We all have once heard terms like relative humidity, absolute humidity, high or low, etc. But What is considered high humidity? The quantity of water vapour in the air is measured by humidity. The quantity of moisture in the air as compared to the recommended amount of water vapour is measured by relative humidity, which is what the weatherman reports on (moisture). The amount of water vapour that the air can contain increases with temperature.
As temperatures rise or fall, the capacity of the air to hold water varies. The ideal humidity level varies on the outside temperature, but generally speaking, it shouldn’t be more than 50%. The amount of humidity in the air, either outside or even within your home, has a significant impact on both how comfortable you feel and how healthy you are as a whole. There is a risk of developing mould issues and allergies when the humidity levels are too high. Dry skin and bothersome static electricity can occur whenever the hydration levels are insufficient. The ideal moisture balance keeps the indoor air comfortable and the outdoor air feeling fresh.
1. What is Relative Humidity?
The proportion of the current absolute humidity to the highest absolute humidity is known as relative humidity (which depends on the current air temperature). Relative humidity readings of 100 per cent indicate that there is a chance of precipitation because the air is fully saturated with water vapour and can no longer contain any more. It has to be 100 per cent where the vapours are developing, but the dew point near the ground may be significantly lower. This does not imply that the humidity levels must be 100 per cent for it to rain.
2. What is Absolute Humidity?
The amount of water vapour divided by the amount of dry air in an amount of air at a specific temperature is the definition of absolute humidity. The more water the air can hold, the hotter it is. The unit of measurement for absolute humidity is grammes of water per cubic metre of air (g/m3).
3. What is Considered High Humidity? Is 70% Humidity High?
Maintaining your home’s humidity levels between 30 and 50% will make it most pleasant. Humidity levels beyond 70 per cent are considered high. It is recommended to utilise a portable dehumidifier to regulate and reduce the humidity in your home. It will significantly reduce the amount of moisture in the air each day. It is advised that individuals with asthma or cardiac disorders exercise extreme caution when such situations arise.
4. How Does High Humidity Affect the Windows?
Long-term excessive humidity can harm walls, especially when the outside air temperature is quite low. Because window glass is cool, it condenses on it. In addition to excessive humidifier usage, other contributors of excess moisture include taking long showers, using running water for various purposes, cooking that involves boiling or steaming, plants, and indoor drying of clothing. A tight, energy-efficient home retains more moisture; you might need to occasionally run a ventilation fan in the kitchen or bathroom or momentarily open a window. Storm shutters and caulking surrounding windows prevent condensation on the interior glass and keep it warmer.
5. Humidity Levels in The Winter
Indoor humidity falls between 25 and 35 per cent in the winter. Due to the frigid temperature, maintaining humidity levels greater than will be challenging. Contrary to popular perception, the heater does not remove moisture from the air.
The air grows drier as it enters the home because cold air is dry. Older windows with damaged seals, draughty doors, and the roof are all potential entry points for cold air. Keeping the moisture levels low enough throughout the winter months to prevent condensation from forming inside is difficult. Try to do this while maintaining humidity levels high enough to prevent dry skin and static electricity.
Dry air can also lead to pain and ailments like allergies, the flu, sore eyes, sore noses, and sore throats. Additionally, viruses can propagate in dry air.
6. Humidity Levels in The Summer
Over 45 per cent humidity can make rooms feel clammy and sticky, which is intolerable. More than 50% humidity is not only uncomfortable, but it can also have negative health effects. While heat can help prevent the transmission of viruses, too much humidity can cause mist on your windows, and the growth of germs, mould, and mildew, all of which can quickly spread. This occurs when cold air condenses on warm, damp interior walls, mixing moisture with mould spores. Allergies and respiratory disorders like asthma may be brought on by this.
High relative humidity can be harmful to your home in addition to being uncomfortable and unhealthy. When there is too much humidity in the air, moisture can destroy the structure, the roofing, and the flooring.
7. Reasons for High Humidity Levels
Have you gotten enough of your walls’ paint bubbling, your ceilings growing mould, and humidity obscuring your views? Here, we’ll outline the top 4 factors that contribute to indoor humidity as well as solutions for preventing it.
Even something as basic as taking a bath can release moisture into the air because bathrooms are frequently damp environments. As the moisture evaporates into the air as water vapour, it will ultimately come into touch with a cool surface, such as mirrors or windows, where it will condense into droplets.
Condensation is the obvious name for this phenomenon. More moisture can be held in the air and can be deposited on cold surfaces the warmer the water vapour is. Because of this, anytime you take a warm shower and there is a lot of steam coming out of the water, condensation has become a bigger issue.
7.2) Bad Ventilation
Your home’s ventilation system directly impacts the purity of the air within. The air quality will also be good if the circulation is good since the air is regularly refreshed and circulated. However, poor or absent ventilation causes the air to become stale, which can lead to several issues, including the growth of harmful pathogens.
Additionally, with poor ventilation, the humidity that accumulates within the house as a result of cooking, showering, or other activities I mentioned stays there. This can only result in the growth of mould and the release of harmful mould particles into the air you inhale.
The stale interior air is removed through effective ventilation, which also reduces the level of indoor air contaminants.
7.3) Coastal Air
Temperature and place have an impact on relative humidity. Warmer weather encourages evaporation because it contains more water than cooler weather. Due to evaporation, areas with a lot of groundwater, such as coastal regions and regions with heavy rainfall, have high moisture levels. Particularly humid environments include warm, tropical locales.
7.4) High Rainfall Regions
Humidity levels in the home can rise significantly during the chilly, rainy winter months, such as those seen in the Western Cape and throughout the Southern Coastal belt region.
The excess moisture produced by breathing, cooking, heating, warm baths as well as saunas, and tumble dryers cannot leave because of the high moisture levels outdoors, leading to high moisture levels inside the house. This leads to extremely favourable conditions for the growth of mould.
8. 4 Concerns of High Humidity
The human body can suffer from high humidity levels. It can make you feel tired and short on energy since the air seems hotter than the actual, measured temperature.
Additionally, environments with excess humidity, hyperthermia, or overheating as a consequence of your body’s inability to adequately release heat, can have a detrimental influence on your health. Excessive exposure to moisture (hyperthermia) poses several health hazards, including-
8.1) Unruly Hair
You could attribute it to the humidity if you discover that you experience more terrible hair days than good ones. Your hair may curl and look frizzy if the air is particularly humid. Because of this, grocery aisles are filled with items marketed as “frizz-controlling.” The indoor humidity levels also play a role here.
To solve this issue, utilise a straightener or hair products. Even those tools, nevertheless, might not be sufficient in conditions of high humidity to thoroughly straighten and smooth your hair.
8.2) Increased Perspiration
When humidity levels rise, you could find that you perspire more. Your body reacts such that the temperature has increased because excessive moisture causes the temperature to feel warmer than it is. Even worse, high humidity prevents sweat from evaporating, leaving moisture on your skin that makes you feel even hotter.
You can solve this issue by using a whole-home dehumidifier. You will feel more at ease in your home as a result of the decreased air moisture. Instead, it automatically detects the levels of interior humidity and makes adjustments.
8.3) Asthma and Allergy Symptoms
Your nasal passages become progressively drier as the moisture levels fall, which might exacerbate allergy symptoms. You might even get nosebleeds, which, if not carefully controlled, might result in sinus infections. If your home has a humidifier, use it to raise the humidity levels inside for more comfort. Just be careful not to overdo it since excessive humidity can serve as the ideal habitat for allergies like dust mites, mould, and mildew. It also happens because of poor indoor air quality.
On the other side, high humidity frequently makes asthma symptoms worse. Asthmatics are more likely to experience an asthma attack as the air becomes heavier with moisture and harder to breathe. In addition, higher humidity can encourage the development of mould spores and other asthmatic triggers.
8.4) Smelly Feet
Humidity rises, which means that stinky feet are back. If you wear shoes to work, be prepared to deal with significant “stinky feet” concerns. The cause is the germs that thrive in sweaty conditions brought on by high humidity. It causes repeated bacterial and fungal infections, stinky shoes, and itching feet. The indoor humidity and the moist air result in humid air which makes the feet smelly.
9. 4 Ways to Fix High Humidity levels
9.1) Fix Seepage and Leaks
You have a variety of choices, from straightforward gardening to intensive excavation and waterproofing, if water is leaking into the home from the exterior. (The terrain need should incline away from the home.) The absence of gutters or even a water flow toward the home is two potential causes of water in the basement. A space for biological contaminants to thrive might be provided by water leakage in pipelines or around bathtubs and sinks.
Dehumidifiers function to remove moisture from the air, which dries it out. Due to their ability to reduce dust mites and mould formation, they are beneficial in humid areas. Dehumidifiers suck air into the device and pass it across extremely chilly coils to remove moisture. You might experience some comfort from respiratory and allergy issues brought on by the humidity by removing moisture from the air.
Use dehumidifiers, air conditioners and coolers to lower the amount of moisture in the air, particularly in hot, humid climates, but watch out that the devices themselves don’t turn into sources of environmental pollutants. It helps in maintaining indoor humidity levels.
9.3) Concrete Floors
Take extra care with carpet on concrete flooring. The carpet is a good site for biological contaminants to thrive since it can absorb moisture. Use area rugs that can be moved and frequently cleaned. To avoid a moisture issue while installing carpet over a concrete floor in some areas, it may be necessary to cover the concrete with a vapour barrier (plastic sheeting) and then cover that with sub-flooring (foam covered with plywood). It helps in maintaining indoor humidity levels and the home’s HVAC system.
9.4) Different Climates Have Different Issues With Moisture and Different Ways to Solve Them
The Western Mountain states are cold and dry, the Southwest is hot and dry, the South is hot and wet, and the Northeast is cold and wet. Problems with moisture can occur in any of these areas. For instance, the use of evaporative coolers in the Southwest may promote the development of biological contaminants. In some hot and humid climates, using air conditioners that cool the air too quickly could prevent them from running long enough to remove extra moisture. Different difficulties and solutions may arise depending on the building and weatherization methods used for the various climates.
Maintaining the ideal humidity level can significantly improve your comfort and general health. There are various options at your fingertips that can solve the problem and allow you to live safely and pleasantly in your house.
Avoid exceeding 70% and try to keep your ideal indoor humidity content between 30% and 50% to avoid the negative effects of high humidity.
Similarly, avoid going too low to avoid unpleasant consequences.