High humidity in your home likely does not sound like that big of a deal. Compared to germs and dust, elevated humidity is the least of your problems, right?
The truth is, however, that having too high humidity in your home has a wide variety of health issues, ranging from discomfort to contributing to very serious allergic reactions. A malfunctioning, leaking, or inoperative HVAC system can seriously contribute to elevated humidity in your home. Here’s why you should be concerned:
1. Humidity is uncomfortable
We’ve likely all experienced just how uncomfortable it is to be in a humid place. Humidity is especially uncomfortable in the heat, but can also be nasty when it is cold outside. When your environment is humid, your body is less able to let off excess heat into the air, which ensures that you sweat more than you otherwise would. If your home is too humid and it is too warm, you will find yourself constantly bathed in sweat. You’ll be wiping sweat off of your forehead and trying to find a cool place to air out your damp clothes.
2. Humidity creates the perfect breeding ground for mold.
All mold really needs to create a colony is a little bit of moisture and a fairly stable temperature. A humid home is the perfect place for mold to take up residence. Mold spores will thrive in your humidity, quickly creating colonies anywhere they can find a damp place to attach. Humidity in your home means that the building materials of that home are going to be slightly damp, all the time. Mold will start to grow not just where you can see it (on the exterior of your walls or inside cupboards), but also where you cannot see, it like inside your walls and underneath your carpets.
3. Humidity encourages mildew.
Mildew might not seem as dangerous as mold, but it can be just as annoying and just as difficult to get rid of. Like mold, it can grow on the exterior of your walls, but it can also create its own colonies inside your walls and vents.
A humid home creates the perfect environment for this slime to breed and sustain itself. You’ll start to smell that familiar mildewing scent and no matter how often you clean your home and how well you air out your bathroom, you’ll find yourself constantly battling mildew.
4. Humidity makes dust more resilient.
There is a huge difference between trying to clean away dry dust and wet dust. When your walls are slightly damp, they will attract dust and other particulates floating in your air and you will find them sticking to everything. They will be more difficult to clear away when you are dusting, too, which means that they will be more common in your home to aggravate those with allergies and other respiratory issues. The more humid your home is, the bigger your dust problem will be.
5. Humidity increase the frequency of asthma attacks.
Those who suffer from asthma attacks and other respiratory issues are often instructed to keep their environment as dry as possible. Because humidity creates the perfect environment for mold, mildew, and dust to take over your home, those with asthma will likely experience more attacks, more often.
Everyone’s health will be a lot poorer, but especially those who have respiratory-related conditions. If an individual is experiencing more frequent attacks, it is likely caused by poor air quality in their home, which is heavily exacerbated by humidity.
6. Wet materials are not as strong.
Think about the difference between ripping a wet piece of paper and a dry piece of paper. It is much, much easier to rip a wet piece of paper. The same goes for the building materials in your home. Dry materials are stronger and more resilient to damage than wet materials.
For example, if your home is humid, it will be much easier to ding, scrape, and flake off the paint on your walls. Water itself infiltrates and damages the structural integrity of your homes. When your foundation is water-logged, for example, you likely will need to replace that foundation. Humidity in your home can make the building materials used to construct it less durable.
7. Humidity can ruin your belongings.
Aside from damaging the structure of your home itself, humidity can also hurt the things inside your home. Books, clothes, collectibles, and musical instruments are particularly susceptible to humidity.
Prolonged exposure will not just damage their appearance, but also damage the items themselves. Musical instruments may cease to function, books will start to degrade and fall apart, and clothes will not last as long.
8. Humidity creates the perfect environment for allergens.
If you or someone living in your home has allergies, humidity can significantly contribute to allergens in that home. Not only will mold and mildew be more common, which are two very common allergies, humidity will allow other allergens, like pollen and dust, to stick to the surfaces of your home, where it is more likely that those allergens will then be introduced into a person’s system.
Humidity can be a serious issue in a house, but one that can be solved by having an HVAC system that is functioning properly!