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Proper Humidity Levels: A Key to Home Comfort

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You probably don’t think much about the humidity of your Massachusetts home (unless you have a problem basement), but it plays a big, if somewhat hidden, role in the comfort and health of your family – not to mention the well-being of your home itself. Over-dry winter air can do everything from making asthma symptoms worse to ruining valuable furniture, artwork, and electronics; over-humid air can cause mold and other problems.

For all these reasons and more, it’s important to maintain proper humidity levels in your home. The question is how do you do that? Let’s take a look.

Step 1: Take current humidity measurements

A good place to start when addressing a moisture problem is to measure humidity levels in your home. Keep in mind that humidity can vary widely from season to season and even from room to room depending on the weather, the size and design of your home, and other factors.

To measure indoor humidity, you need a hygrometer, which is like a thermometer for humidity (you can get one online for about $10-15). Humidity levels in the 40 to 45 range are considered optimal for indoor air; keep this in mind as you move from room to room taking notes.

If you humidity is too high

If your home humidity levels are on the high side – which can happen, especially if you live near water – consider these tips:

  • Fix any roof or plumbing leaks promptly.
  • Keep fewer house plants (moist soil can worsen a humidity problem).
  • Make sure your clothes dryer is properly vented – or better yet, hang-dry your clothes outside.
  • Install kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans and use them whenever you shower or cook.
  • Maintain your heating and cooling equipment every year – proper HVAC operation is a key to keeping humidity levels healthy.

If you humidity is too low

Low humidity levels can be just as dangerous as the high ones; they can dry out your skin, cause your furniture and wood floors to crack, or create the perfect conditions for electronics-damaging static electricity. Most of the time, over-dry home air is caused by cold winter air.

If humidity levels in your home are too low, try these tips:

  • Boil water on the stove – encourage circulation of the moistened steam from your tea pot by turning on fans in the room.
  • Hang your clothes indoors to dry.
  • Add house plants to over-dry rooms.
  • Strategically place buckets of warm water in dry spaces (just don’t forget they’re there!).

By far the best way to add moisture to your home air is to install a whole house humidifier, which gives you precision control of the amount of water vapor your air contains (some can even be controlled by a smart thermostat from your phone!).

Keeping the right amount of moisture in your home air can really improve your quality of life at home – with a little investment of time and money, you’ll breathe easier all year round.

For expert installation of whole house humidifiers in Massachusetts, trust the pros at Needham Oil & Air – we’ll get your equipment up and running quickly so you can enjoy heathier air this winter and for years to come.

Contact Needham today for a FREE, no obligation estimate on a whole house humidifier or dehumidifier for your Massachusetts home!