Hurray for Humidity!
Updated: Apr 15
Optimal indoor humidity levels can do wonders for your respiratory and skin health
We continue our series on indoor air quality in the COVID-19 era, focusing today on humidity. Often overlooked, humidity plays an important role in how the indoor air you breathe affects your health, both on the inside and outside of your body.
Why is humidity important?
Humidity is most often thought of in the context of how it influences the weather outside. It's not uncommon to hear about how the temperature outdoors reads 25° C, but it in fact feels like 30° C or worse when taking the humidity into account. The eastern to midwestern part of the United States is notorious for having hideously humid summer days, while a hot summer in Colorado with the temperature getting to 35° C and above really isn't the end of the world... as long as you stay out of that hot, blazing sun!
Indoors, however, humidity needs to be looked at from a different angle, namely from how it affects your respiratory and skin health.
Having your humidity at the optimal level of 40 to 60% will slash to a minimum the formation of viruses, bacteria, dust mites, fungi, and other indoor air pollutants that, both in the short term and long term, can cause various respiratory problems (including infections and symptoms tied to asthma and allergies).
When humidity is below the optimal levels, this can cause excessively dry skin, and the more susceptible you are to getting dry skin, the more low humidity levels will exacerbate just how dry your skin gets. Pregnant women stand out amongst population groups where low humidity levels can significantly worsen dry-skin problems.
How is the problem fixed?
A combination of monitoring your humidity levels and taking remedial action when warranted is the best course of action. CareTac in South Africa offers Airthings Indoor Air Quality monitors that provide continuous, digital tracking of your indoor air quality, including humidity. It is especially important to monitor indoor humidity in South Africa, as residential and building structures, which rely heavily on open space and natural ventilation, can lead to indoor humidity falling to dangerously low levels.
Remedial action can be taken in the form of individual humidifiers for separate rooms or house humidifiers, which use the house's ventilation system to circulate humidified air throughout. There are also house humidifiers that come with their own fan dispersal systems in case a house does not have the proper ventilation infrastructure. CareTac can help consult you on what the best steps are to take with your home or building.
It's enough that we spend some 90% of our time indoors in normal times. Now, in the COVID-19 era, that number is surely higher for the vast majority of people. This makes it important now more than ever to tackle your indoor air quality issues. Optimizing your indoor humidity levels is both easy and affordable. Airthings IAQ monitors provide excellent value for your money, and CareTac can provide you with the expert IAQ consulting, data reporting, and more to make the best decisions, all in the name of your health and that of your loved ones.