Keeping your home healthy and mold free requires monitoring indoor humidity levels and sources of moisture. Many factors contribute to rising indoor humidity levels and high indoor humidity is especially problematic in humid climates. Homeowners who wish to an in-home water fountain to their home may find their humidity levels on the rise. However, those who live in dry climates may wish to place a fountain indoors to raise humidity.
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Identifying Relative Humidity in the House
Relative humidity is the ratio of the amount of water vapor present in the air to the greatest amount possible at the same temperature. When humidity is high, it causes people to sweat. Reducing indoor humidity levels is the key to keeping mold growth at bay and makes living areas more comfortable. Low humidity can make skin feel dry and itchy, irritate nasal passages and dry out wood furnishings.
Causes of Indoor Humidity
As with any source of open running water, a water feature for indoors will contribute to an increase in indoor humidity levels. Planting dense or heavy vegetation around your home will decrease air flow and keep humidity high. Cooking in kitchens with no exhaust fans or showering in bathrooms without ventilation fans also increases indoor humidity.
Laundry rooms are also humid rooms, especially those that do not have their clothes dryer ventilated to the outside. Living in arid climates contributes to low humidity, which can cause health problems, as does central heating and dry winter air.
Effects of Humidity Indoors
Indoor humidity levels should remain between 30 and 60 percent, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. High indoor humidity decreases the quality of the air you breath inside your home. Failure to keep humidity levels within normal limits is a primary cause of mold growth indoors. Molds grow when fungal spores land on areas inside the home that have constant sources of moisture and high humidity.
Those with allergies to mold can experience dangerous side effects from inhaling fungal spores such as wheezing, difficulty breathing, coughing, itching eyes, nasal congestion and skin rash. Mold growth will damage the structure of a home, the longer it grows there. Homeowners who have extremely low humidity may have cracked lips, bleeding from the nose and dry sinuses.
Considerations When Adding Humidity to Your Home
Reducing indoor humidity levels is important to keeping your home healthy and mold-free. Those who want to add an in-home water fountain to their homes might consider placing a dehumidifier indoors to reduce humidity levels if their climate is already humid. Relative humidity can be reduced by running your air conditioners on humid days, using exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms.
Monitor your indoor humidity levels on a regular basis to prevent adverse effects and mold growth. Measure your indoor humidity levels with an indoor humidity meter, which are available at your local hardware store. If your humidity is too low, running a humidifier indoors can help add moisture to the air. Some indoor fountains are designed specifically as humidifiers, sending out mist into the air as well.
Be sure to clean your dehumidifiers or humidifiers thoroughly to avoid the build up of dangerous bacteria which can be dispersed in the air when the unit is running.