If you live in Los Angeles, you know the weather isn’t always going to be perfect and that your home isn’t always going to be comfortable. To ensure optimal home comfort and health, it’s best to maintain your home humidity between 30 to 50 percent.
Testing your home’s humidity can indicate whether your home needs a humidifier or dehumidifier. If your home humidity is typically on level with the humidity outdoors, you may need to add insulation. To determine if there’s a problem in your home, you can look for several signs and symptoms to get a general idea of your relative humidity. For more precise measurements, test your home’s humidity level with a hygrometer.
Signs and Symptoms of Excess Humidity
- Vertical glass surfaces indoors, like windows or mirrors, show condensation droplets or mist up. If this happens only after showering for example, your exhaust fans should be sufficient at clearing airborne moisture.
- Wet ceiling stains.
- Mold, mildew or musty odors in bathrooms, laundry rooms and/or kitchens.
- More intense allergy symptoms or more allergic reactions and sneezing, even when doors and windows are kept shut.
Signs Your Home Humidity is Too Low
- Experiencing static shocks and sparks when walking through your home.
- Problems with electronics.
- Uncomfortably dry skin and/or chapped lips.
- Dry sinuses.
- Scratchy, sore throat.
How to test Home Humidity with a Hygrometer
- Digital hygrometer: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and walk through your home, noting humidity readings.
- Mechanical hygrometer: Make sure to calibrate before initial measurement. Then:
- In a mug, dissolve 1/2 cup salt in 1/4 cup tap water.
- Carefully seal the hygrometer and mug of saltwater in a plastic bag without wetting the hygrometer.
- Place in a room with steady temperatures, out of direct sunlight.
- After eight to 12 hours, the hygrometer gauge should read 75 percent. If not, write down how far off the reading is.
- Place the hygrometer in a desired room and remember to adjust the readout for accurate future readings.
Contact Around the Clock Heating & Air Conditioning for help maintaining proper humidity levels in your Los Angeles home.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Los Angeles, North Hollywood and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about humidity and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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