The impact of humidity on our health is not well understood. However, high humidity makes it easier for dust mites and molds to appear … But how can we simply reduce the humidity in our home?
Reading time: 4 minutes
Humidity, what is it?
Humidity is the amount of water vapor contained in a certain volume of air. It is measured as a percentage using a hygrometer. This is mainly manifested in the form of gray or black marks on the fabric or on the walls. The humidity is often accompanied by a strong musty odor. In homes, the ideal humidity level is estimated to be 40 to 60% ¹, for an average temperature between 18 and 22°C.
What health risks ?
Exposure or inhalation of spores or mycotoxins emitted by molds or the presence of mites and their droppings can cause irritation of the respiratory tract mucous membranes and allergies. In addition, they can also lead to the development of asthma, rhinitis and bronchitis and cause exacerbation of asthma attacks, especially in children.
How to deal with humidity?
To avoid too much humidity, especially during and after activities that produce a lot of humidity (bath, shower, laundry, cooking, etc.) it is essential to ventilate your rooms. Don’t hesitate to open your windows daily for a minimum of 10 minutes. In bedrooms and bathrooms, this will reduce the number of dust mites and mold. If the room in question does not have a window, be sure to use controlled mechanical ventilation (CMV) when you are in the room and keep the door open when you leave it.
- Clean your vents
Before changing the CMV, make sure it doesn’t just need a good cleaning. It is the role of your CMV to exhaust the air out of the house to reduce the risk of disease and humidity. On average, a CMV cleans itself quarterly (for exhaust vents) every 20 years (for pipes). Do not hesitate to call a heating engineer for any such check.
When cooking, it’s important to put a lid on the pots and turn on the extractor hood – which also requires a cleanup 😉
- Evacuate humidity
Whenever possible, remove moisture accumulated when using your dryer for example. In addition to generating CO2, your household appliances consume a lot of water, which sometimes remains stored in the pipes of the appliance. It is therefore very important to empty household appliances and ventilate the room. When it comes to damp laundry, try as much as possible to dry them outside or in a well-ventilated room. When you have plumbing problems such as leaks or flooding, be sure to let the furniture dry. If you have wooden or plaster elements, you must replace them. This is because these materials are porous, which means that they absorb and retain water within their composition. Also watch out for the capillary effect: when the soil contains moisture, it rises towards the walls, slowly causing them to mold.
Who to contact to reduce the risk?
Before you find yourself facing high humidity, here are some ideas: