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Q+A: What Should Humidity in a House Be?

Do you have questions about humidity in your house? You're not alone. We answered a handful of frequently asked home humidity questions.
Last Updated on August 24, 2022

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Home humidity and moisture control are absolutely crucial to maintaining a healthy and comfortable indoor living space. Even though indoor humidity is important for health and comfort, it’s also a bit of a pain for homeowners and renters to regulate. For that reason, we broke down a couple of frequently asked questions about moisture levels and humidity control in a house. 

What Should Humidity in a House Be?

First and foremost, the ideal indoor humidity range is 40–60%. Humidity in a house should not go above 60%, but should not fall below 40%. This ideal mid-range level is truly the sweet spot when it comes to home humidity control.

Now, let’s get into the questions and answers. We turned to our indoor air quality experts; here’s what they had to say.

Q: What are humidifiers and dehumidifiers classified as?

Humidifiers and dehumidifiers are indoor air quality solutions. More specifically, they’re grouped into humidity control strategies. They help add or remove moisture from indoor air. Keeping the relative indoor humidity level between 40 and 60% is ideal.

Q: How do you get rid of mold and dampness in a basement?

There are a few steps you can take.

  1. Identify the source of moisture, high humidity and mold growth. It could be a leaky roof or poorly insulated plumbing. Fix or remove the source!
  2. Clean the basement and hire a professional for mold abatement if necessary.
  3. Ensure the basement is dry without any obvious moisture sources.
  4. Get a quality, efficient dehumidifier solution.

Q: What is a healthy room humidity level?

A healthy room humidity level is between 40 to 60%. If you notice you are getting sick more often, or that there’s a funny smell indoors, it’s worth having a local HVAC or indoor air quality expert assess your home. Humidity control is an important piece of improving indoor air quality and maintaining a healthy indoor living space. Once they complete the evaluation, they can tell you if your air is too dry or too humid, and provide specific recommendations and solutions to fix the issue in your home.

Healthy Home IAQ: So 40–60% is the ideal indoor humidity range. But … why? What happens if indoor humidity levels are above or below those numbers? Learn more here →

Q: Why is there moisture on the inside of my double-pane windows?

High indoor humidity can cause condensation on the inside of double pane windows. This is actually a tell-tale sign to look out for.

To stop this from happening, you’ll need to lower indoor humidity levels. A smart solution is a dehumidifier. Your best bet is to consult with your local HVAC or indoor air quality expert. They can better assess your home and determine if the high humidity issue is a whole-home or specific room problem. If it’s a whole-home issue, they’ll likely recommend a whole-home dehumidifier. If it’s just that room, a portable dehumidifier is all you’ll need.

High humidity levels can lead to mold growth and that funky mildew smell. A humidity control solution will help prevent it! If you already have mold growth in your home, I would recommend you hire a professional to help identify the likely sources of high humidity, as well as pursue mold abatement.

Q: Are dehumidifiers effective upstairs or in an attic?

Dehumidifiers are effective if your home has a high humidity problem. If you have high indoor humidity levels indoors, it’s likely a whole-home issue. This means you’ll want to address it by installing a whole-house dehumidifier! Heat rises, and with it comes humidity and pollutants that circulate through every room in your home.

The most effective dehumidifier is a whole-home system. It will monitor and address humidity levels in your entire home, at once. It will turn on and run automatically to maintain your set level.

Does AC Dehumidify?: Another commonly asked humidity question? Can air conditioning help dehumidify? But we have an entire article answering that one →

Q: Will a dehumidifier remove mold from walls?

Once mold has spread and colonized somewhere in the home, like on walls, a dehumidifier can’t do anything about it. You’ll need to pursue professional mold abatement instead.

However, having a dehumidifier will help remove moisture from your home’s indoor air. Above 60% humidity, you run a higher risk of mold and mildew growth. So I would recommend calling in your local HVAC contractor or IAQ expert. They can assess your entire home for moisture issues and install a dehumidifier that will help prevent further mold damage.

Humidity in Your House

Moisture, musty odors, mold growth, allergies … it’s all influenced by your home’s indoor humidity level! This is what makes humidity control so important! The humidity in a house truly impacts numerous health and home quality factors.

Do you have a question you want our experts to answer? Tweet us @iaqworks!

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