How To Test Your Home’s Humidity
Humidity is something that people in the South are very familiar with, but humidity affects more than the temperature outside. Humid weather and everyday activities like showering, cooking and cleaning can increase the amount of moisture in your home. Too much or too little moisture in the air can affect your home negatively by causing cracks in wood floors, electrical problems and musty odors. It can also affect your heating and air conditioning, causing it to use more power and increase your energy bill.
When we talk about saving energy, we often talk about maintaining specific temperatures during different seasons and monitoring appliances so they’re not expending excessive energy. Checking your home’s humidity regularly is also a piece of the energy efficiency puzzle to take into consideration. Being attentive to signs in your home and purchasing a device to test humidity levels can help you stay on top of any adjustments that need to be made to protect your home.
There are a few more obvious clues that the moisture in the air at home is too low or too high. A few signs of low humidity levels you can look for are:
- The water in a flower vase needs to be filled every day.
- Your lips and skin are chapped.
- Sparks and shocks of static electricity happen more frequently.
- You experience increased problems with electric equipment.
Signs of high humidity levels at home include:
- Seeing moisture on the inside of windows and mirrors.
- Walls and ceilings showing wet stains.
- Signs of mold and mildew in bathrooms, laundry rooms or the kitchen.
- Increased sneezing from family members (high humidity creates increased amounts of dust).
You can purchase a hygrometer at a local store to get a reading on the exact humidity level in your home. A mechanical hygrometer is similar to a temperature gauge and an electronic hygrometer is a device with a screen that uses batteries.
Follow the instructions on either to test the moisture in the air in a particular room, setting up the meter in an area away from sunlight or drafts. During the warmer months, the relative humidity should be 50% or less. In colder months, the relative humidity should be between 25-40%.
Once you understand the amount of moisture in the air in your home, you can adjust the levels using plants or tools like humidifiers or dehumidifiers to keep your heating and air conditioning units and other appliances running smoothly.
Find more ways to cut down on energy usage and keep your home running at optimum levels with these energy-saving tips.