When indoor space is extremely dry or humid, it causes discomfort, and health issues and can even compromise the structural integrity of your home. As with most things in life, there is a happy medium. For indoor humidity, the ideal range is between 40 and 60%.
What Is Low Indoor Humidity?
When indoor humidity falls below 40%, it is considered a low humidity level. Low indoor humidity is more common during the winter season, particularly in regions that regularly experience freezing temperatures and snowfall. A lack of humidity in the air has health impacts, causing dry skin, lips and eyes, itchiness and a sore throat. Low indoor humidity also impacts your home, causing floorboards and wood materials to warp or shrink and wallpaper to peel.
Common symptoms of low humidity:
- Bloody noses
- Chapped or cracked lips
- Dry, itchy skin and eyes
- Cold-like symptoms
- Itchy or scratchy throat
- Dry, cracking wood
- Static electricity
- Allergy and asthma flare-ups
Whole-Home Humidifiers We Recommend: We know how important it is to make sure you’re choosing the best product for your needs. That’s why we have a dedicated information page on whole-home humidifiers, with specific details about each available type! We always recommend consulting with a local IAQ expert before any final decision or major purchase. Learn more here →
What Is High Indoor Humidity?
When indoor humidity rises above the 60% level, it’s considered high. High indoor humidity levels are common during the summer season, particularly in regions like the South that experience high outdoor humidity. When the air in your home is too humid, it poses serious health risks for you and your family. Respiratory symptoms worsen in overly humid spaces. For those with existing conditions, asthma or allergies, humidity control is particularly important.
High humidity has a terrible effect on your home’s structural integrity as well. It creates condensation on windows, promotes mold growth, produces a foul or muggy odor, draws in insects and gives the air an overall moist, sticky feel.
What Is a Good Indoor Humidity Level?
The happy medium for relative indoor humidity is 40–60%. You may find research that suggests the 30–50% range is ideal for indoor spaces. Now, that is largely considered an outdated suggestion thanks to current research. The appropriate range for indoor humidity levels is 40–60%. This range promotes comfort, health and excellent air quality.
Take a look at the table below to better understand the pros and cons of each atmosphere! And see which conditions, symptoms and organisms thrive in different indoor humidity levels.
|Below 40%||40–60%||Above 60%|
If your home’s indoor air is unregulated, it can help enable the spread of viruses and bacteria. High or low levels can also exacerbate existing respiratory symptoms, allergies, asthma and increase your chances of catching a common cold or flu. Additionally, air that is too dry or too humid is just generally uncomfortable to live in.
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How To Achieve Ideal Indoor Humidity Range
If the humidity levels in your home are too low, consider using a whole-home humidifier. A humidifier adds moisture to the air. This effectively ends the dry winter season in your home while also creating a warmer atmosphere.
Other tips and tricks to increase humidity:
- Cook without lids
- Shower or bathe with the bathroom door open
- Purchase houseplants
If the humidity in your home is too high, consider using a whole-home dehumidifier. This system removes excess moisture from the air.
Other tips and tricks to decrease humidity:
- Use a range fan when cooking
- Shower or bathe with cool water
- Ventilate the bathroom after showering or bathing
- Remove houseplants
In order to maintain a comfortable and healthy home, it is important to monitor indoor humidity and make adjustments. The benefit of opting for a whole-home humidity control system? It will automatically measure indoor humidity levels and make the necessary adjustments so the level in your home remains between 40–60%. And it does so without ever causing worry. Whole-home humidifiers and dehumidifiers will set your space up for the perfect indoor humidity range.
Comfortable and Healthy Indoors
We can all agree that a home is more comfortable when the risks of illness, dust mites or furniture damage are low. In addition to trying the helpful tips and tricks mentioned, consider upgrading to a whole-home humidity control solution. It can be tricky to determine if home issues are due to high or low humidity levels. This is why it’s important to find an experienced IAQ expert who can help determine the problem and advise on the best system for your home.
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Common Questions About Indoor Humidity Levels
Yes. As explained in this article, the appropriate range for indoor humidity levels is 40–60%. This range promotes comfort, health and excellent air quality.
The ideal indoor range is between 40–60%. This level will make a house feel warm and cozy, and dry out any moisture build-up or molding issues—as well as improve respiratory health by boosting indoor circulation!
How to take control of your home’s winter season humidity levels ➞
If you have a problem with humidity in your home, it is best to resolve the issue rather than relying on fans. A fan can play an important role and help mitigate some of excess moistures’ effects but ultimately you should consider a more permanent solution.
Yes. The standard for indoor humidity is between 40–60%. When indoor humidity falls below this level, it can have detrimental effects on those who live in the home.
Opening your windows is a great way to dry out the air in your home assuming outdoor humidity levels are lower. However, don’t go around opening windows when you have the AC running, or when the AQI is poor.
Learn how to control your home’s humidity levels ➞