When we talk about how to measure humidity inside a house, as with any other building, we’re talking about the amount of water vapour in the air. Every living being who occupies a more or less enclosed space, whether they’re a human, an animal, or even a plant, produces water vapour by breathing as well as by perspiring. In a house, other sources of water vapour may include activities such as cooking, showering, doing laundry, and washing the dishes. Finally, moisture can enter a building through the floor, the air vents, and the windows.
Why calculate the humidity level in a home?
Because nature is very well made, like any element, humidity is necessary for us and useful to our health as well as our comfort. That’s why a lack or excess of humidity can cause more or less serious problems:
- The possible problems due to excess humidity: condensation on the windows, water stains and mold on the walls and ceilings, temporary allergic reactions of the occupants of the premises, physical damage to the plants, furniture, and building, and permanent allergies of the occupants.
- The possible problems due to a lack of humidity: cracked or chapped lips and skin, nasal irritation, sore throat, difficulty breathing, the formation of static electricity, problems with the electricity and electronic appliances, damage to the furniture or building, and the permanent discomfort of the occupants of the premises.
How to measure humidity in your house
A hygrometer or humidity sensor is an instrument that measures the water vapour in interior spaces that lets you calculate the humidity level quickly and easily. You can find this type of instrument in all price ranges, in hardware stores, electronics or household appliance stores, and big box stores, in two forms: electronic hygrometers and mechanical hygrometers. The purchase of this instrument will let you measure a humidity level between 0% (dry air) and 100% (water vapour fog) everywhere in your home by moving from room to room. The hygrometer indicates the relative humidity (RH) in your interior at the time you measure it, but also in the specific room where you’re taking the measurement. So take care to measure the humidity in each of the different rooms of your home, or at least in those where the humidity concerns you the most, such as the basement, where your valuables are stored, or the bedrooms. In addition, make sure to place the hygrometer far from a source of heat, such as a heater, when taking the measurement. In Canada, during the heating season, it’s not uncommon to suffer the problematic effects of excess humidity. To prevent the formation of condensation on the windows during the winter, here are the ideal values in an interior:
- In an interior, the recommended relative humidity is between 30 and 50%.
- When the temperature outside is lower than -10 degrees Celsius, the recommended RH in an interior is 30%.
In conclusion, if you’re worried about a humidity problem in your interior but want to be sure before bringing in a professional to handle this situation, a hygrometer can give you very clear information about this subject. In the event of an already noted humidity problem accompanied by damage such as mold in your interior and health problems in your family, you should act fast and call cleaning professionals who have experience with damage caused by water vapour. The mold must be removed without delay, because it’s a major source of pollution of the air inside a house and very harmful to the health of all living beings.