If you seem to have colds that last for months on end, you may have contaminants such as dust mites and mold in your indoor air that are causing the problem. One of the reasons those contaminants accumulate is due to high indoor humidity. Humidity control is extremely important to every home; there are some simple ways that you can achieve this control while staying comfortable all year.
Relative Humidity 101
Relative humidity is the amount of water in the air compared to the amount of water the air can hold at a certain temperature. For instance, if the indoor temperature is 77 degrees and has 60% humidity, the air contains 60% of the amount of water vapor that it can hold at that temperature. Most experts agree that the proper relative humidity in the home should be about 45-50%. You can purchase a device called a hygrometer to measure the humidity in your indoor air.
How to Control It
By using an air conditioner along with a dehumidifier, you can achieve humidity control and keep your indoor air at its healthiest level. Typically, dehumidifiers work by pulling in air through a cooling coil. This results in condensation, which flows into a container. Some models pump that water through a drain line that goes outside. Once the air moves through the coils, much of the moisture is taken out. That air is then released back into the room.
Mold and Dust Mites
If you notice a musty smell in your bathroom or your basement, that’s a good indication you have a mold issue due to high relative humidity. If spores are allowed to circulate through the air, that can lead to serious health issues such as asthma. Dust mites also thrive in homes that are too humid; when their waste particles are inhaled, sneezing, coughing, congestion and more can result.