Although we like to think of it as mostly gas, the air around us contains a lot of other particles including water vapor. There is moisture everywhere around us even in the air we breathe in. How much moisture this air contains has a huge impact on how hygienic and comfortable it feels. The amount of water in the air is referred to as humidity. Depending on where you live and what you do indoors, the humidity level can either be low or high.
Whether high or low, humidity levels affect our health and home in various ways. Thus it is important that you understand these effects and how to determine when the moisture in the air is too low and how to effectively restore it to optimum levels. This article explains some of the symptoms of low humidity level in the home and what to do when you find out the air around you doesn’t contain as much water as it should.
What is low humidity?
Humidity simply refers to the percentage of moisture present in the air. This varies from place to place and depends on a number of factors. Generally, humidity is considered to be low when it is below 40 percent. As a reference, the relative humidity in the Sahara desert is about 25%. Low humidity is typically associated with cold temperatures since cold air holds less water compared to warm air.
While it is possible for indoor humidity to be as low as 10%, most people generally find humidity levels of about 40 to 45 percent comfortable. Any figure below these can be considered as too low for comfort and therefore low humidity means level that’s below 40%. Although it is difficult to tell with absolute confidence when the moisture in the air is too low, there are some symptoms and tell-tale signs of low humidity that you can watch out for.
Low humidity symptoms?
The following are the possible or likely problems faced by low humidity environments:
1. Electrostatic discharge
One of the most common symptoms of low humidity is the discharge of static electricity. This manifests in various ways such as slight shock when you touch things like a doorknob or a light switch. Sometimes static electricity might be felt on items of clothing as well. Static electricity might seem like a harmless symptom of low humidity, but it can cause significant damage to household appliances like computers and other electronics.
2. Dehydration and thirst
When you feel perched with an intense desire to drink water, it could be a sign of low humidity levels in your home. Dry air sucks moisture from the body leaving you dehydrated and thirsty.
3. Dry skin and body
When the air in your home is dry, there is a rapid loss of moisture from your body. The result of this is that your skin, nose, lips, nose and even hair will feel dry. This can even cause cracks on the surface of your skin which will make you feel irritated and uncomfortable.
4. You might feel cold even at normal temperature
Do you ever feel cold even when the temperature on the thermostat states otherwise? This is one of the sure signs of low humidity. When the amount of moisture in the air is low, it causes sweat to evaporate from your body really fast leading to a feeling of coldness even when the temperature is absolutely normal.
5. Bleeding Nose
Dry air may affect you’re the mucous membranes in your nose and cause it to dry out. This leads to cracks that might cause open wounds and bleeding. Severe nose bleeds caused by dry air can be quite painful and the wounds can also serve as an entry point for viruses and bacteria.
6. Damage to your home
Long periods of low humidity can cause damage to household furniture. When wooden upholstery is exposed to dry air for too long it might begin to crack and get warped. Wall paint can also start cracking and get peeled off in low humid conditions.
7. Eye problems
The presence of tears in the eyes is one of the body’s mechanisms to protect the eye. Since low humidity means high evaporation, tears are dried up from the eye pretty fast and this can cause eye irritation, dryness, and itchiness in the long run.
If you want to be really sure about the humidity level in your home, you can purchase a device known as a hygrometer. This device measures humidity level and with it, you will be able to tell if the humidity level in your home is really too low or at a normal level.
What humidity level is uncomfortable?
To determine what humidity level is comfortable or uncomfortable one has to know what ideal indoor humidity is? To understand this, one must first understand the concept of humidity percentage. The amount of moisture in the air is measured on a scale of 100. If the reading is a full 100% it means the air is fully saturated with water vapor and can’t take up more water. Generally, the average humidity level that would be considered comfortable is about 30 to 50%. However, different individuals react differently to varying humidity levels what one person would consider too low, will be absolutely normal for others. A humidity level of about 40 to 45 would be considered as ideal.
How to restore low humidity in homes?
Here are the various way you can try to restore low humidity and the methods are naturally safe and cost effective.
If you want to restore humidity levels in your home to a comfortable and safe level, your best bet is to install a humidifier. This device can be installed as a central unit for the entire house or individual units. They are typically installed along with air conditioning units since HVAC units are known to cause the air in the home to dry up. A humidifier increases the amount of moisture in the air by emitting water vapor into the air.
While there are various types of humidifiers you can choose from, your choice at the end of the day depends largely on your budget and the capacity of the humidifier in relation to the size of your home. You can speak to an HVAC technician for recommended alternatives.
Apart from installing a humidifier, there are other simpler and low power options to increase the amount of moisture in the air. However, you should bear in mind that many of these methods lack the control and effectiveness that you would get from a humidifier. One simple way to humidify your home without buying a gadget is to take advantage of your existing heating unit. You can place a vessel of water next to a radiator or any other heating unit in your home. The evaporated moisture is introduced into the air
Instead of a container, some people also recommend placing wet towels around the home. The basic idea of any of these methods is to naturally influence moisture level in the atmosphere through evaporation. While they might lack the sophistication of the humidifier, they are still relatively effective. But for full control over the humidity level in your home, installing a humidifier is your best bet.
Both low and high abnormal humidity levels can be detrimental to health and property. Thus it is important to keep humidity level under control at all times to ensure comfort and safety. However, if your humidity level is on the high side then you’ll probably need a dehumidifier as the best option method to get rid of moisture. We hope this article what are low humidity symptoms was helpful, if so, thanks for reading.