
More from this author

How Indoor Humidity Levels Impact Our Health

This article was originally published in June of 2018 but has been updated to include relevant content.

Knowing your home’s humidity level is essential to improving indoor air quality and the overall health and comfort of you and your home. To ensure your home’s air quality, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests maintaining proper indoor relative humidity (RH) levels to reduce the effects of many of unwanted conditions associated with poor indoor air quality.

How do humidity levels affect us?

Indoor humidity that is too high, whether it is seasonal or based on climate, can cause an increase in biological pollutants like mold, bacteria, viruses, fungi, and dust mites that can trigger respiratory health ailments. Indoor conditions that are too dry or too humid can lead to nosebleeds, painful skin irritation, difficulty breathing, and damaging static electricity. AcuRite home monitoring products can help you keep tabs on your humidity levels inside your house to help keep your family healthy and comfortable throughout the closed-in winter months.

How To Balance Indoor Humidity

If you’re concerned about the humidity level in your home, or simply not sure how to measure indoor humidity, you can start checking it regularly with a broad assortment of Digital Humidity and Temperature Monitors from AcuRite. These home humidity sensors measure indoor temperature, indoor humidity, and even some feature a humidity level icon to easily convey whether your humidity levels are low, high, or ideal for your home! 

low humidity home comfort

LOW Humidity Level
Less than 30% RH
Humidity level is low relative to the temperature. This makes for a dry environment.

ok humidity home comfort

OK Humidity Level
Between 30%-50% RH
Humidity level is OK relative to the temperature. This makes for a comfortable environment.

humidity HIGH for home comfort

HIGH Humidity Level
Over 50% RH
Humidity level is high relative to the temperature. This makes for a humid environment.

Protect Your Home and Valuables


Aside from the health effects, extreme levels of house humidity can cause permanent damage to your home and furnishings. A hygrometer, or a humidity sensor, is an essential tool for homeowners, hobbyists, collectors, musicians and lifestyle enthusiasts concerned with protecting their investment.

Home optimizers

Wood furniture and flooring can dry out and warp with too little humidity, as commonly seen in dry climates or dry seasons. And with too much persistent humidity, mold and mildew can permanently damage your home, leading to costly repairs.

Stamp collectors

Maintaining stable relative humidity will reduce the effects of hydrolysis (repeated de/absorption of water vapors), which ruins your stamps by making them brittle or discolored.

Photography collectors

High humidity can lead to fading, discoloration, and silvering, as well as mold growth and insect infestations. Extremely low humidity leads to photographs becoming brittle or the emulsion flaking off.

Art collectors

Fluctuations in temperature and humidity can damage artwork can damage artwork over time -- paint can crack, separate, or peel, and paper can mold, tear. or fade. Antique veneers separate and warp. Fine papers and textile arts are particularly sensitive to changing environmental conditions.

Wine enthusiasts

Maintaining the correct balance of temperature and humidity preserves your wine collection. Environments with too much humidity promote mold growth, which can cause damage to cellar wood and wine labels. If your collection is too dry, meaning there isn't enough humidity, the corks can crack and allow air to leak into the bottle, ruining the wine.

Cigar aficionados

The ideal condition for storing cigars is relative humidity of approximately 68-74%. Desirable cigar flavors evolve in these conditions. Dry cigars become fragile and burn faster developing an unpleasant and slightly bitter taste. Damp cigars will burn unevenly and produce a heavy and acidic flavor.

Musicians

Natural wood is still the preferred material used to craft musical instruments because of its pleasing tonal qualities, but all varieties of wood expand and contract with changes in relative humidity. Humidity causes damage to instruments when internal stresses created by expansion or contraction cause glue joints to fail or the wood to crack.

Indoor gardeners

Your plants will love you for maintaining the proper level of humidity, and your plants can help you brighten your mood and your indoor space! Most houseplants thrive with humidity levels around 60%. Native desert plants prefer a much lower relative humidity (30-35%), while tropical plants favor more moisture (up to 90%). Here are some examples on how to use AcuRite humidity sensors for houseplants and best practices to care for your indoor plants.

Share and Discuss Your Home Humidity Troubles!

Whether you are an avid cigar collector, a wine connoisseur, or maintain an indoor jungle, share your success stories below on how you are able to maintain ideal indoor humidity for your hobbies and collections. Or, on how you are able to maintain ideal indoor humidity for your hobbies and collections, such as using AcuRite temperature and humidity weather instruments.

December 16, 2021