How to Control Humidity Levels in Your ApartmentFebruary 23rd, 2010 by Staff Writer
Depending on the climate you live in, you may want more or less humidity in your apartment than already exists. Humidity levels are based on how much moisture is in the air. Some climates are very humid and others, very dry. Controlling the humidity levels allows you to control the type of air you are breathing.
Ideal Humidity Settings
Humidity levels that are considered ideal are usually around 45%. Individual preferences of higher or lower humidity levels will vary and you can adjust accordingly. If humidity levels are too low in a home, such as in dryer climates, it can result in dry and bloody noses, sore throats and dry skin. Drier air also makes you more susceptible to becoming sick. This can occur especially in the winter when the heating system is running frequently. Humidity levels that are too high can create bacteria and mold in the home, along with causing paint and wallpaper to peel. This is most common in basements during the winter. Checking the humidity levels in the apartment can easily be done with an instrument called a hygrometer.
Using a Humidifier
Humidifiers are great if you find your home’s humidity levels are too low and the air is too dry. Portable humidifiers are filled with water and then have a fan that blows the evaporated water into the air. You may only need a humidifier when sleeping and can keep one in each bedroom or you may want one that works for the entire apartment.
Decreasing Humidity With a Dehumidifier
Some homes have the opposite problem and have too much humidity. In this case you want to purchase a dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers are fans that collect the moisture in the air, and drips into a collecting area while pushing the dehumidified air back out.
What Size Do I Need?
The size of humidifier or dehumidifier that you need will be based on how much square footage you need it to cover. If you only need it for your bedroom at night, then look for one that operates for the amount of square footage of the bedroom area. Boxes should be noted with the amount of square footage that they cover.
Natural Ways To Lower Humidity Levels
Despite what climate you live in, much of the humidity in the home is created by your home itself. Showers, cooking and laundry are examples of ways you can control humidity in the home without using a dehumidifier. Showers and baths create humidity by releasing water into the air. Larger families running the shower multiple times a day can add a lot of moisture to the air. Take shorter showers and baths to lower humidity levels. Cooking, especially boiling, also releases water into the air. Using covers on pots while boiling water can help control the moisture released. Only run the washing machine and the dish washer when they are completely full to decrease humidity. Opening windows in the home also allows humidity to escape and lowers the levels indoors.