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Ideal Home Humidity Levels

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Humidity levels within a house can affect many different aspects of our home and lives, yet often times we pay little attention to what the ideal home humidity levels are.  Whether you live in a dry or humid climate, the indoor climate of your home can have a huge impact on the health of your home and ultimately the health of your family.  Not only do they affect the general comfort of those at home, but the amount of moisture in the air affects biological contaminants in a home like mold, mildew and dust mites.  

Indoor humidity is the measure of moisture within your indoor air.  Most homes will have excessively high humidity levels without the homeowners even being aware.  There are many ways to tell if you have high or low humidity indoors, but the best way is to use a hygrometer or indoor air quality monitor.



So what exactly is the ideal home humidity level for your house?  In a perfect world it would be 35% humidity. But a general rule of thumb is somewhere between 35% – 40% humidity.  Anything lower and you’ll feel incredibly uncomfortable; and any higher, you’ll increase your chances of mold growth, dust mites and other problems.

A study was done in Europe by a home health practitioner who concluded that if humidity levels were kept around 35%, you would see a drastic reduction of illness and allergies.  This theory is based on the fact that dust mites and mold cannot survive in these conditions, which are a large contributor to viral illness and allergies.


If you find your home has a higher humidity level than you’d like, there are some easy ways you can reduce the levels.  You can even tell if there’s extra moisture in the air without using a hygrometer or an indoor air quality monitor. (however these two tools are extremely helpful and much more reliable).
Some telltale signs that your home has higher humidity than it should:

- Condensation on windows and doors
- Musty odors (especially in basements)
- Water spots or water damage
- Soft spots in sheetrock or plaster walls
- Rotting or water stained wood
- Mold or mildew spots on walls or floors
- Moisture on foundation walls

If you notice any of these problems consistently or on a seasonal basis, it could be safe to assume you have higher than preferred humidity levels in your home.